Many have coined the 21st century as the century of the Pacific or a century in which events in and along the Pacific Ocean will shape world affairs. Furthering this idea, the Department of Defense announced that by 2020 60 percent of the U.S. Navy will be positioned in the Pacific Command’s area of responsibility. Simultaneously, the naval modernization efforts of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its increasingly aggressive approach to maritime territorial disputes draw concern from the United States.
China's Naval Rise, France's Naval Genius
When seeking historical precedents for the growing Chinese fleet, analysts shouldn’t just look through a Mahan-Corbett prism; the French navy of the Third Republic offers striking parallels to today’s Western Pacific dynamics.
By Ellery Terpening