Xinhua recently reported, based on various U.S. media sources, that the United States Navy is considering rebuilding the Naval First Fleet, in order to counter China’s growing maritime power. General Philip Davidson, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said that General Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, is studying the pros and cons of rebuilding the U.S. First Fleet. In November last year, Kenneth Braithwaite, then U.S. Secretary of the Navy, stated at a Senate hearing that he would rebuild the First Fleet and deploy it to the Indo-Pacific region. Currently the Seventh Fleet, headquartered in Japan, is largest frontline fleet of the U.S. and is the only one stationed in the Asia-Pacific region. The First Fleet was founded in 1947 and discontinued in 1973. American military experts expressed the belief that, if the First Fleet is rebuilt, Singapore or Australia would both be good choices for its home base. The Spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Defense commented that the U.S. is once again playing the old game of establishing a fake enemy in order to get more funding. China firmly opposes this Cold War mentality. He also called for US-China military cooperation and proper management of differences.
Source: Xinhua, March 16, 2021