This research paper was sent by our reader Saadat Hassan Bilal, from Pakistan, through the interactive section "Publish your article". Introduction is presented below and full paper in a pdf file at the end of this page. Mr. Bilal authorised Watershed to publish his paper here.
China’s recent economic growth and growing diplomatic and military strength has called attention to the Power Transition Theory, which argues that the danger of a major war is the greatest when a rising dissatisfied challenger threatens to overtake a declining satisfied hegemonic power. This research paper critically examines the Chinese naval potential for becoming a challenger for US naval power. In this research paper, naval capability of China is taken as an independent variable (as a cause) and the dependent variable (as an effect) is China’s potential for becoming a great power while threatening to overtake US hegemony in world affairs. Based on the Power Transition Theory, this research paper evaluates and compares the naval capabilities of China and United States of America to find out the reality behind this impression that China is a rising great power and in future it will compete with the USA in every field of life.
This research would be qualitative and descriptive while some numerical tables would be collated and presented according to the requirement. This research paper would be based on the different primary and secondary sources to collect authentic information for an un-biased research. I would try my best to come up with an informative and interesting research finding, although, there would be some limitations of time and budget and also problems related to the access to right sources may affect this research. I would try my best to make this research useful and valuable for my readers and also the students of strategic studies. This research paper will limit itself to the Chinese naval capabilities and main focus would be on China only. However, the relevant material related to the United States of America would also be provided.
The Power Transition Theory was introduced in 1958 by A.F.K. Organski. Organski divides the world system’s state actors into essentially three levels of power: dominant, great and middle/small; and two attitudinal categories: satisfied and dissatisfied. This research paper addresses some of the key research questions on which the whole inquiry is based. Those questions are as follows: 1. What is Power Transition Theory and how does it fit into my research? 2. Why naval power is so important? 3. How does China interpret Mahan? 3. Does China have a striking/outstanding/mighty naval power? 4. Does or can China challenge USA in naval capability? Is it a myth or reality? 5. Is China aspiring for naval hegemony/superiority over the USA? 6. What is the future scenario for China to get the status of super power? 7. Where will China stand in 2030 in its naval capability?
The research paper is divided into four chapters. The first chapter briefly discusses the premise of the study and explains the rationale behind this research. The brief introductory and historical overview of China and the USA has been presented in this chapter as well. Moreover, this chapter addresses two key research questions that what is in fact the Power Transition Theory and what is its relevance to this research. Furthermore, it has been also discussed that why naval power is that much important that this research has been based on it.
The second chapter states the facts and figures about Chinese naval capability in detail and also the characteristics of naval power of the United States of America have been discussed in the said chapter. The characteristics and force posture of the People’s Liberation Army Navy and U.S. Navy have also been discussed. The Chinese and American naval strategies have also been discussed briefly in this chapter. Furthermore, the influence of Alfred Thayer Mahan, the twentieth century naval strategist of U.S. on Chinese maritime thinking has also been highlighted.
The third chapter presents the evaluation and comparison of Chinese and U.S. naval capabilities. This chapter inquires about Chinese ambitions for modernization of its naval forces and for getting hegemony over USA’s naval power and for increasing its influence at the global level through maritime projection. Moreover, to seek clarification of the study, couple of interviews taken from experts of Chinese affairs has been incorporated at the end of the chapter. Furthermore, two research questions have been addressed in this chapter that does China have a mighty naval power and does China really challenge USA in terms of naval capability.
The final chapter sums up the whole study and presents a future scenario for Chinese naval capability. Moreover, few observations and recommendations have been presented in the conclusion.
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