China’s Massive Submarine Fleet Will Help It Dominate the South China Sea
China’s navy is quickly building one of the world’s strongest submarine fleets, according to the United States Defense Department’s annual report on China’s military power.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy “currently operates four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (ssbn), six nuclear-powered attack submarines (ssn), and 50 conventionally powered attack submarines (SS),” the report states.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is shrinking. In 2016, American military planners said the Navy needed 66 attack submarines in order to maintain an undersea warfare advantage over rivals such as China. But as of mid-2019, it had only 51 operational units. Writing for National Interest in April, David Axe noted that America’s submarine shortfall is expected to become more severe in the years ahead. “Even if the Navy could afford more subs,” he wrote, “it lacks shipyards to build them.”
When placed in the context of Bible prophecy, the increasing might of China’s navy compared to America’s—including the rapidly tipping scales of submarine power—is of profound significance. This is largely because China’s naval buildup is helping it assert ever tighter control over the South China Sea.
The Pentagon report notes that China’s focus on submarines is intended to help it “achieve maritime superiority within the first island chain.” This term refers to the chain of islands spanning from Japan down to Indonesia. The Chinese are increasingly determined to control everything between China and this chain, which includes the South China Sea. And its expanding submarine power will allow China to tighten its grip on the sea to unprecedented levels.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in July 2016 that Beijing’s increasing control over this vital sea means “China is steering the world toward war.”
China is eroding “seven decades of American naval dominance in the Pacific Rim,” he wrote. This trend “should alarm the world!”
Mr. Flurry continued, “Since Japan’s defeat in World War ii, America has protected this vital trade route and brought peace to this part of the world.” But now that America is retreating from this region, “other great powers are coming in to fill the vacuum,” he wrote. “China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. It is forcing these countries to do what it wants. Everything is headed in the direction of war.”
Mr. Flurry’s understanding of what China’s rising maritime power will lead to is built on Bible prophecy.
In Deuteronomy 28:52, God cautions the nation of ancient Israel that if it despises Him and rejects His law of love, He will hand control of the world’s strategic maritime choke points and routes over to its rivals: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”
This is “a prophecy for the modern-day descendants of Israel!” Mr. Flurry wrote. “Two nations in particular represent Israel in this end time: America and Britain.”
With China’s naval power, including is submarine fleet, mushrooming, it will soon be capable of blocking America and Britain out of not only the Asian maritime regions they once controlled, such as the South China Sea, but even those that lie a hemisphere away from China.
The fact that China’s vast naval power is giving it dominance over strategic locations that only decades ago were under the sway of the U.S. and Britain, and the fact that the Chinese Navy is expanding in a fashion that challenges America’s maritime hegemony, show that the prophecy in Deuteronomy is in the process of being fulfilled. China’s increasing focus on modernizing its submarine forces could further hasten the fulfillment of these prophecies.
Today’s news is clearly fulfilling ancient biblical prophecies, and the Scriptures show that this is leading to a time of unprecedented war and suffering (Matthew 24:21-22).
But there is also great cause for hope that is connected to these trends, because they show that God is working to reach the world so that He can bring a decisive end to mankind’s suffering.
Mr. Flurry wrote:
All this prophesied destruction is what it will take for God to reach this world! After this, people will be ashamed—and they will get to know God! Ezekiel repeatedly talked about that inspiring conclusion (e.g. Ezekiel 6:7; 7:4; 11:10; 12:20; 13:9; 23:48-49; etc). Yes, there is a lot of bad news when you consider what it takes to get people to the point of knowing God. But ultimately, the outcome is spectacularly good news!
To understand these prophecies and the radiant hope that is at their heart, please order a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.