Advertisement

Pure Commercial or More Than Strategic? An Observation of China’s Establishment of Overseas Naval Bases

  • Ming-Shih Shen
Chapter

Abstract

The escort operations in the Aden Gulf have greatly upgraded the PLAN’s international status and world images. However, battleships cannot operate without supplies from land. For the PLAN’s combat vessels, a lack of overseas naval bases is manifest limitation to a blue-water navy. The fact is that present oceanic actions for the PLAN rely mainly on commercial facilities at ports for logistic supplies. Beijing is evasive regarding the doubts expressed by the neighboring states. When an overseas base is established, a logical question for Beijing is how to deal with the political suspicion of the international society and how to mitigate the view of the “China threat.” However, Pakistan has transferred the management rights of Gwadar Port from Singapore to China in early 2013. The overseas strategic support points are under discussion in China. They dropped the suggestion that China may somehow establish military overseas bases. This paper is of the view that development of overseas naval bases is an important phase to Chinese blue-water navy coming into existence. This strategic intention will lay bare when the PLAN’s aircraft carrier battle group begins to deploy. The overseas naval bases or strategic support point, whatever the name, will cast the doubt over the balance of power in Asia.

Keywords

PLAN Mahan Strategic support point Indian Ocean China maritime strategy 

References

  1. Chen YF (ed) (2005) National economic security. Shishi Publishing, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  2. Chi Chong Liu (劉赤忠) (1983) Ocean and national defense. Central Culture Supply, TaipeiGoogle Scholar
  3. Chia Shen Chen (陳嘉生) (2010) Strategic meaning of PRC declaration of sovereignty in South China sea. Strategy and Security Research (Taipei), No. 63, July 2010, pp 18–22Google Scholar
  4. Cole M (2013) Red star over the Indian Ocean. The Diplomat, 9 April 2013, p 28Google Scholar
  5. Ding Chi Deng (鄧定秩) (2007) Theory and practice in national strategy. Liming Cultures, TaipeiGoogle Scholar
  6. Ebel RE (2005) China’s energy future: the Middle Kingdom seeks its place in the sun. CSIS, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  7. Garvin PA (2013) Will China extend its influence in the Indian Ocean by building a naval base in Gwadar, Pakistan? Council of Foreign Relations.http://www.cfr.org/china/china-extend-its-influence-indian-ocean-building-naval-base-gwadar-pakistan/p30603. 15 Dec 2013
  8. Guan Chong Chen (陳光中) (1999) On geo-strategy. National Defense University Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  9. IISS (2010) Strategic survey 2010: the annual review of world affairs August 2010. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Isaac J-P (2012) China has no plan for Indian Ocean military bases. The Hindu, 4 September 2012. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/article3855313.ece. 15 Feb 2014
  11. Jacob J (2009) Not India’s Ocean: perceptions of Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. In: The paper of Asia Centre conference series, Paris, 22 October 2009, pp 1–2Google Scholar
  12. Jae-Hyung Lee (2007) China’s expanding maritime ambitious in the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Contemp Southeast Asia 24(3):553–554Google Scholar
  13. Jay Li (李杰) (2004) Oil, Chinese demand, and ocean route security. Knowledge about Vessels (Beijing), No. 300, August 2004, p 12Google Scholar
  14. Joshua A (2013) China takes control of Gwadar Port. The Hindu, 18 February 2013. http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/china-takes-control-of-gwadar-port/article4428759.ece. 12 Feb 2014
  15. Khurana GS (2008) Maritime forces in pursuit of national security. IDSA, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  16. Lay Wu (吳磊) (2003) Chinese oil safety. China Social Sciences Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  17. Li Hua Wang (王麗華) (2005) Fighting for sea power in the Indian Ocean: triangular games between the United States, China, and India from a geopolitical perspective. Yunnan Adm Coll J (Kunming) 2005(6):104–106Google Scholar
  18. Lindberg M, Todd D (2002) Brown-, green- and blue-water fleets: the influence of geography on naval warfare, 1861 to the present. Greenwood Publishing Group, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Mahan AT (1890) The influence of sea power upon history, 1660–1783. Little Brown and Company, BostonGoogle Scholar
  20. Ming Cheng (鄭明) (2007) Establish ocean strategy, construct nation with strong sea power. PRC National Ocean Bureau, 20 March 2007. http://www.soa.gov.cn/hyjww/hyzl/2007/03/20/1174354271821981.htm. 26 Dec 2013
  21. Ming Shih Shen (2002) Special operations warfare in the US-Afghanistan war. In: New century war on terror. Military Fan Culture, TaipeiGoogle Scholar
  22. Ming Yen Tseng (曾明炎) (2010) China breaks through first island chain, Taiwan becomes a borderland of China. Jade Mountain Weekly (Taipei), 49, 20 May 2010, p 26Google Scholar
  23. Ming-Shih Shen (2009) Strategic trilogy of Taiwan defensive strategies. Chu Liu, KaohsiungGoogle Scholar
  24. Nan Pin Ma (2006) Considering the deployment and obstacles of fight over energy between China and Japan from the pain of Malacca Ocean channel. Navy Academic Bi-Monthly (Taipei), 40(4), August 2006, pp 30–35Google Scholar
  25. Nin Pu (蒲寧) (2009) Geostrategic and construction of secure Chinese environment. Shishi Publishing, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  26. Pehrson CJ (2006) String of pearls: meeting the challenge of China’s rising power across the Asian littoral. Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College, Carlisle. http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB721.pdf. 25 Dec 2013
  27. Ren Wan (萬仞) (1985) Oceans, sea power, and ocean strategy. National Defense Magazine (Taipei), 1(5), November 1985, p 27Google Scholar
  28. Ren Ze Yu (2013) Chinese navy expected to build strategic bases in Indian Ocean. Sina News. http://english.sina.com/china/2013/0106/545538.html. 15 Dec 2013.
  29. Shi Sheng Hu (胡仕勝) (2005) Indian Ocean and Chinese Ocean security. In: Min Jay Yang (楊明傑) (ed) Ocean route security and international collaboration. Shishi Publishing, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  30. Spinetta L (2006) The Malacca dilemma: countering China’s ‘string of pearls’ with land-based airpower. US School of Advanced Air and Space Studies, MaxwellGoogle Scholar
  31. Srikanth BK (2013) Antony: China Gwadar work is a worry. The Asian Age, 7 February 2013. http://archive.asianage.com/india/antony-china-gwadar-work-worry-822. 15 Dec 2013
  32. Sun H (2009) Chinese oil and gas transport security and pipeline diplomacy: China-Burma oil and gas pipelines as example. In: Energy problem and international security. Shishi Publishing, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  33. Tharoor I (2013) After fighting over mountains, India and China lock horns in the Indian Ocean. World Times, 16 May 2013. http://world.time.com/2013/05/16/after-fighting-over-mountains-india-and-china-lock-horns-in-the-indian-ocean/. 14 Dec 2013
  34. Walgreen D (2006) China in the Indian Ocean region: lessons in PRC grand strategy. Comp Strategy 25(2):55–73Google Scholar
  35. Wei Lai Shen (沈偉烈) (2005) Introduction to geo-politics. National Defense University Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  36. Wen Chong Liao (廖文中) (2000) The effect of PRC 21st century naval strategy on Asia-Pacific regional security. Pinnacle Technology (Taipei), No. 188Google Scholar
  37. Yi Yang (楊毅) (ed) (2006) National strategic condition analysis 2005–2006. Shishi Publishing, BeijingGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Strategic Studies, War CollegeNational Defense UniversityTaiwanRepublic of China

Personalised recommendations