- China’s shipbuilding capacity has dwarfed US capabilities, per leaked US Navy intelligence.
- A Navy spokesperson confirmed the leaked material’s authenticity to Fox News Digital.
- China has the world’s largest navy and could have a fleet of 440 ships by 2030, per the Pentagon.
China’s shipbuilding capacity is 232 times greater than the US, per leaked US Navy intelligence.
A leaked US Navy briefing slide with the information circulated online in July, per The War Zone, an online newsletter. The slide was titled “PLAN vs. USN Naval Force Laydown,” and appeared to be marked “unclassified.”
According to the data seen in the slide, China’s shipyards have a capacity of over 23.2 million tons, more than 232 times greater than the US capacity of less than 100,000 tons.
The slide also appears to contrast the “battle force composition” of both navies, taking into account “combatant ships, submarines, mine warfare ships, major amphibious ships, and large combat support auxiliary ships.”
A US Navy spokesperson told Fox News Digital in an article published on September 14 that the briefing slide is authentic.
The spokesperson said the slide “provides context and trends on China’s shipbuilding capacity,” but warned that the Navy did not intend for it to be read as a comprehensive “deep dive” into China’s commercial shipbuilding industry.
“The slide was developed by the Office of Naval Intelligence from multiple public sources as part of an overall brief on strategic competition,” the spokesperson said.
China has been hard at work at bolstering its naval capabilities. The country has the world’s largest navy, with more than 355 vessels in its fleet, per a US Naval Institute report from 2021.
The Pentagon’s 2022 annual report on China’s military development further projects that the Chinese fleet will grow to 400 ships by 2025 and 440 ships by 2030.
In comparison, the US has a smaller fleet of 296 ships, per a 2021 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Nonetheless, the US Navy is still widely considered to be the world’s most powerful. Then US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said in 2020 that even if the US were to stop building ships, it would take years for China to match the US Navy’s power.
Esper said this was because of the US Navy’s depth of experience and technological capabilities.
“Ship numbers are important, but they don’t tell the whole story,” said Esper, who was speaking at a RAND Corporation event in September 2020.
Representatives from the US Office of Naval Intelligence did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.