Friday, February 4, 2011

Activities around Chinese shipyards

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone. In case you missed it, Thursday marked the beginning to the year of rabbit.

With the new year celebration just starting this past week, shipyards around the country have probably stopped work. Having said that, we did get a lot of good photos from the shipyards around the country this past week as numerous people posted pictures in celebration of the new year. Since the work in these shipyard are likely to be interrupted for much of February, these probably won't update much until sometimes in March.

First of all, we have a bunch of new pictures from Dalian showing the latest works on Varyag. It's clear that they still have plenty of work before this thing will start sailing off. Just by the look of all the cranes, boxes on the deck, modules on the side and uninstalled sensors, the installation will continue for a few months longer in my opinion.

We also have some updates of 054A around the country. First of all, it looks like the 4th 054A from HD shipyard is finally ready to sail off. It is all painted in PLAN schemes and ready to join ESF. It will have to wait until after New Years before join service though.

We also have what appears to be the 5th 054A from HD shipyard getting ready to be launched. There are also traces of a 6th 054A at HD shipyard, although it is not confirmed yet.

The 5th 054A from HP shipyard is also remarkably far along. I am not sure if it has started sea trials yet, but looks like all of the sensors have been fitted at least.

The 6th 054A from HP shipyard is hidden behind one of the rescue ships from maritime agencies. It looks to be quite far along and will be ready to be launched soon.

Remarkably, the 7th 054A from HP shipyard is also taking shape. As you can see, the ship module next to the 5th 054A looks like the front section of a new 054A.

We also got an updated photo of the recently launched 052C from JN shipyard. I don't think much has changed since the last set of photos.

At the same time, low rate 022 production appears to be continuing in this remote inland shipyard. It is also building cutters for the maritime police and the maritime surveillance agency.

We also have a picture of Haijian-26 here. It is the final cutter of the 4 that is produced by HP shipyard. The third one, Haijian-66, was recently delivered to CMS.

Finally, it appears that the 5th yuan has been delivered and doing sea trials in Shanghai for a while now. The 2 Yuan submarines in Wuchang should be the 6th and 7th. The word on Chinese forums is that Yuan submarines are also being built by JN shipyard. It looks like Yuan production run might be over very soon if they are continuously churned out at the current rate.


Joe said...

In the wikipedia, 054A already has
eight commissioned:

530, 529, 570, 568, 571, 569, 548, 549

You are still talking about the 7th being built.

Could you please explain why the difference?

Applesauce said...

different shipyards building them, ie 5th from one shipyard maybe the 7th build of the total, also wikipedia's info is outdated

John said...

Ross Babbage, who served on the Australian advisory panel for the 2009 Defence white paper, proposed Australia should boost military to take on China, such as acquire a fleet of 12 nuclear-powered attack submarines, ballistic missiles, supersonic cruise missiles, etc. The article about Ross Babbage's idea is at

I hope those new 054A can deal the challenges posted by the Australian nuclear-powered attacked submarines.

Feng said...

Ross Babbage is crazy. Australia in the near future needs to depend on China for its economic future rather than go against China. I would say that China just needs to continue to not overspend on defense and develop wisely.

John said...

I think the red, blue, etc. boxes on the deck of Varyag are transformers, compressors, etc. working equipment, because they seem to be steel boxes. Usually ship equipment came in wooden cradles, which should not be exposed to weather for any length of time. Ship equipment should be taken out from warehouse only when it is needed to avoid damages. If the working equipment disappear from the deck, that means the ship is ready to sail anytime.

Joe said...

Ming or Feng, how many 054A have been commisioned and how many are being built?

Feng said...

there have been 2 054 and 7 054A commissioned. There are 2 that are almost ready for commissioning and another one that is recently launched. On top of that, there are probably 3 more that we can identify as 054As that have not been launched yet.

Joe said...

Thanks for the info.

What do you think of China's south china sea strategy? Is it wise?

By declaring it as China's core interest, it seemed to indicate China intended to control it miliarily one day if needed.

Personally I feel China's claim of almost whole south china sea as its territory as unjustified.

John said...

The China’s policy on disputed areas is well known; nobody should unilaterally take action in disputed areas. Development of disputed areas should be negotiated. The ASEAN nations have been claiming soverngity all over the places in South China Sea with the backing of the US, and they have called in multinationals to develop the resources in the area they claimed unilaterally. China was forced into action by declaring South China Sea as China’s core interest to calm things down.

China’s policy on disputed areas was ignored by ASEAN nations due to it is lack of means to carry out the policy. That is one of reasons China expands its navy rapidly. Now China has means to keep everybody in check for orderly management of the South China Sea, but the US is not letting China to have its way, that’s why you hear all those noises about China assertiveness, expansionism, threat, etc.

Feng said...

Well, if you've ever seen a map of China in China, you'd see that they include basically the entire south china sea. As a result, most Chinese people grow up with the attitude that the entire south china sea is part of China. Now, I see as the country grows, it will try to exert control over this fairly resource rich area. In the end, most countries in the world will go with China saying that Tibet and Taiwan are core interest. But as soon as they start to call south china sea "core interest", there are going be huge conflicts with everyone. Eventually, ASEAN countries will have to accept that China is just vastly stronger and accept its leadership at the time. (Like if you look at Americas, USA has hegemony in this sphere.) But as shown in 2010, that time has not come yet.

Joe said...

I do remember back in the college time, which was long time ago, that people kept talking all Nansha islands were chinese territory. No one, including myself, ever questioned the basis of this claim.

Of course, china is much stronger than any of the neighboring countries. But I think we need a sense of fairness on this.

I don't think china should, and it is my belief, I don't think china would use military force to expel other countries from the occupied islands or the developed oil wells in the future.

To me, china gained nothing by calling it a core interest. Most sensible way is probably to try to develop the oil/gas as much and as soon as possible.

John said...

The ASEAN nations, with the backing of the US, ganged up on China, and hoped to force China to accept their occupation of the disputed areas as their de factor sovergnty is unrealistic. That approach is forcing China to strengthen its naval and air forces for the future settlement of those disputed areas.

In China’s eye, after ASEAN nations have occupied Chinese territory then tell China that she would gain nothing by calling those occupied territory a core interest is a rather silly argument. That argument basically tells China to suck it up and take a hike.

The best approach for the ASEAN nations to resolve those disputed areas is not to pin their hope on the US, and start negotiations with China as early as possible. Vietnam needs to take this issue seriously because it mostly likely will be the one to be made as an example on how China is going to tackle those disputed areas. As Feng said, the time has not come yet, but is approaching fast.

Joe said...

John, in your view, what is the legal or historical basis that those islands are chinese territory?

John said...

When China was doing ocean exploration, everybody else in the world believed the world was flat, they all stuck close to home. Ancient Chinese artifacts were found as far as in Australia and Africa. While China was writing down her ocean exploration, the current ASEAN nations were rather primitive tribal societies then; documenting sovereignty was not their forte. That’s why ASEAN nations are not negotiating with China on the disputed areas, because they know they can’t beat China in supporting materials to back up their claim on those disputed areas.

In my opinion, China would not take the trouble to expel other countries from the occupied islands. When the time comes, the most likely scenario going to happen is that all drillings in the disputed areas have to get permission from China, and the existing gas/oil production would have to sell to China. I believe that multi-nationals would oblige such arrangement gladly.

In terms of sovereignty claim, with such many bureaucrats in all kinds of fields, China will make sure non of the ASEAN nations can establish recognized sovereignty claim on those disputed areas.

Joe said...

Thank you for sharing the view. I have to say I was hoping for better evidence. What you said is rather weak one and pretty much consistent with what one usually sees in the publications. I guess that is really the best China can come up with.

One thought is that chinese usually never question or think twice what the government says. That is built into our culture. I assume John lives overseas judging from English. One can imagine what the Chinese inside china are thinking.

Yes. Chinese might have been or seen some islands hundreds of years ago. I would think the fishermen from the local countries also saw them too. Following the logic, can we claim sovereighty over all the lands that Chinses porcelain are being found?

I know there are a lot of potential resources in the area. It would be nice to have it. But if China gets it via displaying a bigger gun, we'll lose more than we get. I've heard many many times, president Hu and Premier Wen said, we China would never seek hegemony even when we are stronger in the future. That is the best place to show this because the opponent countries are much weaker.

Among all the territory disputes, Diaoyu island or with India, I think China has the weakest case for sovereignty over Nansha islands.

John said...

