A Great deal of information has been published about the military strategy and forces of the People's Republic of China, some through official Chinese publications, much more through the writings of Western analysts. Most of this information concerns China's massive ground forces, with a respectable amount of coverage given to her air arm and even to her nascent nuclear missile forces. What about China's navy? "Didn't know they had one," is the derisive response one is most likely to receive.

There are several reasons why China's naval forces have received so little attention. The Chinese Navy has been dwarfed by the massive Chinese Army. The air force and navy combined comprise at most about 20 percent of China's military manpower. Secondly, the navy is just now beginning to get its "head of steam." Furthermore, it has heretofore maintained a low visibility, operating in waters close to its own shores from bases seldom if ever visited by foreigners, shunning traditional show-the-flag foreign port visits. It has been almost totally ignored in official Chinese press releases. Under this shroud of secrecy, information is simply unobtainable even by the increasing numbers of Western visitors to China.

Even granted ready access to military information, should one reasonably expect to find significant naval development in China today? The competition for scarce resources alone-for her developing economy and for the other military services with which her land-oriented "Long March" leadership certainly must feel more at home-would seem to indicate no. And then there is our traditional concept of China as a continental power.

In the short historical consciousness of the average American, pre- communist China is pictured as an awkward, continental giant. When we think of the old China we seldom think of the great Middle Kingdom, which had an historical continuity reaching back over 4,000 years and periods when its national power and culture-unparalleled in other areas of the world-reached out well beyond its own borders. Instead, the popular image of China is that of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, since her exposure to the modern Western world-weak, wracked by internal turmoil and corrupt government, ineffectively struggling both to modernize and yet resist the effect of modernization on her anachronistic social and political institutions, an amorphous mass of humanity tied to the ancestral soil of mother China. Even the "awakened" China of today, with unlimited manpower, the largest ground forces in the world and a growing nuclear arsenal is still seen essentially in her limited continental role as a purely land power.

The continental orientation of China is attributed by some Western scholars to a lack of affinity for the sea, which is thought to be more or less a fundamental national characteristic. Thus, Chinese history is reported by noted Sinologist John K. Fairbank to have had "no counterpart to the Elizabethan or medieval Japanese institutions of maritime adventure and piracy whereby the country waxed strong on its overseas takings." Manchu efforts at naval reform in the late nineteenth century are considered to have failed partly, at least, because a navy was, in Fairbank's words, "so foreign to Chinese ways." That ill-fated Manchu navy, under the command of a former army general, segmented and tied to the provincial land forces for coastal defense, met ignominious defeat in 1895 at the hands of a fledgling Japanese navy.

A look at the Chinese Navy of today might seem to confirm this historical judgment. Once again it is led by former army generals-guerrilla soldiers from the days of the Long March and Yenan caves. And as a subordinate element of the People's Liberation Army it is once again segmented into three geographic fleets and oriented toward coastal defense, having shown little inclination for "blue-water" operations.

Not all historians, however, would agree that the Chinese "have no vocation for the sea." Joseph Needham, in introducing the nautics portion of his monumental work on Chinese science, admitted that, "More than once we had a presentiment that something was wrong with the idea often entertained that the Chinese were never a sea-going people."[i] Raymond Dawson said it more forcefully:

All too unjustly have Chinese been dubbed a non-maritime people. Their ingenuity manifested itself in nautical matters just as much as elsewhere, the number of their vessels on the inland waters was found by medieval and Renaissance Western merchants and missionaries almost beyond belief, and their sea-going navy was assuredly the greatest in the world between 1100 and 1450.[ii]

Moreover, with more than 40 submarines China today possesses the third largest submarine fleet in the world.[iii] One need only recall that Nazi Germany started the Second World War with a submarine fleet not much larger than China's today to appreciate its potential threat to the shipping lanes of the Pacific Ocean, which serve to transport virtually all of Japan's crude oil requirements.

In weighing these conflicting views of China as a sea power we must consider whether her history, in fact, is so deficient in maritime adventure as to support contentions that the Chinese are psychologically ill-adapted for the seafaring life; whether China's geographical setting has fostered a traditional inward, continental orientation or has in reality favored a maritime outlook; and finally, whether China has the wherewithal to build a formidable modern navy.


The power base of the Chinese People's Republic does not lie in her interior heartland as might be expected of a continental power. China's massive population, agricultural resources and industrial centers are all crowded along what Peking describes as "14,000 km. of coastline with harbors facing in various directions."

