Winner International Navies Essay Contest
As Commander of the Chinese Navy from 1982-88, Liu Huaqing direction his service away from coastal defense and toward a blue-water capability. Now one of China’s top military and political leaders, he is well placed to promote the Navy's interests in China’s defense modernization and policy process.
Two watershed events have been crucial to the current efforts of the Chinese to build a modern navy capable of blue-water operations. The first and most obvious is the Gulf War. The success of U.S.-led Coalition forces—through the use of precision munitions, advanced command, control, communications, and intelligence (C3I) systems, overwhelming air superiority, and outstanding aircraft and sealift—made an indelible impression on the leadership of China’s armed forces. Less well-known, but more significant in the long-run, was the August 1982 appointment of Admiral Liu Huaqing as Commander of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy.