This is one of the most informative books yet published on the Chinese navy. The author is a career U.S. naval officer with degrees in Chinese studies. Drawing on a large volume of recently declassified U.S. intelligence reports, he concludes that by 1983 the Chinese navy, though not as capable as the Soviet Pacific Fleet or the U.S. Seventh, "has to be counted as formidable, at least within the East and northern South China seas." There are also valuable sections dealing with the role of the navy in the Sino-Soviet split and in internal Chinese factional struggles. Finally, there is a provocative section on the modernization of Chinese naval strategy in which it is made clear that the Soviet naval threat is the primary motivation for developing the Chinese navy.
Get the latest book reviews delivered right to your inbox.