China has been rapidly accumulating naval capabilities for nearly 4 decades with the ambition of pursuing blue-water-navy forces through its People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). With its peaceful development policy, the acquisition of such powers has been interpreted as an anomaly and therefore resulted in an increase of security dilemmas between states. In the quest for explanations behind China’s actions, multiple scholars have examined this phenomenon by utilizing offensive realism, defensive realism, and Tirpitzian non-hegemonic naval theory. Thus, this paper brings another perspective by applying the Mahanian Sea Power approach. Consequently, the analysis established that China’s pursuit of blue-water-navy is driven by its interest in economic supremacy. In addition, the intention is also influenced by its wide coastline, large population, competitive nationals, and independent decisive government. The paper concludes that a blue-water-navy is a necessity for China in order to access markets, secure territorial interests, and obtain command of the sea for economic purposes.

Bahasa Abstract

Republik Rakyat Tiongkok telah mengembangkan kapabilitas maritim melalui angkatan lautnya (PLAN) selama hampir 4 dekade terakhir dengan ambisi akuisisi angkatan laut perairan biru. Namun bersamaan dengan kebijakan pembangunan damai, upaya tersebut dinilai sebagai anomali yang kemudian menciptakan dilema keamanan dalam struktur regional dan internasional. Dengan mempertanyakan maksud di balik tindak tanduk Tiongkok, sejumlah akademisi telah berusaha mengintepretasinya melalui teori – teori seperti realisme ofensif dan defensif, serta teori Tirpitzian. Dengan demikian, makalah ini hadir dengan teori Sea Power Mahan sebagai perspektif baru untuk menjawab pertanyaan akan mengapa Tiongkok mengupayakan akumulasi angkatan laut perairan biru di balik kebijakan pembangunan damainya. Melalui teori tersebut, makalah ini berargumen bahwa akumulasi angkatan laut perairan biru oleh Tiongkok didorong oleh kepentingan untuk supremasi ekonomi. Terlebih lagi, tindakannya juga dipengaruhi oleh luas garis pantainya, populasinya yang besar, kepemilikan masyarakat dengan ketertarikan tinggi pada aktivitas maritim, dan pemimpin yang independen. Makalah ini kemudian menyimpulkan bahwa akumulasi angkatan laut perairan biru dibutuhkan Tiongkok untuk memperluas akses pasar, mengamankan kepentingan klaim wilayah, dan menciptakan supremasi ekonomi.




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