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The Road to Atlantic: China’s naval projection

Written by Tom Mantelet

In the past decades, China has profoundly invested in the modernization of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) moving China to the first position as the world’s largest maritime force with its size expected to grow in the future (U.S. Department of Defense 2021). Whereas China’s initial goal is to strengthen its Navy to match or surpass the United States global influence or power in the Indo-Pacific region, it is also to project its forces to protect China’s national interests abroad and gain a more important place in the international system. In doing so, China is using a combination of economic, political, and military tools, under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to evade the United States’ containment strategy and secure its strategic position.