Naval War College Review


Bruce Elleman


One of the most intriguing questions about the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today is whether its communist government does or does not have the “ambition” to acquire a blue-water navy. If building an oceangoing fleet is among Beijing’s long-term goals, then China may one day become a dan- gerous peer competitor of the United States. If so, a future Sino-U.S. mari- time conflict is possible; if not, Wash- ington’s primarily maritime power and Beijing’s primarily continental power need never meet in battle.