Archive for the ‘Korea’ Category

Icon Of World War II To Present Refurbished, Returns to Historic Mission

November 8, 2008

The aircraft carrier USS Intrepid is an icon hero of World War II.  She suffered five attacks by suicide pilots —   — and over 200 sailors were killed on her decks.

Intrepid participated in the Pacific Theater of Operations of World War II, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Later she recovered spacecraft of the Mercury and Gemini programs and served in the Vietnam War. Since 1982, Intrepid has been part of the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed “the Fighting I.”

Read about USS Intrepid on Wikipedia:

Above: USS Intrepid in the World War II time frame

Intrepid Returns to New York WaterfrontFrom Fox News, NY


The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is reopening to the public with a two-day celebration.

A Saturday ribbon cutting aboard the World War II aircraft carrier will be followed by musical performances and fireworks.  Members of the Fire Department, the Police Department and the military also will gather for a game of tug-of-war.

The museum on the Hudson River underwent a 22-month, $120 million restoration at a New Jersey drydock. It returned home last month.

After WWII, the ship saw service in the Korean and Vietnam wars and was twice a recovery ship for NASA astronauts. Since 1982 it has become one of the city’s most popular tourist sites, drawing some 750,000 visitors yearly over the past decade.

USS Intrepid’s Reopening, New Dedication Features Honors, Praises, HistoryBy Bill Blayer, Newsday


After a two-year, $120-million restoration project for ship and pier, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum reopens to the public Saturday with a day of special events.

The official grand reopening event will be held Tuesday on Veterans Day, when President George W. Bush is scheduled to be onboard to be honored by the museum.

After extensive work at a Bayonne drydock and a Staten Island pier, the historic aircraft carrier berthed at Pier 86 at West 46th Street and 12th Avenue offers new exhibits including areas of the ship never before accessible, four new aircraft and the rest of the planes repainted, a new public park-like pier and new handicapped accessibility. It also will charging higher admission fees: $3 more for adults to $19.50.

The first visitors begin touring the new displays and renovated ... 
The first visitors begin touring the new displays and renovated aircraft in the hangar bay on board the USS Intrepid, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in New York. The ship reopened to the public today after a two year renovation. (AP Photo/Edouard H.R. Gluck)

On Saturday, the museum will open at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the Chaminade High School band will perform; at 1 there will be a tug-of-war between the FDNY, NYPD, Navy and Marine Corps; at 5:30 there will be a performance by the USO and Liberty Belles; at 6 a performance by Annapolis Men’s Glee Club and Barbershop Quartet; and fireworks at 7 p.m. Sunday hours are 10 to 6.

On Tuesday, the ship commissioned in 1943 will be closed to the public until 2 p.m. while the president attends Veterans Day ceremonies and is presented with the 2008 Intrepid Freedom Award. The award recognizes world leaders who embody the ideals of world freedom and democracy. Prior honorees include presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Margaret Thatcher and Silvio Berlusconi, and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

“This is only the second time a sitting president has visited us,” museum president Bill White said.

Gov. David A. Paterson also is scheduled to attend along with 2,500 veterans.

The museum expects 1 million visitors in the next year to see the new exhibits aboard the 29,000-ton ship, including the newly opened fo’c’sle area where the anchor chains are stored in the bow, officers’ quarters and crew’s mess.

Ben Kalsman, 5, reaches skyward, as he sits on the shoulders ... 
Ben Kalsman, 5, reaches skyward, as he sits on the shoulders of his Father, Arden, waiting to board the USS Intrepid, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2008, in New York. The ship reopened to the public today, after a two year renovation. (AP Photo/Edouard H.R. Gluck)

Japan: Inability to Admit Horrors of WWII Despite Government Policy

November 3, 2008

Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, November 3, 2008; Page A17


TOKYO, Nov. 2 — Once again, a Japanese official with nationalist sympathies — in this case, the head of the air force — has glossed over the Asian suffering caused by Japan during World War II.

Once again, China and South Korea — principal victims of Japan’s wartime depredations — have expressed shock and anger.

And once again, the government in Tokyo has restated its official policy, which is that Japan deeply regrets and apologizes for its wartime aggression.

