Yalong Bay (China), Apr. 24 (ANI): China's Navy is seeking to extend its power from the oil ports of the Middle East to the shipping lanes of the Pacific, where the United States Navy has long been a dominant force, military officials and analysts have claimed.
The new strategy is called "far sea defense," and the speed with which it is building long-range capabilities, has surprised foreign military officials.
It is a sharp break from the traditional, narrower doctrine of preparing for war over the self-governing island of Taiwan or defending the Chinese coast.
Chinese admirals now say they want warships to escort commercial vessels that are crucial to the country's economy, from as far as the Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca, in Southeast Asia, and to help secure Chinese interests in the resource-rich South and East China Seas.
In late March, two Chinese warships docked in Abu Dhabi, the first time the modern Chinese Navy made a port visit in the Middle East.
According to the New York Post, the plan reflects China's growing sense of self-confidence and increasing willingness to assert its interests abroad.
However, the naval expansion will not make China a serious rival to American naval hegemony in the near future, and there are few indications that China has aggressive intentions toward the United States or other countries.
China, now the world's leading exporter and a giant buyer of oil and other natural resources, is also no longer content to trust the security of sea lanes to the Americans, and its definition of its own core interests has expanded along with its economic clout. (ANI)