September 01, 2010 09:25
China overtakes the U.S. in the number of warships, a British weekly said, quoting a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
The Economist on Tuesday said the IISS "reckons China now has more warships than America, which long possessed the biggest fleet. As it can be hard to distinguish a warship from other boats, the IISS uses its own definition of what counts and what does not."
According to the IISS, Russia had the largest fleet from 1971 to 1996, the U.S. from 1997 to 2006, and now China since 2008.
"This striking trend is yet another manifestation of the rise of China," the weekly added.
China is building up its military strength based on its rapidly growing economy, while the U.S. and European nations are reducing military spending. The U.S. is currently cutting top brass and reducing armaments. Germany is slashing the number of ground troops, while the U.K. plans to cut defense spending by 10 to 20 percent for the next five years.
The Economist predicted the gap will widen further and added that there is a limit to the U.S. ability to increase the number of its warships, considering that production cost has soared due to the state-of-the-art technology needed.
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