The abiding reluctance of prominent nationalists in Japan to come to grips with the past resurfaced Friday, when a hotel company announced the winner of its $30,000 “true modern history” essay contest.

The winning essay was written by Gen. Toshio Tamogami, who until Friday night was chief of staff of the air force. He was fired a few hours after the essay appeared on the hotel company’s Web site.

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because of a “trap” set by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Tamogami claimed in his essay, which also argued “that many Asian countries take a positive view” of Japan’s role in the war.

He wrote, too, that the war was good for international race relations: “If Japan had not fought the Great East Asia War at that time, it might have taken another 100 or 200 years before we could have experienced the world of racial equality that we have today.”

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Offensive Remark End Career of Japan’s Top Air Force Officer; China, others Express Relief

November 3, 2008

Japan’s Air Force Chief is gone following written comments that outraged China, Korea, and many others…

(CNN) — A state-run Chinese newspaper expressed relief Monday that senior Japanese officials had dismissed the country’s air force chief after he denied Japan’s aggression before and during World War II.

General Toshio Tamogami

General Toshio Tamogami
Gen. Toshio Tamogami lost his job as chief of staff for Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force, the Ministry of Defense said, after saying in an essay that “it is certainly a false accusation to say that our country was an aggressor nation.”

Japanese troops invaded China in 1937 and were widely accused of gross human rights abuses, including raping tens of thousands of girls and women and killing several hundred thousand others in what has come to be called “The Rape of Nanking.” Imperial Japan also invaded several other Asian nations, leading to the death and misery for an untold number.

Two former Japanese prime ministers have apologized for Japanese aggression before and during World War II. Yet China has long accused of elements within Japan of trying to whitewash the Japanese atrocities committed before and during World War II.

“The denial of the aggression history by Toshio Tamogami comes in as an element of disharmony,” the state-run China Daily said a commentary Monday. “Yet, as long as the Japanese government has a right attitude to this question, the smooth development of ties between the two neighbors will not be derailed by such discordant notes.”

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China Applauds Dismissal Of Japan’s Air Boss

Associated Press

An official Chinese newspaper has applauded the dismissal of Japan’s air force chief over an essay he wrote that claimed Japan had not been an “aggressor” in World War II.

China remains highly sensitive over depictions of Japan’s brutal wartime occupation, and there were concerns that the essay by Toshio Tamogami, who was fired on Friday, would negatively impact ties between the two countries.

On Monday, however, the government’s English-language China Daily called the essay “an element of disharmony” and said Beijing felt “relieved” over Toshio’s removal.

“Yet as long as the Japanese government has a right attitude to this question, the smooth development of ties between the two neighbors will not be derailed,” the paper said in an unsigned editorial.

On Saturday, China’s Foreign Ministry issued only a mild comment on the controversy, saying it had noted the Japanese government’s action.

In the essay, Tamogami said it was “certainly a false accusation” to say Japan was “an aggressor nation” during World War II, and defended life under Japanese occupation as “very moderate.” Tamogami also claimed that Japan was tricked into attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, by then-U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

China-Japan relations were thrown into a tailspin earlier this decade over former Japanese Prime Minister Jinichiro Koizumi‘s visits to a shrine honoring war dead, including convicted war criminals, as well as Chinese accusations that Japan was playing down its wartime culpability.

However, ties have improved markedly in the two years since Koizumi’s successor, Shinzo Abe, visited China, allowing the sides to weather potential storms such as the Tamogami essay.

China condemns sacked Japan general’s war comments

November 1, 2008

China was strongly critical on Saturday of an essay by a Japanese air force chief of staff who said Japan was not an aggressor in Asia in World War Two and was later dismissed for airing those views.

“We are shocked by and express our strong indignation over the senior Japanese military officer’s denial of Japan’s aggression and overtly glorifying its history of invasion,” the Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as saying.

General Toshio Tamogami, in an essay posted on the website of a Japanese hotel and apartment developer, said Japan was ensnared into World War Two by the United States and that Japan’s military actions in China were based on treaties.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said on Friday he would dismiss Tamogami, adding it was improper for the general to publicly state a view clearly different from that of the government.

Japan expressed remorse for its wartime actions in 1995, and followed with another apology a decade later.

Disputes over wartime history often stir tensions between Tokyo and Beijing, though relations have warmed in the past two years as both put priority on deepening trade and investment.

“We have taken notice of the attitude and measures taken by the Japanese government,” Jiang said, calling on the two nations to work together to safeguard bilateral relations.

“The war of aggression launched by the Japanese militarists brought untold suffering to the Asian people including the Chinese people, which is an undeniable historic fact,” she said.

She added that having a correct understanding of, and properly dealing with, that period was the political basis for the development of friendly and cooperative Sino-Japanese ties.

(Reporting by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Michael Roddy, Reuters)

Fired: Air Force Chief Said Japan Was Not an Aggressor in WWII

Above: Troops from Japan in Nanking, China

Fired: Air Force Chief Said Japan Was Not an Aggressor in WWII

October 31, 2008

The head of the Japanese air force is to be sacked after saying the country was not an aggressor in World War II, Japan’s defence minister said.

Yasukazu Hamada said Gen Toshio Tamogami’s views, written in an essay, ran counter to the government’s position on the war.

“Therefore it is inappropriate for him to remain in this position and I will swiftly dismiss him,” he said.

From the BBC

Gen Toshio Tamogami - Pic Australian Defence Department
Gen Toshio Tamogami’s essay was published on a website

The general’s views are likely to anger many of Japan’s neighbours.

China, North and South Korea and other Asian nations still have traumatic memories of Japan’s aggression and colonial rule.

Japan expressed remorse for its wartime actions in 1995, and then gave another apology 10 years later.

Acting swiftly

Mr Hamada said that by acting swiftly against the general, the Japanese government was making it clear that it did not share his views which, he said, could stir controversy in Asian nations.

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From the New York Times
By Norimitsu Onishi  

A high-ranking Japanese military official was dismissed Friday for writing an essay stating that the United States had ensnared Japan into World War II, denying that Japan had waged wars of aggression in Asia and justifying Japanese colonialism.

The Defense Ministry fired Gen. Toshio Tamogami, chief of staff of Japan’s air force, late on Friday night, only hours after his essay was posted on a private company’s Web site. The quick dismissal seemed intended to head off criticism from China, South Korea and other Asian nations that have reacted angrily to previous Japanese denials of its militarist past.

The Defense Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, said the essay included an “inappropriate” assessment of the war, adding, “It was improper for a person in his capacity as air force chief of staff to publicly state a view clearly different from the government’s.”

In the essay, General Tamogami, 60, elaborated a rightist view of Japan’s wartime history shared by many nationalist politicians. But it was a rare formulation from inside Japan’s military, which, as Japan has been shedding its postwar pacifism in recent years, has gained a more prominent role.

Japan’s military — whose operations are restricted by the nation’s war-renouncing Constitution — should be allowed to possess “offensive weaponry” and widen its defense activities with allies, the general also wrote.

The article was posted on the Web site of a real estate developer called Apa Group after taking the $30,000 first prize in an essay-writing contest sponsored by the company.

General Tamogami wrote that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and thereby drew the United States into World War II after being caught in “a trap” set by President Roosevelt.

“Roosevelt had become president on his public pledge not to go to war, so in order to start a war between the United States and Japan, it had to appear that Japan took the first shot,” he wrote.

He denied that Japan had invaded China and the Korean Peninsula, arguing that Japanese forces became embroiled in domestic conflicts on the Asian continent.

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China condemns sacked Japan general’s war comments

Somali pirates free 22 sailors seized in September

October 16, 2008

SEOUL, South Korea – Pirates who seized a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia more than a month ago on Thursday freed the 22 sailors and the vessel, a South Korean official said.

Somali pirates seized the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina -- which ... 
Somali pirates seized the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina — which is laden with tanks and weapons. As Somalia sinks ever deeper into hunger and despair, attacking foreign ships bottle-necking into the Gulf of Aden is proving to be one of the few profitable activities in the country.(AFP/Jason R. Zalasky)

The crew members — eight South Koreans and 14 citizens from Myanmar — were heading toward a U.S. Navy vessel in the area after being set free earlier in the day, Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae-young told reporters.

