A Ship-shape Industry
Updated 10:53, 24-Apr-2019
By Han Bin, Huang Xiaodong
03:21

Tuesday's naval parade has attracted world attention to the rapid development of the PLA Navy. It's a showcase of China's best warships. The country is a leader in shipbuilding, outpacing much of the rest of the world.

From refitting and import, to manufacturing and export, China's shipbuilding capacity has surged. The industry is rapidly closing the gap with other powers, providing the solid foundation for the navy's leapfrog development.

An immense project 

We went to Shanghai Zhenhua, one of the world's leading port machinery companies, to see what's behind China's shipbuilding strength.  

Zhenhua Heavy Industry Company in Nantong. /CGTN Photo

Zhenhua Heavy Industry Company in Nantong. /CGTN Photo

"Although Zhenhua has not built warships, that the country has so many warships in service in such a short period of time truly reflects the steady increase of the industry's overall industrial and manufacturing level," says Li Ruixiang, chief economic manager of Zhenhua Heavy Industry Company.

China has many of the world's largest commercial shipbuilders, like Zhenhua. They are producing increasingly sophisticated ships and vast networks of ports, shipping lines, and trade links.

More vessels to navy

As the navy's position has been steadily rising, budget on research and production of new models of battleships, jets and submarines will rise, with a number of new vessels to be commissioned in the coming years. The navy's modernization has also boosted the national economy, and its technological breakthroughs will push scientific research and development.

Li Ruixiang explains to reporter Han Bin at the Nantong port, that production of marine machinery can be more sophisticated than for an aircraft carrier. /CGTN Photo

Li Ruixiang explains to reporter Han Bin at the Nantong port, that production of marine machinery can be more sophisticated than for an aircraft carrier. /CGTN Photo

But it's not just about money. One question out there is the massive maintenance. And while it takes time to optimize the structure of warships, it will take even longer for the navy to adapt to the new weaponry to raise its overall capabilities.