JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

Chinese Naval Strategy in the Twenty First Century: The Turn to Mahan

S. Rajasimman is Research Assistant at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi.
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  • July 2009
    Volume: 
    3
    Issue: 
    3
    Book Review

    In order to gauge the likely direction of Chinese foreign and security policy, it is important to follow Chinese commentary on how Beijing should manage its ascent to 'peaceful rise' which is claimed to be replete with references to 'history' and 'strategic theory'. The past does not predetermine the future, but by no means is it inconsequential. While holding this as a premise, Holmes and Yoshihara argue that Chinese analysts have turned to the works of the American sea-power theorist, Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, who urged turnof-the-century America to build up a powerful United States (US) Navy to help maintain order in East Asia, discourage a partition of China among the great imperial powers, and guarantee the US a share of the China trade.

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