China’s Giant Coast Guard Cutters Threat to Regional Neighbors


China is currently commissioning two of the world’s largest coast guard cutters, ships that could alter the balance of power in the South and East China Seas (one ship is to be stationed in both seas).

Known only by their hull numbers, in this case Haijing 2901 and Haijing 3901 (the first digit denotes which sea it is to patrol). They will displace 10,000 tonnes, possibly more when fully outfitted.

That makes them larger than the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers and the largest Japanese coast guard cutter, the 6,500-tonne Shikishima were previously the largest cutters in the world. The largest cutter belonging to a Southeast Asian coast guard is Vietnam’s DN2000 class at 2,500 tons

The new ships are not necessarily heavily armed. Pictures that have been published so far show that they lack gun turrets. It is not armaments that make these two coast guard Dreadnaughts so formidable; it is their sheer size.

The People’s Daily, the organ of the Chinese Communist Party, boasted that the powerful new ship could ram and possibly sink a 9,000-ton vessel without damaging itself. That makes then a potential threat to regular naval vessels of the US and Japanese navies.

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