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Turn to the Sea the Research of Sea Power Development of China

Author: JiangLin
Tutor: XuLin
School: Jilin University
Course: International political
Keywords: Chinese Sea Power Concept Marine Interest Marine Geopolitics Necessity Stage Plan
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 431
Quote: 0
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The sea is the important place of human activity since ancient times, whoseimportant value in traffic and safety is always paid great attention to by thewestern countries. Marine civilization development history shows the status androle of sea power in the rise and fall of the great powers in the world, and with thefinding of the value of marine resources and energy, the sea becomes the key pointin the fields of international politics, economy and military. Competition for thesea power among many countries is also becoming fiercer.As early as in ancient Greek times, Thucydides first put forward the conceptof sea power and its importance. At the end of the nineteenth century, theAmerican Marine strategy expert Alfred Thayer Mahan presented the firstcomplete sea power theory. His “Sea Power Theory Trilogy” is regarded as thepinnacle of sea power concept, and he himself is regarded as the originator of theWestern sea power concept. In the1970s, Soviet naval commander Gorshkovproposed “National Sea Power Theory”, the essence of which was the socialisticcorrection to Mahan’s theory. It also provided theoretical support for the SovietUnion to develop naval strategy and national marine strategy.Relatively speaking, Chinese sea power concept starts late and it was afterthe Opium War that the passive instinct of coastal frontier argument began. Thefirst person who attempted to present Chinese sea power concept is Mr. SunYet-sen, whose view didn’t form a set of theory system, but broke through the traditional passive sea power construction concept which emphasized onprevention. His view was advanced and forward-looking, however, it was notpractical as a result of political, economic and social situation at that time. As thedevelopment of reforming and opening, overseas trade profits and huge potentialof marine itself attract Chinese people’s attention. Thirst for the economic interestpushes the transference of political attention and the buildup of naval forcesnaturally, while the lack of the sea power theory and marine strategy becomes ahuge barrier for China on her way of going into the deep-blue. On thisbackground, in the1990s, the discussion among scholars about Chinese sea powerwas rising gradually. Although various viewpoints haven’t reached a finalagreement, there is a consensus that the sea power of Chinese characteristicsshould be constructed, that is, Chinese Sea power development shouldn’t copythat of the western countries, and its theoretical construction and strategic designmust accord with Chinese national condition.Accordingly, this paper defines and explains the concept of Chinese seapower with the citing of the relevant viewpoints from Ye Zicheng, who is aprofessor in School of International Relations, Peking University. This paperdetermines the nature of Chinese sea power as the limited sea power with a goalof maintaining national interest. Taking geopolitical situation, peacefuldevelopment and comprehensive national power development into consideration,it’s safe on land but danger on sea in China. The interest of marine land, traffic,resource and security is impaired, and marine military forces aren’t developingwell. Chinese sea power construction is far behind that of neighboring countries,which has become the shackles in the process of Chinese development. Therefore,the development of Chinese sea power should be taken seriously now. Chinese seapower development cannot be accomplished at one stroke. It must be takengradually. Taking the unity of Taiwan as the node, Chinese Sea power development strategy can be planned into two stages. In the first stage, the limitedsea power should be constructed, and in the second stage, focus should betransferred to the South and the West. At present, Chinese Sea power developmentshould focus on seizing the sea power in Western Pacific, while the constructionof comprehensive national power is the core through the whole process of Chinasea power development. Therefore, China should make efforts in improvingnational marine consciousness, constructing maritime military forces prudentlyand reasonably, focusing on marine economy and technology, and taking marinesoft power seriously and using it flexibly, in the hope of building a solidfoundation of the domestic and international environment for Chinese sea powerdevelopment and promoting Chinese Sea Power to develop safely and steadily.

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