Navigating Rough Waters
Updated 09:49, 25-Apr-2019
Han Bin, Huang Xiaodong
05:19

For 10 days, CGTN has been presenting the special series “Red Star, Blue Water.” It covers the Chinese navy's strategy, direction and impact, as it marks its 70th anniversary.

We've had exclusive access to all three fleets, and interviewed those who have participated in the big parade. We have been following the training programs and seen the fundamental change the Navy is undergoing. While it's not quite there yet, the Navy is speeding up its modernization, and the impact on the country and global security will no doubt be closely watched.

CGTN reporter Han Bin on the Changchun destroyer /CGTN Photo

CGTN reporter Han Bin on the Changchun destroyer /CGTN Photo

Sailing into the future 

Changing strategy requires a transformation. Speeding up training for carrier pilots, live-fire drills, a new direction for the marine corps, the stealth fighter of the sea, the emphasis on its own air force, the next generation is taking the plunge, knowing someone has their back. 

China's navy is building a comprehensive force, shifting from coastal defense to greater responsibilities in open waters. It's a navy for the 21st century and the new generation serving it. It's becoming more transparent. But technology often moves faster than the ability to use it. The younger generation may be the one who understands it best, but the older generation is changing, too.

A replenishment training during a flotilla maneuver on the East China Sea. /CGTN Photo

A replenishment training during a flotilla maneuver on the East China Sea. /CGTN Photo

The waters can be rough 

The challenge in becoming combat-ready without combat experience. And rapid growth requires stronger support. The Navy wants more women, but society's attitudes need to catch up. Transformation doesn't happen overnight and true success will be measured when the overall capabilities are tested.

There's no single or simple answer for the future. The PLA Navy, for the nation's defense, will step up blue-water training and equipment upgrades. Its modernization process will grow, as reforms enter the next phase.

(Special thanks to the PLA Navy on the occasion of its 70th anniversary.)