This book provides a comprehensive history of the modern Chinese navy from 1840 to the present. Beginning with a survey of naval developments in earlier imperial times, the book goes on to show how China has since the mid-19th century four times built or rebuilt its navy: after the Opium Wars, a navy which was sunk or captured by the Japanese in the war of 1894–1895; during the 1920s and 1930s, a navy again sunk or lost to Japan, in the war of 1937–1945; in the 1950s, a navy built with Soviet help, which stagnated following the Sino-Soviet split in the early 1960s; and finally the present navy which absorbed its predecessor, but with the most modern sections dating from the 1990s—a navy which continues to grow and prosper. The book also shows how the underlying strategic imperative for the Chinese navy has been the defense of China’s coasts and major rivers; how naval mutiny was a key factor in the overthrow of the Qing and the Nationalist regimes; and how successive Chinese governments, aware of the potent threat of naval mutiny, have restricted the growth, independence, and capabilities of the navy. Overall, the book provides—at a time when many people in the West view China and its navy as a threat—a rich, detailed, and realistic assessment of the true nature of the Chinese navy and the contemporary factors that affect its development.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction China’s Modern Navy in Historical Perspective: The Importance of Coastal Defense Strategies Part I The Origins of the "Modern" Navy under the Qing Dynasty 1. The First Opium War and Chinese Naval Modernization 2. The Chinese Navy in the Second Opium War, in Okinawa, and in Annam 3. China’s Navy and the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 Part II The Chinese Navy’s Incomplete Modernization and Westernization 4. The "New Army" Reforms and the Chinese Navy’s Impact of the Xinhai Revolution 5. The Nationalist Navy From 1922 Through 1938 6. The Post-World War II Nationalist Navy Through the Chinese Civil War Part III Founding the PRC and the Early History of the PLAN 7. The Chongqing Mutiny and the Creation of the PLAN 8. PLAN’s Coastal Defense and the Nationalist Navy’s Use of the Off-shore Islands to Blockade China The Sino-Soviet Alliance and the Growth of the PLAN Part IV The Nationalist Navy and China’s PLAN as an Emerging Regional Navy 10. Sino-Soviet Conflict and the PRC Decision to Open Relations with the United States 11. Modernization, Westernization, and Geographic Responsibilities of the PLAN 12. China’s Historical and Regional Constraints and the Future of the PLAN Conclusions
Bruce A. Elleman is William V. Pratt Professor of International History at the US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.