Asien — China’s National Defense in 2008

V. The Navy

The Navy is a strate­gic ser­vice of the PLA, and the main force for mar­itime oper­a­tions. It is respon­si­ble for such tasks as safe­guard­ing China’s mar­itime secu­ri­ty and main­tain­ing the sov­er­eign­ty of its ter­ri­to­r­i­al waters, along with its mar­itime rights and inter­ests. The Navy is main­ly com­posed of sub­ma­rine, sur­face ship, avi­a­tion, Marine Corps and coastal defense wings. 

His­to­ry of Devel­op­ment
The Navy was found­ed on April 23, 1949. From 1949 to 1955 it set up the sur­face ship force, coastal defense force, avi­a­tion, sub­ma­rine force and Marine Corps, and estab­lished the objec­tive of build­ing a light mar­itime com­bat force. From 1955 to 1960 it estab­lished the Dong­hai Fleet, Nan­hai Fleet and Bei­hai Fleet, suc­ces­sive­ly. From the 1950s to the end of the 1970s the main task of the Navy was to con­duct inshore defen­sive oper­a­tions. Since the 1980s, the Navy has real­ized a strate­gic trans­for­ma­tion to off­shore defen­sive oper­a­tions. Since the begin­ning of the new cen­tu­ry, in view of the char­ac­ter­is­tics and laws of local mar­itime wars in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion, the Navy has been striv­ing to improve in an all-round way its capa­bil­i­ties of inte­grat­ed off­shore oper­a­tions, strate­gic deter­rence and strate­gic coun­ter­at­tacks, and to grad­u­al­ly devel­op its capa­bil­i­ties of con­duct­ing coop­er­a­tion in dis­tant waters and coun­ter­ing non-tra­di­tion­al secu­ri­ty threats, so as to push for­ward the over­all trans­for­ma­tion of the ser­vice. Through near­ly six decades of devel­op­ment, a mod­ern force for mar­itime oper­a­tions has tak­en shape, con­sist­ing of com­bined arms with both nuclear and con­ven­tion­al means of operations. 

Struc­ture and Orga­ni­za­tion
In time of peace, the Navy adopts a lead­er­ship sys­tem which com­bines oper­a­tional com­mand with build­ing and admin­is­tra­tion, and which main­ly con­sists of the Navy Head­quar­ters, fleets, test bases, edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions, and an arma­ments acad­e­my. There are three fleets under the Navy, name­ly, the Bei­hai Fleet, Dong­hai Fleet and Nan­hai Fleet, which are head­quar­tered respec­tive­ly in Qing­dao of Shan­dong Province, Ning­bo of Zhe­jiang Province, and Zhan­jiang of Guang­dong Province. Each fleet has under its com­mand fleet avi­a­tion, sup­port bases, flotil­las, mar­itime gar­ri­son com­mands, avi­a­tion divi­sions and marine brigades. At present, the Navy has eight edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions, name­ly, the Naval Com­mand Col­lege, Naval Engi­neer­ing Uni­ver­si­ty, Naval Aero­nau­ti­cal Engi­neer­ing Col­lege, Dalian Naval Acad­e­my, Naval Sub­ma­rine Col­lege, Naval Arms Com­mand Col­lege, Naval Fly­ing Col­lege and Beng­bu Naval School for Non-com­mis­sioned Officers. 

The sub­ma­rine force is equipped with nuclear-pow­ered strate­gic mis­sile sub­marines, nuclear-pow­ered attack sub­marines and con­ven­tion­al sub­marines, all orga­nized into sub­ma­rine bases and sub­ma­rine flotil­las. The sur­face ship force main­ly con­sists of destroy­ers, frigates, mis­sile boats, mine sweep­ers, land­ing ships and ser­vice ships, and is orga­nized into flotil­las of destroy­ers, speed­boats, land­ing ships and com­bat sup­port ships, as well as mar­itime gar­ri­son com­mands. The avi­a­tion wing main­ly con­sists of fight­ers, fight­er-bombers, bombers, recon­nais­sance air­craft, patrol air­craft and heli­copters, all orga­nized into avi­a­tion divi­sions. The Marine Corps is orga­nized into marine brigades, and main­ly con­sists of marines, amphibi­ous armored troops, artillery troops, engi­neers and amphibi­ous recon­nais­sance troops. The coastal defense force is main­ly orga­nized into coastal mis­sile reg­i­ments and anti­air­craft artillery reg­i­ments, and main­ly con­sists of shore-to-ship mis­sile, anti­air­craft artillery and coastal artillery troops. 