Joe, to the West and it allies, unless China returns to the era of unequal treaties and let them abuse and enslave, then China is bully. China is by default at fault, and never can do anything right. Even more than one million square miles of our ancestor’s land is still under foreign occupation, but nobody in the world will say a single word to condemn those facts. Every Chinese who tries to present Chinese point of view on behalf of China (CCP is just one regime of China), he must be either a commie or a commie sympathizer. It does not matter what the Chinese say, the reply is always rebuffing, cynicism, sarcasm, and demonization.

Your criticism of China is the norm from the anti-China camp to smear China on the Internet and in the media in the West and its allies. Never seek hegemony does not mean China forfeits its right to defend its sovereignty. The US is the root of all acrimonies in Asia. Without the US, China can negotiate settlements with her neighbours in a fair manner which you automatically exclude that possibility.

The US is doing all kind of imperialist destructive activities around world, yet the ASEN nations, Japan, Korea, India and Australia see the US as saviour. China only tries to defend its sovereignty; it is demonized in all imaginable ways.

I don’t think Chinese inside China think differently from the people in the West and it allies. Just one is pro-China, and one is anti-China (this is not an imagination).

Applesauce said...

joe, the area is a dispute, however the case for china has it merits

its not about just seeing some islands in the ocean. china is the first to document and name the islands, first to develop the islands and first to exercise jurisdiction over the islands. the islands being as small as they are were of course never "colonized" but the records for china evidence for the islands date back to the han dynasty, china's case is actually fairly strong, stronger than the case provided by the other claimants.

and never seeking harmony doesnt mean giving up the right to defend oneself. the Chinese claim has never expanded during the modern period, in fact it has only contracted with various settlements china has generally given up more than half the disputed areas.

Joe said...

John, please don't put me in the anti-china camp, because I am not.

The humiliation of China in the Western hand in the 19th and 20th century caused just as much pain to me as to you too.

If we want to talk about the revenge, I don't think ASEAN is the right target, do you agree?

Even in the internal discussion, you need someone to present the opposite view. Then you try to present your case and sharpen your argument.

Ming, I appreciate if you can point me to the historical record you mentioned.

John said...

Joe, at the beginning I thought those anti-China articles and comments were only limited to small group of bigots, because ordinary people in the West all believe they are progressive and caring people, until I discovered that communist totalitarian, expansionist, human right violator, and other cold war terminology are the common words used by the ordinary people and the media in West when it comes to the discussions on China, and you will be looked at like a creature from outer space if you try to tell them the changes have happened in China in the last 30 years, and China needs time to change. I then realised the problem is more serious than ignorance, it seems a racial issue, and the West seems just can’t get over the reality that they have to deal with ‘Chinaman’ on equal footing.

The US and its Asian allies are encircling China with muscles, yet they say they are doing it for the sake of peace to contain an expansionist, when China tries to break their containment, they called China a bully, and a threat. Where is the fairness and justice in this world? The encirclement is the expression of racial behaviour and mentality of the West; the Asian allies are just the willing accomplices.

One becomes very agitated when one realise the hope of humanity, democracy of the West is nothing more than a hoax. Humanity and civilization other than material have not progressed since 1839.

Joe said...

John, to some degree, I agree with you on some of the emotions you expressed.

A lot of American people talk about the freedom everyday. But sometimes you can see the freedom they talk about means the US can do whatever they like, they loves the freedom to limit other countries' freedom.

Lately there are some talks among US goverment to form allies against Anti-satellite weapons since they are very worried about China's capabilty on this. My thought on this is: When your bomb starts to fall on our country, and you tell me that your satellite is untouchable since this will degrade your bomb's accuracy, go to hell! I will try to shoot down everyone of your satellites, if possible.

But I do have some different opinions regarding the Nansha islands for now. I'll spend some time to learn a bit more see if I can convince myself about how strong our case is.

Regarding the racial bias, it happens everywhere, not just in US.
In China, city people looks downs upon the people from coutryside. Everyday, TV/media talks about "Nongmingong". Why do they have to classify people with such a disrespectful name? Worker is worker, why do you have to add such adjective?

Today China is still inferior compared to West countries in a lot of area, so if there is racial bias, it is just normal and let it be.

Hopefully China can catch up and even exceed them. Then all the racial thing will go away or even reversed.

My attitude is that China needs to be strong, but also need to show self-restraint.

When facing weaker countries, China can make concessions, that is no big deal.

But when facing countries like Japan, we need to stand firm.

John said...

Good observation, let's keep our fingers crossed.