||The "Reform and Opening Up" policy backed by the communist leader Deng Xiaoping was asserted during the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in December, 1978. The reform shifted the forces on the national security and welfare from the security of sovereignty to the maintenance of the economic development. The strategies of the Navy should correspond with the economic development at the same time. The idea of the sea power of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) was appeared under the leadership of the general Liu Huaqing. Before Deng Xiaoping, ,because of the ideas of “ people’s war “ and “ active defense “ from Mao Zedong, geographical restrictions and the influence of the thought of land power from the Soviet Union, the primacy of Chinese Army was the Ground Force not the Navy Force always. The PLAN just played a supporting role to the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force. |
Under the impact of the First Gulf War, China launched the strategies of “local wars under high-tech conditions” to develop the modernization of the armed forces. China had an ambition to build the powerful naval force during the period of Hu Jintao as the chairman of the Central Military Commission since the period of Deng Xiaoping the strategy of “ land outweighs sea ” has been changed. What is the purpose of the powerful PLAN? This study will focus on two aspects to discuss. The first aspect is about the establishments of the PLAN during the period of Hu Jintao. The second one is about the policy development of the PLAN during the period of Hu Jintao to examine the implications of its global maritime strategies.
Under Hu Jintao tenure, the PLAN could be developed in a good condition supported by the stable political situation, the fast growing economy, the rising defense budget and the friendly international environment.
To protect the rapid economic growth, to secure sea energy transportation and to safeguard the maritime sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, Hu actively developed the PLAN in two domains, which were the domestic development of the capabilities of the naval forces and the international maritime expansion. The first one was to boost up the vessels for larger-scale and for ocean going purpose and to build a modern blue-water navy which was informationized, automatic, missile-equipped and nuclear. The second is not only to showcase the naval weapons and equipment in the fleet review but also to enhance the construction of the oversea naval bases through the economic assistance. China shifted intentionally the strategies from “offshore defense ” to “ open-seas protection ” and “ a harmonious ocean ”.
Hu developed the policy of the blue waters with the idea of “ a harmonious ocean ” as the key of the peaceful development but actually China reached his naval operation area to the second island chain and the Indian Ocean. The expansion of the sea power of China will be an issue to be concerned in the future research of the international politics and the cross strait relationship.