The Great Wall at Sea, 2nd Edition: China's Navy in the Twenty-First Century

Naval Institute Press
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In this new edition, Bernard Cole revises his acclaimed study of China s navy, one that continues to grow while the U.S. Navy shrinks. According to the author, Beijing is now giving increased attention to guarding its vital sea lanes because of the nation s growing dependence on maritime trade, especially energy supplies. He provides a thorough description of China s naval establishment, including its personnel system, followed by a detailed view of its ships, submarines, and aircraft, all marked by technical sophistication and capability as China reaches the top rank of the world s maritime powers. His evaluation is based on extensive interviews with Chinese and other naval experts, in-depth perusal of original documents, and visits to Chinese warships, training facilities, and shore establishments.
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About the author

Capt. Bernard D. Cole, USN (Ret.), teaches at the National War College in Washington, D.C. Cole's previous books include The Great Wall at Sea: China's Navy in the Twenty-First Century, which was selected for the Navy Reading Program. He earned a PhD in History from Auburn University and lives in Alexandria, VA.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Oct 11, 2012
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781612511634
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Strategy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This book is concerned with both the national security concerns of Asian maritime nations and the security of the Asian maritime commons. These are defined as the Pacific and Indian Oceans and associated seas, bays, and gulfs, with their included sea lines of communication (SLOCs). The most useful geographical designation for maritime Asia is the “Indo-Pacific.” Bernard Cole provides both a survey of the maritime strategies of the primary nations of the Indo-Pacific region and an evaluation of the domestic and international politics that drive those strategies. The United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, China, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Iran, the smaller Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf states are all surveyed and analyzed. The United States, Japan, China, and India not surprisingly draw the most attention, given their large modern navies and distant strategic reach. The author concludes that the United States remains the dominant maritime power in this huge region, stretching from Canada to the Persian Gulf, despite its lack of a traditionally strong merchant marine. U.S. maritime power remains paramount, due primarily to its dominant navy. The Chinese naval modernization program deservedly receives a good deal of public attention, but Cole argues that on a day-to-day basis the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, as its navy is named, is the most powerful maritime force in Far Eastern waters, while the modernizing Indian Navy potentially dominates the Indian Ocean. In fact, a focus of this work is the exemplary description of all the region’s navies, with the author noting the naval arms race that is underway, particularly in the area of submarine acquisition. Cole is careful to couch this phenomenon in the regional concerns about Chinese naval expansion and the desire to ensure a continued, massive U.S. naval presence. The current naval developments in the region evince elements of a naval arms race, but lack the coherent maritime strategies to make naval developments dangerous to regional peace and security. Most telling will be whether United States power and focus remain on the region, while adjusting to continued Chinese maritime power in a way acceptable to both nations. No other current or recent work provides such a complete description of the Indo-Pacific region’s navies and maritime strategies, while analyzing the current and future impact of those forces.
The Art of War is a classic of military strategy. It is ascribed to Sun Tzu, also called Sunzi or Sun Wu, a quasi-legendary figure. The work has been dated from between the 6th to the 3rd century BCE. It is known worldwide and is considered required reading for students of political and military science.

As with other classics, many of its themes are timeless. Quotations from the work can be meaningful apart from the thousands of years which separate us from the time and place of its creation.

The Art of War is itself a brief work. However, it is generally packaged with extensive commentary and additional essays, so that it appears to be a book of around 200 pages or more. (This new modern edition is only 40 pages in length.)

Much of what is added to these editions is only interesting to academics or students of the minutiae of history. At the same time, the intentions of readers tends to be to find out what it is that makes this work such a classic, not learn about the history of its commentaries.

This new edition meant to address the needs of the modern reader. By honing the language down to clear formulations, The Art of War can be more readily understood, more enjoyable to read, and more relevant to today.

The English is based on the original translation by Lionel Giles. The 1910 English prose of Giles is awkward to our modern ears, and slows down our reading and appreciation of this classic.

The new modern edition of The Art of War is meant to communicate the authentic essence and meaning of this work in modern, accessible English prose. This version is an abridgement, a shortened form of a work which nevertheless retains the same meaning and upholds the unity of the original.

Abridgement is foremost a cutting away of the inessential parts, which ends up in condensing the work. The key to abridging is to ensure the prose is extremely clear and transparent in meaning, requiring little additional guidance or interpretation to reach understanding.
This book is concerned with both the national security concerns of Asian maritime nations and the security of the Asian maritime commons. These are defined as the Pacific and Indian Oceans and associated seas, bays, and gulfs, with their included sea lines of communication (SLOCs). The most useful geographical designation for maritime Asia is the “Indo-Pacific.” Bernard Cole provides both a survey of the maritime strategies of the primary nations of the Indo-Pacific region and an evaluation of the domestic and international politics that drive those strategies. The United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, China, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Iran, the smaller Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf states are all surveyed and analyzed. The United States, Japan, China, and India not surprisingly draw the most attention, given their large modern navies and distant strategic reach. The author concludes that the United States remains the dominant maritime power in this huge region, stretching from Canada to the Persian Gulf, despite its lack of a traditionally strong merchant marine. U.S. maritime power remains paramount, due primarily to its dominant navy. The Chinese naval modernization program deservedly receives a good deal of public attention, but Cole argues that on a day-to-day basis the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, as its navy is named, is the most powerful maritime force in Far Eastern waters, while the modernizing Indian Navy potentially dominates the Indian Ocean. In fact, a focus of this work is the exemplary description of all the region’s navies, with the author noting the naval arms race that is underway, particularly in the area of submarine acquisition. Cole is careful to couch this phenomenon in the regional concerns about Chinese naval expansion and the desire to ensure a continued, massive U.S. naval presence. The current naval developments in the region evince elements of a naval arms race, but lack the coherent maritime strategies to make naval developments dangerous to regional peace and security. Most telling will be whether United States power and focus remain on the region, while adjusting to continued Chinese maritime power in a way acceptable to both nations. No other current or recent work provides such a complete description of the Indo-Pacific region’s navies and maritime strategies, while analyzing the current and future impact of those forces.
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