China’s expansions towards the ‘distant horizons’

China is behaving like a country on the rise destined to be reckoned with

China is starting to take shape this century in a similar way the U.S. did last century. Like China now, America then was experiencing growth economically and found that it was outgrowing its older suits. It began expanding in many ways with its eyes set on distant horizons. Under President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. received international credibility and respect by creating a strong global presence through vast expansions of the navy. The U.S. was able to open up and secure trade to far reaches of the globe. Its presence in distant corners opened communications, established American influence, and protected the interest of an expanding and ambitious country. 

China, too, is following the almost exact path 100 yeas later. It is currently residing over an unbelievable expansion of naval development and might. The communist leadership is clearly flaunting ambitions as true global power and proving their regional military superiority. The expansion hasn’t gone unnoticed to leading nations in the world, but is especially worrisome to China’s neighbors, particularly Taiwan. China has long disputed territorial waters and has had several hostile disagreements over the Taiwan Straits. With an increasing naval armory and the ability to purchase billions of dollars in Russian weaponry, those disputes with other countries will likely turn into concessions and agreements. Furthermore, as China’s economy continues to grow and production at home increases so will its appetite for supply and distant resources.

They are clearly building up for the future much in the same way the U.S. did and essentially changed the existing geopolitics of the world. It gives concern just how much influence the U.S. will be able to have over the South China Sea and the Taiwan straits if China continues to expand with full intentions of blanketing the whole region with its influence. 

The Economist has a very good article called the, “Distant Horizons” in which it offers a good analysis of China’s designs on the world as it sits atop a growing country with a global vision. Here is an excerpt from the essay. 

Ten years ago, the PLAN’s 50th anniversary slipped by with little more than a few commemorative stamps and plenty of bunting. But the past decade has seen the fruits of a huge military modernisation and expansion programme, launched after tensions mounted in the Taiwan Strait in 1995 and 1996. This has included the purchase of billions of dollars worth of Russian naval hardware, and the deployment of homemade ships, submarines and missiles. The build-up has sent ripples of unease across China’s neighbourhood.

The deployment of two American aircraft-carriers near Taiwan during a crisis in relations in 1996 troubled China’s leaders. Its military build-up, including the naval expansion, seemed primarily aimed at deterring any future American intervention over Taiwan. In the past few years, cross-strait tensions have eased, most markedly since the election last year of a more China-friendly Taiwanese president, Ma Ying-jeou. But the huge increase in its demand for foreign oil and other resources means China is now thinking more about how to protect its more distant supply lines.

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About Jason Bradley

Is a former military member with experience in Iraq and time in Europe. He lives in the Washington DC area with his wife and two young children. His background is in national security and has remained in the field since separating from the military. He is a political science major with strong interests in American politics, history, economics, and foreign policy. This blog is a way to express his interests. He also contributes at -- Big Peace and Big Government. Email him at
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One Response to China’s expansions towards the ‘distant horizons’

  1. Yup.

    Obama is cutting our Navy from 11 carriers to 9, and reducing total ships to I think 250 from I think 313. He canceled further production of the F-22, all thinking that all future wars will be like Iraq and Afghanistan.

    As you correctly point out China is building ships like there’s no tomorrow. Their carriers will give them power projection capabilities. We need to continue beefing up our forces, not cut back

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