Naval War College Review

Article Title

The Dragon Goes to Sea


E.D. Smith Jr


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).