To add more tension to the ongoing territorial disputes in Asia, China recently commissioned and built three new type 093G nuclear submarines that will be launched soon. These new submarines are faster and quieter than previous Chinese models, and carry the most advanced weapons that China possesses.
Although unknown to most people in the world until 2009, China has been developing nuclear submarines since the 1970s. But because of this relatively late start in the nuclear game, China has been pouring large amounts of resources and human capital into its submarine projects. But the biggest improvement on these new Chinese subs is their vertical launch systems. This allows the sub to launch weapons at land or air targets while submerged. And China definitely intends to use these capabilities to their fullest. The editor in chief of modern ships magazine, Cui Yiliang, says that the submarines will soon be fitted with cruise missiles designed for land targets.
China now has around 13 nuclear submarines, four of which are ballistic missile platforms. Undoubtedly the most powerful Navy in the region apart from the U.S, China has the credentials to act aggressively in Asia as it has been recently. Conflicts with Korea, Japan, and various other Southeast Asian nations are now even more real that China has such an arsenal. And China building these new weapons in the current times of elevated tension does not bode well for the East Asian sphere.