The significance of China’s naval modernization programs and their impact on U.S. national security considerations are explored in a newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service. See “China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities — Background and Issues for Congress” (pdf), updated May 29, 2007.
Hans Kristensen of FAS observed that a recent Department of Defense annual report (pdf) on Chinese military power conspicuously declined to endorse press reports (mainly attributable to Bill Gertz of the Washington Times) that China intends to deploy five new Jin-class ballistic missile submarines.
“Are you building five SSBNs or not?” Hans inquired in a followup letter to the Embassy of China. “No one here even knows the answer to your question,” the Embassy replied.
See “Pentagon China Report Ignores Five SSBNs Projection,” Strategic Security Blog, May 25.
Update/Clarification: Although the new DoD report did not specify the development of five Jin-class ballistic missile submarines, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence stated in a report last year that China will build “probably five” such subs, as reported in the Washington Times on March 2.