Reconceptualizing the PLA Navy in post - Mao China : functions, warfare, arms, and organization
Date of Issue2002
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This paper examines the major changes regarding the Chinese Navy (PLAN, or the People’s Liberation Army Navy) between the pre-1985 period and the post-1985 period. It shows that major conceptual changes have taken place to the PLAN’s functions, warfare, arms, and organization since 1985. On functions, rather than the pre-1985 emphasis on protecting continental territory through resisting aggression by a singular adversary against China’s coastlines, the new emphasis has been placed on defending maritime territory and interests against multiple potential adversaries away from China’s shore. On warfare, instead of the pre-1985 stress on the defensive counter-amphibious landing operations, the new emphasis has been placed on capturing and sustaining sea control for the offensive amphibious landing operations. On naval arms, rather than the old stress on the defensive, short range, and more numerous light ships, new emphasis has been placed on developing fewer but better quality, longer range, and multi-role capital ships capable of offensive operations. On organization, unlike the old focus on the land-based command and control, manpower, and dispersion, the new stress has shifted to ship-based command and control and technology-based integration. In the meantime, major obstacles still exist for the new concepts to be fully translated into reality.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science::Strategy::Asia
RSIS Working Papers ; 030/02
Nanyang Technological University