A new Pentagon paper paints a grim picture of the emerging great power rivalry in Asia and suggests that a toe-to-toe balancing with China is now out of the question. The document titled “Military and Security developments in the People’s Republic of China” charts where China has already far surpassed the United States.
For example, by the end of 2019, China possessed the world’s largest standing ground force and leading maritime militia. China has now the world’s largest navy, already with around a 50-ship advantage over America, a gap that is steadily increasing in a competition that is at a much, much higher pace than the Anglo-German naval race of the 1900s.
The Chinese strategy is mass production and overwhelming attack, so even when Chinese quality is not a match for Western navies, China will simply achieve enough tonnage and numbers to overwhelm any near-peer force. China also has the world’s largest coast guard, and dwarves the air-forces of any Indo-Pacific power.