The Great Wall at Sea: China's Navy Enters the Twenty-First Century

by Bernard D. Cole

Book cover for The Great Wall at Sea: China's Navy Enters the Twenty-First Century

With the world's largest population, largest army, and fastest growing economy, China is now building a large modern navy to assure its status as Asia's predominant power. Yet the West is sorely limited in its knowledge of what could become its greatest naval opponent. This major new study -- the first in more than fifteen years -- provides the specialist and general reader alike with timely, authoritative information about China's developing navy and its quest for power. The author, a professor at the National War College, first looks at China's two-thousand-year-old maritime tradition and then examines China's extensive territorial claims at sea, following up with a path-blazing description of the nation's increasing dependence on energy sources mined from the ocean floor.The main focus of the book is a detailed examination of China's navy, its organization and its submarines, ships, and airplanes that form the heart of the sea-going force. The book also takes into account the officers and sailors who man the growing fleet and Beijing's efforts to train and educate them to be both professionally capable and politically reliable. China's future plans for its navy, including doctrine and operations, are fully discussed. In his conclusion, the author places China's naval developments within the context of national goals and plans as well as in the international arena. He asserts that Beijing will continue as a continental power with a maritime strategy and a navy focused on specific, limited goals, while reminding readers that the reunification of Taiwan is an objective that may well involve the United States.

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