Is China’s Dredging Fleet Paving the Way for Militarization of South Asia?

Thursday, August 13, 2015
By Paul Martin

China’s growing dredging fleet is “literally changing geography” and extending Beijing’s influence in the South China Sea, Dr. Andrew S. Erickson and his colleague, research intern Kevin Bond, point out.

Beijing is parlaying its economic and technological development into the advancement of geostrategic goals, namely the protection of China’s interests in the South China Sea and the advancement of the Beijing-led Maritime Silk Road project, according to Dr. Andrew S. Erickson, an Associate Professor in the Strategic Research Department at the US Naval War College (NWC), and his colleague, research intern Kevin Bond.

>”Starting in 2001, China made a conscious effort to expand and improve its then-poor-quality dredging fleet in a bid to both meet growing domestic demand for deeper waterways and ports (expected to hit 5-7.5 billion cubic meters a year by 2015) and to secure a place in the rapidly growing global dredging market,” the experts elaborated.

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