“China understands that their aircraft carriers are much weaker than American ones. But war in this region, it seems, can no longer be avoided. It is a matter of time,” military expert Vasily Kashin told the VZGLYAD newspaper. Earlier, American and Chinese aircraft carriers entered the Taiwan Strait amid a possible visit by the head of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, to Taipei.
“Now there will be no fighting. Probably, the Americans will simply ensure the safety of Pelosi’s visit. And from the Chinese side there will be a demonstration of strength and discontent. In this case, Beijing’s response, of course, will follow. And it will be unusually tough,” said Vasily Kashin, director of the HSE Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies (CCEMI), military expert.
“As an option, we can expect military exercises in the Taiwan Strait with violation of the demarcation zone and firing on approaches to ports. A similar situation was in the mid-1990s. But this will be after Pelosi leaves Taipei, ”the source is sure.
The expert also speaks of the inevitability of a serious escalation in the region. “The issue will be resolved within three to four years. At the same time, China does not consider its aircraft carriers as a counterweight to the enemy. Beijing initially proceeds from the fact that their ships are weaker. And there are many reasons for this,” he explained.
“Firstly, the Chinese ships are structurally simpler, since they were created on the basis of the Soviet aircraft-carrying cruisers of project 1143.5, like our Admiral Kuznetsov. Secondly, they do not have catapults, they carry fewer aircraft, and they do not have airborne early warning aircraft at all. Thirdly, the Chinese have much less experience in the operation of such ships,” Kashin listed.
Beijing will use other options in the confrontation with the United States, the source said. “We are talking about coastal aviation, coastal-based anti-ship missiles, technical intelligence, as well as the ability to conduct underwater warfare. China does not believe that their aircraft carrier should fight an American,” he explained.
As for the classic aircraft carrier strike groups (AUG), they do not operate in the Taiwan Strait, the expert notes. “In the past, during periods of aggravation, groups entered the strait, but now no one will do this. The Taiwan Strait is small, so it is shot through by coastal missile systems. Launching such large ships there is suicide,” Kashin concluded.