China may be acutely conscious of her history of repeated barbarian invasions across her inner Asian frontiers; but these frontiers consist mainly of great deserts, rugged mountains and dense tropical jungles. These were natural barriers to communication and trade with the world outside the Middle Kingdom. In contrast, the sea has traditionally offered China ready contact with the outside world, lucrative commerce, easy migration routes, avenues for extension of power and influence, and, in more recent times, grave threats to her very existence. For it was nineteenth-century European gunboat diplomacy along China's coasts and inland waters that led to foreign invasions, progressive dismemberment, unequal treaties-a century of national shame.

Some Sinologists point to this recent period as an ebb in the "dynastic cycle," a theory of somewhat questionable validity. It is nevertheless of interest to note that considerable Chinese maritime activity has ebbed and flowed with the dynastic cycle.

Over 2,000 years ago, in roughly the same period that Athens was enjoying naval supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean, the state of Yueh, one of China's "Warring Kingdoms," is reported to have transported its army by ship to invade the state of Wu. After the first dynastic unification of China under Emperor Shih Huang-ti in 221 BC, an imperial expedition was launched to explore the islands of the Pacific; and in the first century AD Ma Yuan, known as the "Pacifier of the Waves," achieved considerable renown for his voyages along the Annam coast.

Beginning in the year 589 under the strong but short-lived dynasty of Sui and during the following three centuries under the T'ang Emperors, Chinese fleets conducted amphibious operations from Korea south through the Ryukyu Islands to Annam, vanquishing the naval forces of Japan and Korea in the process. Spurred by the introduction of the mariner's compass, Chinese shipping during the Sung Dynasty was able to wrest the lead in maritime commerce from the Arabs and build a great commercial empire. Trade extended to Indonesia, India, Africa and the Middle East. Even the Mongol conquerors of China attempted to extend their empire across the barriers of the sea, but the great warriors of the steppes were unfamiliar with the sea and unable to rely on their Chinese sailors, who served them only under compulsion. In 1281 Kublai Khan's invasion armada was destroyed by a typhoon enroute to Japan.

The golden age of Chinese sea power came with the zenith of the Ming Dynasty in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, climaxed by the amazing expeditions under Cheng Ho, said to have begun in 1405 with a fleet of 62 ships carrying more than 37,000 men, These expeditions, clearly an attempt to extend Chinese hegemony over the rulers of littoral kingdoms, eventually navigated the Persian Gulf and the coasts of Arabia and Africa before ending with the seventh expedition in 1433. Although Chinese ships had been frequenting these waters for a thousand years, for the first time they came as an organized naval force with great 1,500-ton, five-masted junks carrying a thousand men or more. Chinese shipbuilding was clearly far ahead of Europe; the treasure ships of Cheng Ho's Grand Fleet would have dwarfed the 300-ton vessels of Vasco da Gama had they met on their voyages along the African coast, which they very nearly did. In 1644 the declining Mings were replaced by the foreign Manchu invaders and with the departure of the Mings the last era of significant Chinese sea power passed into history.

The recent impact of the West fell upon China almost entirely by sea, and resulted in a prolonged effort throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century to develop a modern navy. Though never fully supported, this navy was to become one of China's first modern achievements-until it came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Japanese in 1895, its history "all but lost to view in the confusion attending the collapse of the imperial order."[iv]

At the start of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 the Chinese Navy enjoyed overwhelming numerical superiority. Its Manchu leadership, however, had no naval strategy except for the linkage of ships with guns ashore. Its warships remained compartmentalized into four provincial fleets spread along the coast, not coördinated with any single authority within the Manchu government. The Chinese position was further exacerbated by Japanese superiority in equipment, leadership and training. The infamous final straw in this episode came with the misappropriation of the naval budget by the Empress Dowager for her personal use. After 1889 at least 90 percent of the special naval defense fund, instead of continuing to build a modern navy, was used to refurbish the Summer Palace. Ironically, the only lasting image of the Manchu navy was to be the Empress Dowager's Marble Boat, a two-story structure built atop a marble junk's hull firmly resting on a lake bottom.

The lack of affinity for the sea which Western historians have attributed to the Chinese would, therefore, more appropriately apply only to the foreign dynasties, Manchu and Mongol, which were singularly unable to capitalize on China's rich seafaring tradition. It now remains to be seen whether the new, indigenous "people's" dynasty can foster a contemporary Chinese maritime regeneration.


