The sun never sets over the British Empire.
Reuters “When Chinese naval supply vessel Qiandaohu entered Australia’s Albany Port this month to replenish Chinese warships helping search for a missing Malaysian airliner, it highlighted a strategic headache for Beijing – its lack of offshore bases and friendly ports to call on.”
The need to support 18 warships, coastguard vessels, a civilian cargo ship and an Antarctic icebreaker exceeded China’s abilities to act beyond its coastal waters. This is a major issue if China is to fulfill tis stated goal of having a fully operational blue-water navy by 2050. Even locally, that is from the Indian Ocean ot the western part of the Pacific Oceam, the United States, Navy has full bases, not just port rights, in - Japan, Guam and Diego Garcia as well as strategic port rights in Singapore and Malaysia.
The contrast with China’s current naval efforts is stark. China is trying to take control of the islands off of Philippines and Vietnam, “just” hundred of miles off China’s southern coast as well as controlling the eastern seas also occupied by nations .. Japan, Taiwan, and Korea that are formidable in their own rights. In both places the US Navy stands against China supported by local ports.
The events of Australia show a gaping hole in China’s plans, one we can expect them to begin filing in the near future by negotiating for rights to bring their ships into local ports. Already China is funding port developments across the Indian Ocean, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar. China, as a totalitarian state, is able to mingle military and commercial objectives much as the British Empire once did. So, claims by China that these are commercial activities that will never develop into Chinese bases are naïve responses that reflect a weakness of the uS and its allies ot show the kind if ling term planning possible in China Inc.