The way ahead for a multi-year saga of a large, new construction South Korean Shipyard in Subic Bay, Philippines is beginning to solidify which will help all parties interested in deterring Chinese expansionism.
One key aspect of the South Korean economic miracle of the 1990’s to the present was their dramatic expansion of shipbuilding. This is a story in itself, much of the South Korean shipbuilding growth of the 1990s - 2010s was back of the napkin math on South Korea being the shipbuilder for China as they grew 10% in GDP per annum into perpetuity.
No one grows 10%/year and now that the true nature of China’s economic situation is devolving into implosion, the magnificent Hanjin Yard is becoming the center of a multi-party agreement, understanding, and solution between Hanjin Heavy Industries, Huntington Ingalls, Cerberus Capital, the Governments of the Philippines, South Korea, and the United States, the implied interests of Taiwan and Japan, and the shipbuilding and ship repair crisis of the U.S. Navy.
The fallow Hanjin Yard is trending toward re-awakening as a major ship repair facility for the U.S. Navy, and perhaps a feeder yard for a vertically integrated, “Boeing like”, worldwide supply chain, feeding large new sub-assemblies toward American shipyards for final assembly into U.S. Naval combat vessels, naval support vessels, and perhaps even commercial merchant vessels flying the U.S. Flag.
Big capital endeavors like this are slow and venture/hedge fund capital is loath to move this direction, but this situation is beginning to appear to be a model of new economic nationalism that benefits like minded nations.
The only challenge is that China is actively scuffling with Filipino Coast Guard units less then a 100 miles away on the Scarborough Shoals. If China successfully establishes another island on Scarborough Shoals, Subic Bay will be well within range of possible Chinese cruise missiles and ships will have to run this gauntlet in times of conflict.