Colucci: Beijing aiming to be a world naval power

Lamont Colucci, associate professor and chair of politics and government and interim director of the Center for Politics and the People at Ripon College, wrote an opinion piece about Beijing’s drive to become a world naval power. It was published by the National Review. Click here to read the full article.

Earlier this week, Colucci writes, “China’s State Council Information Office released a document entitled ‘China’s Military Strategy.’ The United States is alluded to in a number of passages, such as the section on national security, where the document states: ‘There are, however, new threats from hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism.’ The tone of the document becomes more aggressive regarding territorial issues when it declares: ‘On the issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, some of its offshore neighbors take provocative actions and reinforce their military presence on China’s reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied. Some external countries are also busy meddling in South China Sea affairs; a tiny few maintain constant close-in air and sea surveillance and reconnaissance against China.’ ”

Colucci adds, “This new document is public confirmation of last month’s stunning report by the United States Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence entitled, ‘The PLA Navy — New Capabilities and Missions for the 21st Century.’ That report, combined with the new Chinese national-security document, should give pause to anyone concerned with American national security, especially those who believe in the indispensable nature of American primacy. The highlights of the Navy’s report should generate concern on many counts. …
“It is abundantly clear that the PRC is in the throes of a revival of 19th-century navalism, realizing that the pathway to great-power status, international-trade protection and intimidation capability runs through maritime power. Since those in charge in Beijing realize they still cannot battle the U.S. Navy in a symmetrical fashion, they are investing heavily in information warfare and ‘non-contact’ warfare such as anti-access and area-denial strategies.”

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Lamont Colucci