Force Build­ing
In line with the require­ments of off­shore defense strat­e­gy, the Navy takes infor­ma­tion­iza­tion as the ori­en­ta­tion and strate­gic pri­or­i­ty of its mod­ern­iza­tion dri­ve, and is endeav­or­ing to build a strong navy. It deep­ens reforms and inno­va­tions in train­ing pro­grams and meth­ods, high­lights train­ing in mar­itime inte­grat­ed joint oper­a­tions, and enhances inte­grat­ed com­bat capa­bil­i­ty in con­duct­ing off­shore cam­paigns and the capa­bil­i­ty of nuclear coun­ter­at­tacks. It orga­nizes in a sci­en­tif­ic way oper­a­tional train­ing, tac­ti­cal train­ing, spe­cial­ized skill train­ing and com­mon sub­ject train­ing, focus­es on the inte­grat­ed train­ing of joint oper­a­tions ele­ments in con­di­tions of infor­ma­tion­iza­tion and explores meth­ods of train­ing in com­plex elec­tro­mag­net­ic envi­ron­ments. It also attach­es impor­tance to MOOTW, train­ing and active­ly par­tic­i­pates in bilat­er­al and mul­ti­lat­er­al joint train­ing exercises. 

Upgrad­ing weapon­ry and equip­ment, and opti­miz­ing the weapon­ry and equip­ment sys­tem. Efforts are being made to build new types of sub­marines, destroy­ers, frigates and air­craft, form­ing a pre­lim­i­nary weapon­ry and equip­ment sys­tem with sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion equip­ment as the core and the third gen­er­a­tion as the back­bone. The sub­ma­rine force pos­sess­es under­wa­ter anti-ship, anti-sub­ma­rine and mine-lay­ing capa­bil­i­ties, as well as some nuclear coun­ter­at­tack capa­bil­i­ties. The sur­face ship force has devel­oped a sur­face strik­ing force rep­re­sent­ed by new types of mis­sile destroy­ers and frigates, and pos­sess­es mar­itime recon­nais­sance, anti-ship, anti-sub­ma­rine, air-defense, mine-lay­ing and oth­er oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ties. The avi­a­tion wing has devel­oped an air strik­ing force rep­re­sent­ed by sea-attack air­craft, and pos­sess­es recon­nais­sance, anti-ship, anti-sub­ma­rine and air-defense oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ties. The Marine Corps has devel­oped an amphibi­ous oper­a­tional force rep­re­sent­ed by amphibi­ous armored vehi­cles, and pos­sess­es amphibi­ous oper­a­tional capa­bil­i­ties. The coastal defense force is rep­re­sent­ed by new types of shore-to-ship mis­siles and pos­sess­es high coastal defense oper­a­tions capability. 

Opti­miz­ing the logis­ti­cal sup­port sys­tem, and improv­ing mar­itime inte­grat­ed sup­port capa­bil­i­ties. Aim­ing at enhanc­ing its inte­grat­ed logis­ti­cal sup­port capa­bil­i­ties, the Navy has pre­lim­i­nar­i­ly built a logis­ti­cal sup­port sys­tem with shore-based logis­ti­cal sup­port as the foun­da­tion and sea-based logis­ti­cal sup­port as the main­stay, and mesh­es the two into an inte­grat­ed whole. It has stepped up the build­ing of ship bases, berthing areas, sup­ply points, docks and air­fields. As a result, a shore-based sup­port sys­tem is basi­cal­ly in place, which is coor­di­nat­ed with the devel­op­ment of weapon­ry and equip­ment, and suit­ed to wartime sup­port tasks. The Navy has grad­u­al­ly deployed new types of large inte­grat­ed sup­ply ships, med­ical ships and ambu­lance heli­copters, and suc­ceed­ed in devel­op­ing many types of mar­itime sup­port equip­ment and a num­ber of key tech­nolo­gies, lead­ing to sig­nif­i­cant progress in the mod­ern­iza­tion of the mar­itime sup­port force. 

Enhanc­ing the capa­bil­i­ties and qual­i­ty of naval offi­cers and men, and train­ing qual­i­fied mil­i­tary per­son­nel. The Navy has adopt­ed a per­son­nel train­ing mod­el in which com­mand­ing offi­cer can­di­dates receive inte­grat­ed edu­ca­tion for aca­d­e­m­ic cre­den­tials and sep­a­rate pre-assign­ment edu­ca­tion, and is mak­ing efforts to improve the pre-assign­ment train­ing sys­tem for offi­cers. The per­son­nel train­ing of the Navy high­lights the unique­ness of the ser­vice, and stress­es the cul­ti­va­tion of prac­ti­cal capa­bil­i­ties. To raise offi­cers’ com­pe­tence for han­dling their assign­ments, the Navy is striv­ing to improve the per­son­nel train­ing pro­grams of its edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions and imple­ment assign­ment-ori­ent­ed cur­ric­u­la. It is also endeav­or­ing to expand the scale of train­ing for NCOs and fos­ter inter­me­di­ate and senior NCOs qual­i­fied for tech­ni­cal­ly com­plex posts. 

Infor­ma­tion Office of the State Coun­cil of the People’s Repub­lic of China 

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