China’s Global Maritime Expansion: Between Its Grand Dream and External Trends


China’s dream to become a global maritime power is a controversial element of China’s global growth. Its expansion of maritime lines has been shaped by internal needs and external trends. The expansion has alarmed the world and raised the uncertainty about China’s potential to become the world maritime power in mid- 21st century. Despite the continuous debates on the risks associated with China’s global maritime expansion, little attention was paid to the Chinese literature and understanding of being a global maritime power. This paper analyzes China’s thinking, planning, and constructing of its maritime power. It looks at the geopolitical, commercial, and military application of China’s maritime strategy to become a world power with its celebration of 100 anniversary of the PRC. Internal needs, such as sovereignty threats, energy security, and growing population have pushed China to expand its maritime lines and achieve its grand dream. However, external trends such as destabilized commercial lines, great power competition and external perceptions hindered the process of achieving its dream. Borrowing from the Mahanian and Harmonious schools of thought is helpful when looking at the Chinese global maritime accounts. Whether China has been categorized as a No. 2 or a No. 1 Sea Power, it has focused its ambitions on achieving a speedy maritime power’s growth. It aims to construct a new modality of increasing involvement overseas, expanding deterrence lines, and securing wider oceanic checkpoints.

Author Information
Najla Alzarooni, Trends Research and Advisory, United Arab Emirates

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2023
Stream: Chinese Studies

This paper is part of the ACAS2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Alzarooni N. (2023) China’s Global Maritime Expansion: Between Its Grand Dream and External Trends ISSN: 2187-4735 The Asian Conference on Asian Studies 2023: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon