This year's Navy Day is very different from previous ones.
First, the overall strength of the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has leapt to a world-advanced and an Asia-top level.
The biggest naval parade in the history of the PLA Navy was held before Navy Day in early April, 2018. Advanced, first-class weapons and equipment including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, Type-094 strategic nuclear submarines, Type-039B improved submarines, Type-052D destroyers, and fixed-wing antisubmarine aircraft all participated in the parade for the first time, demonstrating the tremendous achievements of China's naval construction as well as the determination and will to safeguard the unity, national sovereignty and rights and interests of China.
Second, China has achieved preliminary formation of defense capabilities in the open sea.
The J-15 carrier-borne aircraft has completed major training courses. The aircraft carrier formation has improved combat systems such as reconnaissance surveillance, command and control, combat support, and maritime logistics support, and has the capability to carry out combat missions in the open sea.
China's first homegrown aircraft carrier has entered the sea trial stage too. China will be home to a double aircraft carrier formation in the near future. China's maritime forces will expand from offshore to open waters, from competing for oceans to controlling them, and from entering the sea to expanding at sea!
Third, China has solid maritime nuclear counterattack capability.
The Type-094 nuclear submarine is on combat duty and can carry nuclear missiles with multiple warheads. A single nuclear counterattack by a Type-094 is enough to paralyze a big nuclear power attacking China. The Type-093 nuclear submarine has completed several remote patrol tasks. China now has solid nuclear second-strike capability.
Fourth, China has improved capability in long-range delivery and amphibious attack.
The new dock landing ship and the world's largest tonnage landing craft air cushion have formed combat capabilities. A large-scale amphibious assault ship is under construction, and the Z-20 helicopter will be provided to the ship, making it the most aggressive amphibious ship in the world. An amphibious combat capability that can deliver a division in a single landing will be formed soon.
In addition, this year marks the 10th anniversary of China's dispatch of a navy vessel formation to the Gulf of Aden for escort and counter-piracy mission. It is another great maritime move by the Chinese after the voyages of Zheng He down the Western Ocean.
These years have been the most productive for Chinese naval warship formation, bomber flights around Taiwan, and navigation on the first island chain, measures that have effectively cracked down on the arrogance of the separatist forces of "Taiwan independence."
The PLA Navy also built the first overseas base in August 2017. The Djibouti base will help it to better carry out China's international obligations including escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia, and humanitarian relief operations.
Of course, when we see glorious achievements we should pay more attention to the problems and challenges we face.
The number of provocations by the US through sending aircraft and ships to the South China Sea has increased more than ever.
The US National Defense Authorization Act allows its ships to stop at Taiwan and allows its high-level military officials to land in Taiwan. This may lead to another major security incident in the Taiwan Strait!
The trade war started by the US will also affect the political and military trust between the two sides. No one can rule out accidental events between China and the US.
Navy Day is a day to celebrate and a day for the PLA Navy to strengthen combat-readiness and move to the next level.
Disclaimer: The author is Wang Yunfei. The article is translated from Chinese into English by the China Military online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn. Chinamil.com.cn does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.