At first glance the Chinese Navy of today seems a ludicrous hodgepodge of the old and the new. There are ex-U.S., Japanese, British, Canadian, Australian and Chinese Nationalist ships. Several of these are genuine antiques, built over 50 years ago, and one former Japanese coastal defense vessel of 1905 is still on active inventory. But there are also more recent Soviet designs, some built in China; and, most significantly, there are increasing numbers of modern vessels of Chinese design.[v] The Chinese have apparently obtained excellent mileage from their vintage collection while carrying out a steadily accelerating modernization and expansion program.

The Chinese Navy has an overall personnel strength of more than 150,000 officers and men, including over 16,000 in the naval air force and 28,000 marines. The number of naval personnel has nearly tripled since 1960. This spectacular growth rate clearly emphasizes the importance now placed on sea power by the high command in Peking. Theirs is the world's third largest submarine force and third largest navy in terms of personnel assigned. It is nearly as large as those of Britain and France combined or, more significantly, as the combined naval and marine forces of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Admittedly, numbers of men tell little about fighting capabilities. The quantity and quality of ships, leadership and doctrine, training and readiness for combat, and logistic support are all much more meaningful indicators. Unfortunately, many of these factors are largely subjective and, short of actual combat as the ultimate test, require evaluation based on a considerably more intimate association and observation than has heretofore been allowed by the leadership in Peking.

The Chinese have over 1,200 naval vessels which are divided into three coastal fleets.[vi] About 240 vessels are assigned to the North Sea Fleet operating from the Yalu River to just south of the Shantung peninsula. Seven hundred vessels are assigned to the East Sea Fleet whose area encompasses the strategic Taiwan Strait. The South Sea Fleet with 300 vessels ranges from just north of Swatow south past Hong Kong to the Tonkin Gulf. While this organization is somewhat reminiscent of the Manchu era, one must assume that the Chinese are achieving flexibility of movement between the fleets and an overall command authority which exercises that flexibility. They have at least demonstrated considerable daring and ability in limited engagements with Nationalist naval forces in the Taiwan Strait area.

Organization and overall numbers also fail to reveal the remarkable growth and modernization within selected priority areas of the Chinese Navy, particularly during the last three to five years. Despite the retention of some of the antiquated coastal defense and river gunboats in active service, the old are being inexorably weeded out and replaced with new, advanced models, many of Chinese design. This significant development would indicate a degree of sophistication which, on the surface, appears difficult to reconcile with our "Yenan cave" image of the Peking military leaders. It becomes all the more perplexing when one traces the origin of this fledgling navy, born of the Red Army.

When the Chinese communist forces stormed out of the north to become the masters of China in 1949 they suddenly acquired a seacoast to defend and the dregs of a navy left behind by the Chinese Nationalists, who obviously took many of their better ships, their senior officers and best men with them to Taiwan. The People's Liberation Army had been a land-locked guerrilla force operating from their Shensi base since the Long March in 1935. They may have accepted some help from "liberated" Nationalist naval personnel, but by and large the new navy probably started with politically more reliable Red Army officers at the helm, augmented with seamen "untainted" by past Nationalist associations, recruited from among the native seafarers of the coastal provinces. In those early days of the People's Republic, political reliability rather than seafaring experience and skill must have been the primary consideration in selecting personnel to control instruments with a built-in capability for defection.

There are few experienced naval commanders who would relish the task of building a modern navy from such an inauspicious beginning. But then, the job did not go to an experienced naval officer because there was none. Hsiao Ching-kuang[vii] was transplanted from the army and appointed admiral and naval commander-in-chief when the navy headquarters was established under the People's Liberation Army in 1950. Prior to that he had been a field general, with a distinguished career dating back through the Long March to his entry into the Chinese Communist Party in the early 1920s while attending Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow. Hsiao has commanded the navy for more than 20 years and certainly must be given major credit for leadership, vision and influence over the naval development program. His amazing survivability, even through the recent Lin Piao crisis, can only add to the influence he has wielded as Vice Minister of National Defense since 1954 and member of the Party's Central Committee. In his late sixties, he was nevertheless recently called by one analyst a "rising military star" in the depleted ranks of Peking's political and military élite, possibly portending an interservice position of growing strength for his navy.

