The rapid modernization of the Chinese Navy is a well-documented
reality of the post-Cold War world. In two decades, the People's
Liberation Army Navy has evolved from a backward force composed of
obsolete platforms into a reasonably modern fleet whose growth is
significantly shaking the naval balance in East Asia. The rationale
behind China's contemporary rise at sea remains, however, difficult
to grasp and few people have tried to see how the current structure
of the international system has shaped Chinese choices. This book
makes sense of Chinese priorities in its naval modernization in a
'robust' offensive realist framework. Drawing on Barry Posen's
works on sources of military doctrine, it argues that the
orientation of Beijing's choices concerning its naval forces can
essentially be explained by China's position as a potential
regional hegemon. Yves-Heng Lim highlights how a rising state
develops naval power to fulfil its security objectives, a
theoretical perspective that goes farther than the sole Chinese
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