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China's Way of Naval War: Mahan's Logic, Mao's Grammar

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This article posits that Alfred Thayer Mahan supplies the “logic” of Chinese maritime strategy, urging Beijing to amass commercial and naval fleets, international commerce, and forward naval stations—the trappings of sea power. Mao Zedong provides the “grammar” by which the People's Liberation Army will prosecute naval operations offshore. The article ranks Wayne Hughes's three generic models of fleet tactics according to Chinese strategic preferences, concluding that Chinese commanders incline to dispersed attack, sequential attack, and massed attack, in that order. By acquainting themselves with Chinese preferences, U.S. naval commanders can glimpse how this prospective naval adversary will wage war.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Naval War College, Newport, RI, United States

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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