May 22, 2019
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Unrealistic claim
Emerging maritime challenges in the region: A Japanese perspective In April 2010, Chinese Rear Admiral Zhang Huachen, then-deputy commander of the East Sea Fleet of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), declared: “We are going from coastal defence to far sea defence. With the expansion of the country’s naval strategy of the country’s economic interests, the navy wants to better protect the country’s transportation routes and the safety of our major seal lane.” This statement symbolized China’s departure from Deng Xiaoping’s dictum “Hide brightness, cherish obscurity” in its maritime strategy. This statement also confirmed China’s strategy to control the First and Second Island Chains, an intention first made public in 1982 by Admiral Liu Huaqing, the former PLAN commander and the mastermind of China’s naval strategy. In his 2004 book, Liu identified the first island chain would run from Japan to Taiwan to the Philippines, and the second from Tokyo to Ogasawara, Marshal Islands, Guam, and Indonesia. Other books, following this, explained that China envisioned to expand its naval capacity to cover the first island chain by 2010, the second chain by 2020, and finally to become a global force by 2050. An American expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Elizabeth Economy, labeled China as “the Game Changer” which seeks to alter the status quo of the Western Pacific
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