The idea of China as a major maritime power has never really caught on with Western naval analysts. Some point to the lack of a naval or even a continuing seagoing tradition-others to a military history in which ships have merely been adjuncts to ground force operations. Driven by economic necessity in the 1980s, self-imposed cuts in military spending by the People's Republic of China slowed modernization of the Chinese Navy, or as the current Mandarins call it, the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
Smith, E.D. Jr
"The Dragon Goes to Sea,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 44
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol44/iss3/4