In protracted warfare, logistics and sustainment capabilities are as important as force composition, something China will struggle to mitigate.
Despite recent successes by the People’s Liberation Army Navy to fulfill Xi Jinping’s goals of modernizing China’s military by 2035, its Navy lacks requisite logistics and sustainment capabilities for blue water operations.
Currently the Chinese Navy conducts maritime operations with the help of commercial replenishment ships and ports. While an effective solution in peacetime, civilian logistics and sustainment practices are untenable in combat operations. In pursuit of a truly modern navy, China requires: additional combat capable replenishment ships, such as the Type 901; basing access in critical regions; and securing prepositioned stockpiles like fuel, munitions, and repair parts in countries like the Seychelles and Pakistan.
Read the full article in National Defense.
More from CNAS
CommentaryAssessing the Impact of Dialectical Materialism on Xi Jinping’s Strategic Thinking
Xi Jinping has made his views rather plain to Party members....
By Coby Goldberg
CommentaryWhat to Do About Xinjiang
A more aggressive U.S. approach is needed in order to generate the sort of economic reaction required to have any hope of influencing Chinese policymaking....
By Jordan Schneider
CommentaryBeijing Believes Trump Is Accelerating American Decline
When China’s perception of American strength shifts, its strategy generally changes....
By Rush Doshi
CommentaryThe Untapped Power of Trump’s Leverage
The Trump administration would bequeath a stock of leverage to its successor....
By Richard Fontaine