During the first decade of its existence Soviet assistance put the Chinese Navy on its feet. Although the 30-year Treaty of Friendship with the Soviet Union was signed in 1950, the naval assistance program apparently did not get under way until after the Korean armistice. The Chinese began constructing the first of at least 21 Soviet "W" class submarines in 1956. These are medium-sized, streamlined, medium-to-long-range diesel submarines which were assembled in Chinese yards from Soviet components. Several older and smaller Soviet submarines were given to the Chinese in 1954-55, but some of these have since been retired from service. The Chinese also received four Soviet "Gordy" class destroyers, and in 1956 they launched from a Chinese shipyard the first of four destroyer escorts modeled after the Soviet "Riga" class. Six "Kronstadt" submarine chasers were received from the Soviets in 1956-57 and 18 more were subsequently built by the Chinese. Two Soviet "T-43" minesweepers acquired in 1954-55 were followed by 18 more built in Chinese shipyards. This same pattern followed, on a somewhat larger scale, in motor-torpedo boat construction.

The Sino-Soviet quarrel came to the surface in the late 1950s and by the second decade of its life the Chinese Navy was on its own. From this point on China's naval development became even more remarkable because it was accomplished substantially without outside assistance and despite the economic setback of the early sixties and the chaos of the Cultural Revolution period.

By 1964 the Chinese naval shipbuilding program appeared to be getting underway again with the completion of an advanced diesel-powered ballistic missile submarine patterned on the Soviet "G" class, apparently with the aid of plans obtained before the rift. (As yet, however, no compatible Chinese missiles are known to exist for this submarine.) And since the mid- sixties, naval expansion has continued with ever-increasing momentum-new "R" class diesel attack submarines; new destroyer escorts of Chinese design, larger, faster and more heavily armed than their Soviet "Riga" class predecessors; massive numbers of fast missile, torpedo and gun boats. But the most significant development of all may be in the nuclear field. For some time now there have been persistent rumors that the Chinese are probably working on a nuclear-powered submarine. "Janes" reports that the first such vessel was begun in 1969 and there may be as many as three nuclear-powered submarines in various stages of construction. These subs are reportedly designed for a displacement of 3,000 tons and an armament of missiles and torpedoes. Should this be true the Chinese Navy may be on the threshold of an entirely new dimension.


The Chinese, including even the most parochial of their naval commanders, certainly harbor no dreams of "catching up" with and matching the full spectrum of global maritime power of the United States or the Soviet Union. The mere suggestion of the Chinese joining in a sort of three-cornered naval arms race with the two superpowers seems preposterous. But this does not mean that China cannot mold her naval arm into a formidable instrument for national defense vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, the United States, or any lesser power, or fashion her total maritime power into a useful and effective tool in support of her foreign policy. It is clearly toward these ends that Peking embarked in the early sixties upon her maritime expansion program.

From the outset the Chinese Communists have considered coastal defense their first priority, a preoccupation resulting from the presence of hostile Nationalist and American naval vessels in the waters off their long and exposed coastline. Most recently, the Soviet containment policy toward China has furnished fresh stimulus for her to "build a powerful navy . . . and turn China's coastline into a great wall of iron," as the leadership view with anxiety the expansion of Soviet naval activities into East Asian waters as an extension of Soviet revisionism's "ring of encirclement against China."[viii]

Inherent in coastal defense is the policing of territorial waters, a mission of growing importance with the increasing international pressure for exploitation of the as yet untapped offshore mineral resources on the continental shelf of East Asia. Even now there are ominous signs of a growing controversy between China and Japan over the Tiaoyu (Senkaku) Islands off Taiwan's northern coast. Disputed ownership of those islands with their rich offshore oil deposits could prove to be a major stumbling block in future Sino-Japanese relations, and the eventual stimulus to a much prophesied Japanese remilitarization.

It is not surprising, then, that the Chinese have made their most significant naval strides in the development of their coastal defense forces, which appear to be organized under a well-conceived and coördinated plan. The outer ring of this system would be their growing fleet of torpedo, anti-ship-missile, and mine-laying diesel attack submarines backed up by about 100 11-28 torpedo-carrying light bombers, part of the more than 450 shore-based combat aircraft of the Chinese naval air force.[ix] Close- in defense would be provided by great numbers of fast missile, torpedo and gun boats, as well as patrol and minecraft under an umbrella of naval fighter aircraft.

