Beijing has undertaken sweeping efforts to modernize its navy. At the 18th Party Congress in 2012, then-President Hu Jintao called for China to become a “maritime power” capable of safeguarding its maritime rights and interests. This position was reinforced in the 2015 defense white paper that declared the “traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned, and great importance has to be attached to managing the seas and oceans and protecting maritime rights and interests.” This message was reiterated in April 2018 when President Xi Jinping suggested that “the task of building a powerful navy has never been as urgent as it is today.”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ China Power Project has delved into the expansion of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), including a comparison of fleet sizes with near-peer competitors, the expansion of China’s shipbuilding capabilities, and other metrics charting the modernization of the PLAN. To see their analysis and related infographics, interactive charts, maps, and imagery, visit the ChinaPower website.

Banner image courtesy of Wikimedia commons user 海防先锋, used under a Creative Commons license.

About China Power

ChinaPower provides an in-depth understanding of the evolving nature of Chinese power relative to other countries. The project examines five interrelated categories of Chinese power: military, economics, technology, social, and international image. Through objective analysis and data visualization, ChinaPower unpacks the complexity of China’s rise.