China marks 70 years of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army of Navy (PLA Navy) on Tuesday. The PLA Navy is the world’s second-largest navy.
But why is the PLA Navy growing faster than China’s other military services? Why does China, which once focused on land armies, need such a large navy?
The world is watching with hope, and to be frank also with fear. One way to encourage the hope and to allay the fear is to be transparent and provide an honest accounting of the PLA Navy’s ships and resources while presenting the country’s realistic game plan for the PLA Navy’s missions and strategies.
In the government work report at the 2019 two sessions, a “blue economy” was proposed to protect the marine environment and build a maritime power. With strong leadership and financial support over the past decade, the PLA Navy has grown rapidly. This is reflected in its reform and modernization.
China is becoming a major naval power and nothing can stop it. The leaders stated that PLA Navy’s growth will not pose any threat to other countries, that’s why China is being more candid and open in discussing its naval capabilities and prospects.
In addition, the PLA Navy is known for its non-military contributions like protection against pirates, escorting UN food and aid fleets, evacuate overseas Chinese in times of trouble, providing humanitarian rescue after natural disasters.
The PLA Navy supports Chinese President Xi Jinping’s grand vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity.