China Has ‘an Edge’ Over US Naval Power: Expert

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China has advantages over the United States in naval power in actual combat, according to former Navy Capt. Brent Sadler.

“I think we’ve been spending years quietly building up our munitions production capability, but we’re not there yet for the type of fight that we would be in with China. Then … on shipyards, China’s got massive capacity there, one of their commercial shipyards has more capacity than all of the shipbuilding [of the] United States,” Sadler told “China in Focus” on NTD, the sister media outlet of The Epoch Times.

“It’s a very sad testament of how far we’ve allowed our shipbuilding industry to fall,” said Sadler, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation and member of the Center for National Defense.

According to the expert, the Chinese military also holds the whip hand over the U.S. military regarding its proximity to home.

“The Chinese are a lot closer to home. So that’s mitigated their ability to load up and replace munitions. They have a vast industrial base. I think they have got an edge on us there,” he said.

Naval Power Buildup

To catch up with the Chinese might, Sadler suggested that the United States build “three destroyers.”

“We also know we need Virginia class nuclear submarines,” he said.

“We have a frigate design that’s new but stable. So [the] first thing is [to] go ahead and purchase all the ships that you know you’re going to buy in the next five years and get the money into the shipbuilders and ship the risk to them so that they can start making capital investments to grow their workforce, to grow their shipbuilding capacity, which we’re going to need if we get into a fight to repair those same ships in a war,” he added.

He noted that the plan would face political and legislative challenges as the bill for 45 ships, which he deemed needed for the next five years, would cost up to $150 billion.

By Hannah Ng and Tiffany Meier

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