Although the number of ships built by the Chinese military outnumbered the United States last year, their weight and quality cannot be compared with US ships, reports the state-run People's Daily, citing admiral Yin Zhuo of the People's Liberation Army Navy.
China built 18 new ships last year, including two 052C destroyers, three 054A corvettes, nine 056 light corvettes, two replenishment oilers and two minesweepers, according to Russian military news portals.
The country's ship building industry has grown rapidly and has focused on multi-functional submarines and ships. If China continues on at this speed, the number of Chinese military vessels is likely to surpass the US and the country will own the highest number of military ships in the world by 2020, according to Japanese magazine Wedge.
The magazine reported that China is set to become the world's second largest builder of large military vessels and produce the highest number of submarines, military ships and other types of vessels by 2015. Its shipbuilding power aims to catch up with that of Russia and the US by 2020 and 2030, it added.
Admiral Yin Zhuo said the PLA Navy's rapid growth in recent years was contributed by economic growth. However, the quality of its facilities and its ability to protect its forces remains in question and is not as impressive as other countries.
China has built numerous military ships but their quality and weight are lower than those built by major countries in the West, the admiral added. The US Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carrier, for example, which entered service last year weighs more than 110,000 tonnes and is heavier than all the Chinese ships in service and under construction, the admiral saidhttp://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1101&MainCatID=11&id=20140109000043