The Game is Changing and the US is Now on the Defensive
By: Global Intelligence Report
Tue, Sep 21, 2010
The People’s Republic of China’s PLAN in the Indian and Pacific Oceans: The Game is Changing and the US is Now on the Defensive
Two warships of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) People’s Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN) docked at a port in Myanmar on August 29, 2010, in the first publicized PLAN ship visit — but not the first actual PLAN visit — to Myanmar.
It was a move designed to help pre-position the PRC in its relations with Myanmar in the lead up to that country’s upcoming national elections. The move also ended two decades of discreet PRC approaches to its naval presence in the Indian Ocean. It also follows the open PLAN task force presence in anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, and the now open commitment to use of the Pakistani Baluchistan port of Gwadar, at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.
Significantly, although the PRC maintains itself as both a heartland and maritime power, it is aware that the great challenge to break out from US global strategic dominance is essentially a maritime matter. Given economic and other realities, the US will be forced to rely increasingly on the US Navy — and particularly the Seventh Fleet in the Pacific and Indian Oceans — to project US influence.