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People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) frigate PLA(N) Yueyang (FF 575) steams in formation with 42 other ships and submarines representing 15 international partner nations during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.

A European Net Assessment of the People’s Liberation Army (Navy)

Peter Roberts
Conference Reports, 12 May 2017
RUSI convened a conference on 23 February 2017 to consider the rise of China’s naval forces, both conventional, in the form of the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA(N)), and the maritime militia.

The event took place at the Institute’s Whitehall building with more than 100 attendees from academia, industry, the military and various parliamentarians. Speakers from across Europe, Asia and the US examined the growth of capability and the ambition of China through the prisms of international relations, global politics and economics, and military balance.

The conference found that there were contradictions between China’s foreign policy statements and financial investment in its naval forces. Beijing’s statements about peaceful coexistence, mutually beneficial growth and belief in the global system seem at odds with its current approach towards the rule of law, intellectual property rights, human rights and ecological damage. It is little wonder, therefore, that many are concerned about the future direction of Chinese foreign and security policy, given that Beijing is starting to amass the systems and tools necessary to challenge the global order from a military perspective. 

Given the evidence outlined at the conference, delegates were left with the question of what Europe might do, or be expected to do, in response.

Professor Peter Roberts
Director Military Sciences, RUSI

Peter is Director of Military Sciences at RUSI. The research group provides thought leadership and impactful research on military... read more

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