China's Naval Power: An Offensive Realist Approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

China's Naval Power

An Offensive Realist Approach, 1st Edition

By Yves-Heng Lim


234 pages

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Hardback: 9781409451846
pub: 2014-01-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315571720
pub: 2016-05-23
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The rapid modernization of the Chinese Navy is a well-documented reality of the post-Cold War world. In two decades, the People's Liberation Army Navy has evolved from a backward force composed of obsolete platforms into a reasonably modern fleet whose growth is significantly shaking the naval balance in East Asia. The rationale behind China's contemporary rise at sea remains, however, difficult to grasp and few people have tried to see how the current structure of the international system has shaped Chinese choices. This book makes sense of Chinese priorities in its naval modernization in a 'robust' offensive realist framework. Drawing on Barry Posen's works on sources of military doctrine, it argues that the orientation of Beijing's choices concerning its naval forces can essentially be explained by China's position as a potential regional hegemon. Yves-Heng Lim highlights how a rising state develops naval power to fulfil its security objectives, a theoretical perspective that goes farther than the sole Chinese case.


’In this lucid re-evaluation of China’s naval modernization and its quest for regional hegemony, Yves-Heng Lim convincingly explores the subject through the offensive realist perspective. Lim combines both theory and Chinese sources to explain unequivocally the larger issues of China’s expanding power, regional hegemonic ambitions, geopolitical realities of Asia and the unfolding power transitions between the United States and China. What makes this work unique is that it situates the recent events of South China Sea, East China Sea and the Korean Peninsula in the overall neo-realist perspective and reflects on the possible naval operational disposition of China in tackling these maritime issues.’ Srikanth Kondapalli, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India ’In this important and provocative study, Yves-Heng Lim raises troubling questions about the geostrategic rationales behind China's growing naval prowess. Lim's deft use of authoritative and eye-opening Chinese-language sources lends substantial credibility to his sobering assessment. For scholars and strategists looking for an unvarnished interpretation of China's ascent at sea, this is the book they've been waiting for.’ Toshi Yoshihara, Naval War College, USA 'Yves-Heng Lim’s work has the undeniable merit of illustrating to the reader the profound linkage between the modernization of Chinese armed forces and the scenario of a potential hegemonic war against the U.S., thus challenging a sort of popular wisdom that concerns the avoidability of a military conflict between such highly interdependent actors. Consequently, it is surely recommended to those academics and scholars - already familiar with liberal, constructivist and traditional realist perspectives on China’s rise - who seeks a challenging testing ground for a peculiar offensive realist framework of analysis, thanks also to a personal reappraisal made by the author of several classic theoretic assumptions, as for the prominence of naval p

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Thomas M. Kane; Introduction; Naval power and the quest for regional hegemony; China’s rise in East Asia: the political context of Beijing’s bid for regional hegemony; The offensive turn of China’s naval strategy and doctrine; The modernization of Chinese naval forces; Taiwan … and beyond; Territorial and maritime issues in the China Seas; The great naval chessboard: sea power and the Chinese quest for hegemony; Conclusion; References; Index.

About the Author

Yves-Heng Lim, Fujen Catholic University, Taiwan.

About the Series

Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series

Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series
The Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series is the publishing platform of the Corbett Centre. Drawing on the expertise and wider networks of the Defence Studies Department of King's College London, and based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in the UK Defence Academy, the Corbett Centre is already a leading centre for academic expertise and education in maritime and naval studies. It enjoys close links with several other institutions, both academic and governmental, that have an interest in maritime matters, including the Developments, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), the Naval Staff of the Ministry of Defence and the Naval Historical Branch. The centre and its publishing output aims to promote the understanding and analysis of maritime history and policy and to provide a forum for the interaction of academics, policy-makers and practitioners. Books published under the eagis of the Corbett Centre series reflect these aims and provide an opportunity to stimulate research and debate into a broad range of maritime related themes. The core subject matter for the series is maritime strategy and policy, conceived broadly to include theory, history and practice, military and civil, historical and contemporary, British and international aspects. As a result this series offers a unique opportunity to examine key issues such as maritime security, the future of naval power, and the commercial uses of the sea, from an exceptionally broad chronological, geographical and thematic range. Truly interdisciplinary in its approach, the series welcomes books from across the humanities, social sciences and professional worlds, providing an unrivalled opportunity for authors and readers to enhance the national and international visibility of maritime affairs, and provide a forum for policy debate and analysis.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General