Monday, October 31, 2005

JMSDF Admiral: PLAN Not Yet a Threat

Retired Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Admiral Sumihiko Kawamura, a career naval aviator and founder of the Kawamura Institute, has long lobbied for a Japanese defense guarantee for Taiwan (an aim which was achieved to a degree in February of this year).

ADM Kawamura was recently interviewed by Taipei Times about the PLA Navy.

Kawamura stated:
I see PLAN's capability as still being limited or weak in terms of the four major missions of a navy -- strategic deterrence, projection of power, sea control and sea-lane security.

He evaluated the PLAN's ability to conduct war against Taiwan as follows:
[I]f China invaded Taiwan, PLAN would not be able to sustain logistic support from China because it cannot control the waters between Taiwan and China. Finally, China also has a limited capability to conduct a blockade of sea lanes.

He concluded by discouraging Taiwan from buying the eight diesel submarines they have been offered by the United States--a position Michael Turton and Sun Bin would certainly appreciate. Go give it a read.