Moon said the sailors were all safe but declined to comment whether a ransom was paid.

The South Korean cargo vessel was hijacked by Somalia pirates on Sept. 10 in the Gulf of Aden — one of 29 ships hijacked this year off the African coast. The latest is a Philippine bulk carrier seized in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday with a crew of 21.

Also being held off the coast is the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying weapons and tanks. U.S. warships have surrounded the Faina as the pirates who seized it demanded millions of dollars in ransom.

Officials say 10 hijacked ships remain in the hands of pirates, along with about 200 crew members. With no effective government, Somalia cannot protect its coastline. It is located along the Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and is one of the world’s busiest waterways with some 20,000 ships passing through it each year.

But international pressure on the pirates is growing….

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Medal of Honor awarded to Sioux soldier for heroism in Korea

March 4, 2008

WASHINGTON — President Bush apologized Monday that the country waited decades to honor Master Sgt. Woodrow Wilson Keeble for his military valor in Korea, giving him the Medal of Honor more than 25 years after he died.

Keeble is the first full-blooded Sioux to receive the nation’s highest military award. But it came almost six decades after he saved the lives of fellow soldiers. Keeble died in 1982.

“On behalf of our grateful nation, I deeply regret that this tribute comes decades too late,” Bush said at the White House medal ceremony. “Woody will never hold this medal in his hands or wear it on his uniform. He will never hear a president thank him for his heroism. He will never stand here to see the pride of his friends and loved ones, as I see in their eyes now.”

However, Bush said, there are things the nation can still do for Keeble, even all these years later.

“We can tell his story. We can honor his memory. And we can follow his lead, by showing all those who have followed him on the battlefield the same love and generosity of spirit that Woody showed his country every day,” the president said before a somber East Room audience that included three rows of Keeble’s family members.

Fellow soldiers, family members and others have been pushing Congress and the White House for years to award Keeble the medal. They said the man known as “Chief,” a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux tribe, deserves the medal for his actions in Korea in 1951, when he saved the lives of other soldiers by taking out more than a dozen of their enemies on a steep hill, even though he himself was wounded.

“Soldiers watched in awe as Woody single-handedly took out one machine gun nest, and then another,” Bush said. “When Woody was through, all 16 enemy soldiers were dead, the hill was taken, and the Allies won the day.”

Pentagon officials had said the legal deadline had passed to award the medal to Keeble unless Congress specifically authorized it. Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; Tim Johnson, D-S.D.; and John Thune, R-S.D., introduced legislation to award Keeble the medal, and it was signed by Bush last year.

Keeble was recommended twice for the medal in the 1950s but the applications were lost both times. He instead received the Distinguished Service Cross.

“Some blamed the bureaucracy for a shameful blunder,” Bush said. “Others suspected racism — Woody was a full-blooded Sioux Indian. Whatever the reason, the first Sioux to ever receive the Medal of Honor died without knowing it was his.”

His friends felt he was cheated, Bush said, “Yet Woody never complained. See, he believed America was the greatest nation on earth — even when it made mistakes.”

Seventeen members of Keeble’s family, along with soldiers who served with him, attended the ceremony. Keeble’s stepson, Russell Hawkins, accepted the award along with Keeble’s nephew. He said after the ceremony that he does not believe it was racism that delayed the honor.

“I think it was truly lost,” he said of the original recommendations. “I don’t think Woodrow would say it was discrimination. He didn’t see racial colors, he didn’t see racial barriers.”

Hawkins said the family has been pushing for the medal since the early 1970s.

Keeble, who was born in Waubay, S.D., moved to North Dakota as a child. He was also a veteran of World War II and received more than 30 citations, including four Purple Hearts.

Bush saluted Keeble for his military heroism, but also for his conduct in his personal life — pursuing a woman he loved, becoming “an everyday hero” in his community and maintaining cheerfulness — despite his own grief and physical suffering. The wounds he suffered in Korea would “haunt him the rest of his life” and strokes paralyzed his right side and took away his ability to speak, but he mowed lawns and gave money to down-and-out strangers.

