By Kathrin Hille
October 27, 2010
"Last month, a few fuzzy photographs posted on a Chinese military enthusiast’s website caused a huge stir in the international defence community. They showed a new submarine in a shipyard that looked unlike any of the vessels the country’s military has in service so far. Security experts in the US quickly concluded that Beijing had added another impressive piece of equipment to its fast-growing naval arsenal. Just like the new boat appearing out of nowhere, the Chinese navy has moved with surprising speed and boldness to claim its place on the high seas. For more than two decades, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has worked to transform itself from being inward-looking and land-focused, relying on a large headcount, into a technology-intensive force capable of roaming the seas and the air. Part of that transformation has been creating a navy capable of moving beyond the coastal zone and operating on the high seas over extended periods..."
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