Monday, May 21, 2012



 The "Dragon" of course is China, or more specifically, the PLAN or people's Liberation Army Navy" which recently announced its completion of the conversion of a former Russian air craft carrier into their own training and experimental carrier. It will probably be another one to two years before this new carrier is seen in a foreign port and the Chinese, probably truthfully describe the carrier as intended for coastal defense, training, and experimentation vice force projection. This is probably true because of the long learning curve that is associated with full fledged carrier operations. China has a long way to go and they know it but the direction of travel of the dragon is definitely seaward. Not only is China locked into several controversies over the ownership of a number of islands in the North and South China seas, but the Middle Kingdom has recently expressed serious concern over the Arctic, a region where the conventional wisdom says they have no dog in the race. It is clear that China means to become a global naval power at some point in the not so distant future.

 Since China , like the United States has global economic interest this development need not be viewed as a direct threat to the United States but the potential future rise of an actual naval peer can not be ignored. This is why so many naval thinkers are focused on the PLAN right now. As usual, what is on the mind of those in the naval establishment who "dare to think speak and write" is also on the mind and in the publishing program of the U.S. Naval Institute. If you would like to "read up" on the swimming dragon the Naval Institute has at least three books that should be on every "navalists" summer reading list, these are:

Red Star Over The Pacific by Toshi Yoshihara and James R. Holmes, ISBN 978-1-59114-390-1

China The United States and 21st Century Sea Power, Defining a Maritime Security Partnership, edited by Andrew S. Erickson, Lyle J. Goldstein, and Nan Li, ISBN 978-1-59114-234-0

The Great Wall at SEA , Second edition by Bernard D. Cole, ISBN 978-1-59114-142-6

People's Liberation Army Navy, Combat Systems Technology 1949 -2010, by James C. Bussert and Bruce A. Elleman, ISBN 978-1-59114-080-1

 These three works plus some of the back issues of the Naval Institute's PROCEEDINGS which has been following the wake of the "dragon" for years will bring you up to speed on all of the PLAN issues. The books are priced from roughly $37 to $48 and are immediately available from the Naval Institute. The Institute may be contacted at by phone at 800 233 8764. The books are discounted if you are a member. We will try to get a review and a hyper link for instant purchase up in our "Naval Interest" section as soon as possible. However when we review books published by the Naval Institute it is simply to provide the prospective reader with a better understanding of the contents, if a book made it through the editorial board of the Naval Institute we think naval professionals should read it. In fact we think real naval professionals should be members of the institute. If you are not willing or able to acquire a copy of these works for you professional library we've included the "ISBN" number, this is the International Book Binding Number which will help your lending library find copies for you. Read about the" swimming dragon" with the Naval Institute and if you haven't already done so, join the Institute and "dare to think, speak, and write".    

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