“Those who knew Woody can tell countless stories like this — one of a great soldier who became a Good Samaritan,” the president said.

Both Conrad and Dorgan attended the ceremony.

“This day is long overdue,” said Conrad. “Master Sgt. Keeble is finally getting the public recognition he deserves for his loyalty, devotion and sacrifice for our country.”

Dorgan said Keeble is worthy of the nation’s highest military honor.

“His bravery on the battlefield saved a lot of American lives, and today’s ceremony finally brought him the recognition he deserves,” Dorgan said. “That should be a source of pride for his family, the state of North Dakota, and all American Indians.”

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven also traveled to Washington to attend. He noted Keeble’s service with the North Dakota National Guard.

“This is a great day for North Dakota, a great day for the Sioux nation, and a great day for the North Dakota National Guard,” Hoeven said.


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Master Sergeant Woodrow W. Keeble distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Sangsan-ni, Korea, on October 20, 1951. On that day, Master Sergeant Keeble was an acting platoon leader for the support platoon in Company G, 19th Infantry, in the attack on Hill 765, a steep and rugged position that was well defended by the enemy. Leading the support platoon, Master Sergeant Keeble saw that the attacking elements had become pinned down on the slope by heavy enemy fire from three well-fortified and strategically placed enemy positions. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Master Sergeant Keeble dashed forward and joined the pinned-down platoon. Then, hugging the ground, Master Sergeant Keeble crawled forward alone until he was in close proximity to one of the hostile machine-gun emplacements. Ignoring the heavy fire that the crew trained on him, Master Sergeant Keeble activated a grenade and threw it with great accuracy, successfully destroying the position. Continuing his one-man assault, he moved to the second enemy position and destroyed it with another grenade. Despite the fact that the enemy troops were now directing their firepower against him and unleashing a shower of grenades in a frantic attempt to stop his advance, he moved forward against the third hostile emplacement, and skillfully neutralized the remaining enemy position. As his comrades moved forward to join him, Master Sergeant Keeble continued to direct accurate fire against nearby trenches, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. Inspired by his courage, Company G successfully moved forward and seized its important objective. The extraordinary courage, selfless service, and devotion to duty displayed that day by Master Sergeant Keeble was an inspiration to all around him and reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

China: Mao tolerated Christmas before takeover

December 22, 2007
By JOHN RODERICK, AP Special Correspondent

HONOLULU – In a long and speckled career overseas, I have witnessed many unusual Christmases. None were more peculiar than the two spent in the exile capital of the godless fathers of Chinese communism, whose heirs are sponsors next August of the originally pagan Olympic games.

The scene was Yanan, the city of 10,000 caves, which I visited for seven months between 1945 and 1947, before Mao Zedong and his armies marched from there to Beijing where the games will be held eight months from now.

I arrived there a Maine boy with hayseed still in his hair. Beside me were three veteran reporters, also sent to cover Mao’s side of the ultimately failed American-sponsored talks to create a coalition where Communists and Nationalists would govern together rather than continue their warring ways.

It was a generous gesture on the part of the United States. Mao, ever ready to take advantage of an opening, was grateful. He showed it at Christmas and on New Year’s Day by visiting the caves where I and a handful of American soldiers lived.

Mao Tse-tung, second from right, talks with Associated Press ... 

Mao Tse-tung, second from right, talks with Associated Press correspondent John Roderick, left, in Yenan, China, as they await a flight carrying communist Chinese negotiator Chou En Lai, Jan. 27, 1946.

The military unit was the U.S. Army Observation Group, better known as the “Dixie Mission.” The soldiers originally went to Yanan to rescue, with Communist help, American pilots downed by the Japanese during World War II. They stayed on to do what they could to further the coalition talks.

I met Mao, his wife, Jiang Qing, and his followers many times after that. But the atmosphere of friendliness never again reached the peaks of those two holiday periods.

Christmas for me and the American military men included turkey and “fixins” flown in from the U.S. base in Shanghai, about 800 miles to the southeast. The American military always rose to the occasion at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The rest of the year, the Dixie Mission and I depended on the undoubted skill of our Chinese cook. By the time the second Christmas rolled around, I had permanent indigestion, perhaps because of the American lard that he used in superabundance.

