"The question of China's ability to rise again as a great sea power has been closely tied to its commercial shipbuilding development..... Already is demonstrating an ability to sustain its maritime influence that the Soviet Union and other land powers cum sea powers rarely or never did.....Yet China still has a long way to go if it hopes to become a great maritime power in the mold of Holland, Great Britain, or the United States ....not only based on comprehensive national strength but also on personnel quality and, perhaps most importantly, on innovation ability."In that light, the building of new campuses and research centers at China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC)'s Jiangnan Changxing shipyard, China's oldest and largest, can be seen as attempt to address these shortcomings. The Jiannan Shipyard was established in 1865 as part of the Qing Dynasty's Self-Strengthening Movement to industrialize China. 145 years later, it has designed and produced China's most advanced vassals such as the Type 052C DDG and the Yuan Wang family of Space Tracking Ships.
Background on the Jiangnan's Changxing Island Shipyard.
Construction started on June 3,2005 on what will become the world's largest shipyard, marking a major step forward in China's ambition to become the world's leading ship builder.
In the first phase of the US.6 billion project, the Jiangnan Shipyard Corp, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), is relocating to Changxing Island to make way for Shanghai Expo 2010. The Jiangnan Shipyard will expand its shipbuilding capacity from the current 800,000 deadweight tons (DWT) a year to 4.5 million by 2010. The new yard's first ship is expected to be delivered by 2009.
In the second phase of development, CSSC's subsidiaries, such as Hudong and Waigaoqiao, will add more yards along Changxing island's 8-kilometre coastline.
By 2015, CSCC is expected to have an annual capacity of 8 million DWTs, half of China's current production capacity. By then, Changxing is expected to have become the world's largest shipyard. Shanghai will also become the world's largest shipbuilding base, tripling its capacity to 12 million DWTs by 2015.
"The central government has called on China to become the largest shipbuilder in the world. The Changxing base is the most important step forward in this plan," said CSSC President Chen Xiaojin. Chen said the Changxing yard offers CSSC an unprecedented opportunity to develop its business as the global shipbuilding market is still expanding.The yard will also increase Chinese production of high-tech and high-value-added ships, including liquefied natural gas carriers and super oil tankers.
June 3,2005 also witnessed the 140th anniversary of the Jiangnan Shipyard.The yard was founded during the late Qing Dynasty, and was the first manufacturing base to produce steel, naval ships and steel cannon.
* Page 365, "China goes to sea : maritime transformation in comparative historical perspective" edited by Andrew S. Erickson, Lyle J. Goldstein, and Carnes Lord.
March Toward The Deep Blue