CNA Conference

CNA Conference
China as a “Maritime Power"
July 28-29, 2015
Location: Arlington, VA

China is a major maritime as well as land country...It is an essential national development strategy to exploit, utilize and protect the seas and oceans, and build China into a maritime power. It is an important duty for the PLA to resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests.

This conference explored what China leadership means when it calls for China to become a “maritime power.” At both the 18th Communist Party Congress (CPC) in November 2012, the National People’s Congress (NPC) in March 2013, and most recently in the 2015 Defense White Paper cited above, China’s leadership made a point of calling for China to become a “maritime power.”

China's leadership does not claim that China is a maritime power today, but has established this as an important aspirational goal for the country. The conference addressed how China defines maritime power (comprehensively) and assessed the various facets of China’s current “maritime power.” The conference confirmed that China is already world-class status in some areas including its fishing fleet, merchant marine, and shipbuilding base. At issue was the situation in other facets of maritime power, such as the navy and coast guard, where China is improving its capability.

Finally, the conference explored the implications of China as a maritime power, as China itself defines it, for the United States, for Asia, and for the rest of the world. A final report of this project will be forthcoming.

Conference Papers:


Elizabeth Cutler
Communications Program Manager

Liza Cordeiro
Senior Advisor Marketing