On the second Christmas at Yanan, I hosted a private banquet whose centerpiece was a brace of plump pheasants I had bagged the day before. Murdered in cold blood, I should add. The unsuspecting fowl were so unused to human aggression that they fluttered their wings at the sound of gunfire but otherwise remained motionless, no matter how many times I missed them.

Though our dining hall was gaily decorated and there was a small Christmas tree, the holiday was largely perfunctory. The soldiers had their duties and I had mine, centered on the newsworthy Communists who, along with the 40,000 poor residents of Yanan, largely ignored the Yuletide festivities.

There were no gifts. When I once did send a simple present to Mao it was politely returned. It was not, he said, the custom.

Later, when I quit Yanan, Mao offered to pick up my board bill, a gesture I equally politely declined. I instead paid the stiff-backed American commander, Col. Ivan D. Yeaton. By then, the “who lost China?” campaign in the United States was beginning to raise its head and I recognized that news of Mao footing my tab would be pounced on by anti-Communist crusaders. The bill ended up on my Associated Press expense account.

Other U.S. correspondents in those pro-American days were allowed by the Nationalists to briefly visit the barricaded Red city. Some stayed longer than others, among them the Rev. Patrick O’Connor, war correspondent of the Catholic News Service. The good priest celebrated a simple Mass for a handful of the Americans.

That O’Connor, of the Christianity that Marxism regarded as a snare and a delusion, was in Yanan was big news. His presence was evidence of how far Mao’s Communists were willing to go to curry favor with the Americans.

To show that O’Connor was welcome, Mao also permitted the priest to visit the abandoned, old Catholic cathedral. Filled with rice storage bags and covered in dust, O’Connor tried unsuccessfully to have the church restored to its former function. He did succeed, however, in getting an interview with Zhou Enlai, China’s future premier.

The Communists of the 1940s and later were unrepenting opportunists. They turned on the faucet of friendliness for their longtime enemies, the Americans, at Christmas and hosted a Catholic priest when it suited their larger purposes. The end to them justified the means.

In the same way, peppery little Deng Xiaoping, Mao’s successor, blithely adopted the capitalist free market as his own. The result can be seen today in China‘s burgeoning economy and its proud sponsorship of one of the ornaments of a free society — the Olympic games.

3 big threats to China’s economic miracle

December 20, 2007

By Jim Jubak
MSN Investing

To many people in the United States, the China story goes like this: A huge emerging industrial power eats U.S. jobs and buries the U.S. economy under a mountain of cheap imports while erecting barriers to U.S. goods. The only suspense in that story is whether America will fight back or simply roll over.That storys easy to grasp, and theres enough real pain in the U.S. economy these days over lost jobs to China to give it emotional clout.

Unfortunately, its wrong.

It’s much more complicated
That story is too narrowly focused on the relationship between the United States and China. In fact, China (with a big assist from other big-population developing economies such as India and Vietnam) is a leading player in a global economic makeover that presents much of the rest of the world with challenges that dwarf any U.S. problems.

And the ending of ….

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China ship building challenges US, top admiral says

December 14, 2007

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The chief of the US naval operations expressed concern Thursday about competition from China‘s flourishing ship building sector, while a lawmaker said it could soon be building more warships that the United States.

“The  fact that our shipbuilding capacity and industry is not as competitive as other builders around the world is cause for concern,” Admiral Gary Roughead told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.Singling out China, he said: “They are very competitive on the world market. There is no question that their ship building capability is increasing rapidly.”

Admiral Gary Roughead

Republican lawmaker Duncan Hunter told the hearing that China was turning out 5,000 commercial ships a year, against 300 by the United States, and an average of three submarines a year, to the United States’ one.

China is also producing nearly five times as much steel as the United States, he said — some 480 million tons a year.

“All that is giving them the industrial base that could allow the Chinese naval capability to outstrip the United States if they turn that commercial ship building capability into warship-building capability,” Hunter said.

Roughead added: “I believe that not in a distant future they will likely surpass Korea as the prominent ship builder in the world.”