Editor's note: Alongside South Korea, China is the world's largest shipbuilder with the vast majority of that accounted by civilian ships. As such it is quite easy for China to ramp up naval shipbuilding, especially when there is a slump in the civilian demand as it the case right now. According to some analysis China's naval buildup is still less than the spare capacity of the civilian yards.
While the U.S. Navy launches a handful of AEGIS destroyers each year, the single image below of a Shanghai shipyard shows nine newly constructed Chinese warships. China's Navy, known as the PLAN (People's Liberation Army Navy), is modernizing at an impressive rate. And on a vast scale. A key ingredient is the construction of a fleet of large destroyers, amphibious warships and aircraft carriers.