All of China's MIG-15 and MIG-17 navy fighters are fully integrated into her air defense system and have apparently given good accounts of themselves in aerial engagements-credited in Peking news releases with the downing of intruding Nationalist and U. S. aircraft over southern China. But if one is also to believe the occasional human interest story emanating from Peking regarding, for example, the plight of sailors keeping the night target beacons lighted through all kinds of weather for naval aerial maneuvers, it is obvious that their naval aircraft are also practicing day and night, and possibly in all weather, air-to-ground weapons delivery for support of the surface defense forces.

Under this coastal defense concept, naval expansion has focused on constructing a large fleet of more than 400 fast missile, torpedo and gunboats. This fleet has nearly tripled since the termination of Soviet assistance in 1960. It has more than doubled during the last five years, which have seen the introduction of 90 or more modern hydrofoil torpedo boats of Chinese design and more than 15 surface-to-surface missile boats. In this category the Chinese fleet may soon surpass that of the Soviet Union to become the world's largest.

China's expanding submarine fleet is, of course, capable of ranging considerably further afield in conventional attack operations than its coastal defense mission would require. The Chinese thus far, however, have shown little inclination to extend operations with deployments much beyond home waters. But this picture seems destined to change with the building of China's own nuclear submarines. At least one submarine currently under construction appears to be nuclear and designed for an attack role.[x] "Its deployment," as Australian Harry G. Gelber has noted, "promises not only to give China's naval defenses additional depth but also to provide experience on which the subsequent construction and deployment of a more complex missile/submarine system could be based. Thus, it seems reasonable to assume that by 1980 or so China will have the option of deploying her ICBMs on land or at sea, or in some mix or both."[xi]

The ultimate functions and effectiveness of a Chinese nuclear submarine, its potential role in China's strategic nuclear deterrent forces, its broader political usefulness as an instrument of foreign policy-if only as a sort of status symbol, having "made it," so to speak, as a full-fledged member of the great-power club-all remain to be seen. In its most limited role, however, the nuclear submarine will constitute a quantum jump toward attaining China's highest naval priority-the "great wall of iron" along her coastline-a formidable coastal defense force capable of deterring or defeating, if necessary, any foreign intrusion by sea.

In sharp contrast to the dynamic growth of China's defensive forces has been the relatively static condition for more than a decade of her amphibious and marine forces which still, however, afford a limited offensive capability. Maintaining about 60 ex-U.S, World War II amphibious ships and craft, China could transport her 28,000 marines to a not-too- distant coast and presumably land them on a not-too-hostile shore. Although Peking has shown no interest in expanding this capability through additional shipbuilding programs, one cannot ignore the literally thousands of motorized junks which are available and could be employed in "short- haul," follow-on waves carrying tens of thousands of army troops behind a marine amphibious assault. Such an assemblage of vessels, however, would certainly telegraph the intended punch. If it were to be employed against determined air and sea opposition it would probably stand about as much chance of success as Kublai Khan's ill-fated attempts against Japan in the thirteenth century.

On the other hand, a massive junk armada could be a decisive factor in a hypothetical scenario isolating Taiwan, unassisted by outside friendly forces, in a struggle with the People's Republic. Peking's massive numerical air superiority and submarine interdiction could overwhelm and eliminate Taiwan's air and naval defenses before an amphibious operation need be launched from the mainland. Even more vulnerable are the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu. The amphibious threat is, at the very least, a potent politico-military instrument with which Peking could bring great psychological pressure to bear against Taiwan.

In China's quest for sea power she has not neglected her merchant fleet and domestic shipbuilding industry. At one time Peking relied heavily on a charter fleet-about 150 ships in 1966-but has since shed that policy as a "slavish comprador philosophy" advocated by that font of all evil, Liu Shao- ch'i. Concentrating on a dual program of acquiring new ships abroad while at the same time expanding her own shipbuilding resources, China recently contracted for four 15,000-ton freighters from the Jugoslavs and additional ships from Poland. West European yards have also supplied China with 10,000 and 15,000-ton passenger and cargo ships.

China's own shipbuilding industry has progressed from the construction of 10,000-ton ships in 1969, to 15,000 tons in 1970, to 20,000 and 25,000 tons in 1971. "Janes" indicates that, overall, China's registered shipping increased by 37 ships during the past year and her merchant fleet is rapidly approaching one million gross tons. Like the Soviet merchant marine, the newness of China's merchant fleet will constitute an important advantage; and one need only recall how the centrally planned expansion of the Soviet merchant fleet raised it from a nonentity to a position among the world's leaders in one decade, China's new merchant fleet will indeed constitute a valuable political adjunct to her growing naval power-a "sea- borne railway" that will give her direct and increasing access, for whatever purpose she may desire, to most of the countries of the third world.


