The driving forces behind China's naval modernization

Yves Heng Lim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid development of Chinese naval forces over the last decade has provoked much debate over where this modernization is headed. Observing the decennial evolution of Chinese naval forces, this article questions assumptions that China's naval modernization can be mainly explained by the enduring salience of the Taiwan question or by a "Mahanian" impulse. In the last ten years, China has prioritized the development of its submarine fleet and its sea-denial capacity, a choice that can be explained essentially by Beijing's position in the East Asian regional system and the disquieting presence of an adversarial global power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalComparative Strategy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


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