Seapower, traditionally as much a political as a military instrument of national power, seems ideally suited to China's new international role as well as to her Maoist strategic doctrine where "politics" remain in command. It can give her access as well as varying degrees of visibility and presence throughout the world, all carefully controlled and manipulated at will according to her political objectives-from clandestine support of an insurgency movement to openly "showing the flag."

China's recognition of this is becoming more and more apparent in her increasing interest in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. She is suspected of building a naval base in the disputed Paracel Islands between the Philippines and Vietnam. Her aid missions are well established around the Indian Ocean littoral where she also supports various rebel movements such as the Dhofar People's Liberation Army in Muscat and Oman; and she has shown an unusual sensitivity to superpower maritime competition in the area, accusing the Soviets, for example, of "gunboat diplomacy" and regarding the Indian Ocean as a "Soviet lake."

The Chinese may, however, already be a step or two ahead of the Soviets with respect to establishing their own chain of strategic "coaling stations" along the Indian Ocean littoral. China concluded an agreement several years ago for naval visits to Ceylonese ports. She is reportedly building naval facilities in competition with Soviet aid missions in southern Yemen. It is doubtful that Pakistan would object to a Chinese presence in the port of Karachi. She is providing naval advisers to Tanzania and constructing naval facilities at Dar-es-Salaam in conjunction with the 1,000-mile long Tanzania-Zambia railway. It is notable, in this regard, that the headquarters of various African liberation movements directed against South Africa, Rhodesia and Portuguese-ruled Mozambique and Angola are reputedly located in Zambia and Tanzania; and the Tanzanian naval facility is conveniently located on the western extremity of a potential Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile range over the Indian Ocean,.

Although the Chinese Navy still lacks a significant "blue-water" surface capability, it is already the world's third largest on two other counts- submarines and personnel. Furthermore, China's massive fleet of fast missile, gun and torpedo boats may soon surpass the Soviet Union's to become the world's largest. Chinese shipyards are building more and larger ships; and China's mercantile fleet, while not comparable to those of the world's maritime leaders, is nevertheless rapidly becoming a significant factor in East Asian shipping circles. All of these areas are in a state of dynamic growth, with nuclear-powered submarines and, possibly, a seaborne nuclear deterrent just around the corner. While there are still too many unknowns in China to confidently project developmental trends, nevertheless, barring a breakdown in leadership or domestic chaos it seems highly probable that for the first time since the Ming Dynasty voyages of Cheng Ho over 500 years ago, the sea power of China will once again exert an important influence on international affairs well beyond the borders of the Middle Kingdom.

[i] J. Needham, "Science and Civilization in China," Vol. VI, Part 3: "Civil Engineering and Nautics." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971, p. 379.

[ii] R. Dawson, ed., "The Legacy of China." Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964, p. 293-294.

[iii] "Janes Fighting Ships 1971-72," R. V. B. Blackman, ed. (London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd.), p. 62. "The Military Balance 1971-1972" (London: The International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1971), p. 15, 42. The Washington Post, March 21, 1972, p. A3. ''Janes" credits both China and United Kingdom with 35 submarines each as of December 1970. "Military Balance," as of July 1971, indicates 36 for Britain, inclusive of those in reserve or undergoing refit, conversion or construction, as compared with approximately 45 for China, including ten older, training vessels. In any case, China's in creasing momentum in submarine construction seems accurately reflected in the more current Washington Post estimate of "more than 40 diesel-powered attack submarines."

[iv] J. L. Rawlinson, "China's Struggle for Naval Development 1839-1895." Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967, p. vii.

[v] "Janes Fighting Ships 1971-72," op. cit. p. 62-67. Unless otherwise indicated, "Janes" annual publications have served as the source for all naval force levels throughout this paper.

[vi] "Military Balance," op. cit. p, 42.

[vii] "Who's Who in Communist China," Vol. II (Kowloon, Hong Kong: Union Research Institute, 1969), p. 805, and China News Summary, No. 324, June 18, 1970.

[viii] China News Summary, op. cit. p. A1.

[ix] "Military Balance," op. cit., p. 42.

[x] The New York Times, Feb. 1, 1972, p. 6.

[xi] H. G. Gelber, "Nuclear Weapons in Chinese Strategy," Problems of Communism, November-December 1971, p. 39.

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