Academic journal article Review of Management

Dragon, the Sea and the Narrative: Chinese Sovereignty and Leadership for Perpetual Supremacy

Academic journal article Review of Management

Dragon, the Sea and the Narrative: Chinese Sovereignty and Leadership for Perpetual Supremacy

Article excerpt

Introduction

China's dream to see itself as a maritime superpower have resulted into associated and concentrated actions, views conflicting rather than coordinated, escalation of threats, emancipations among nations in the maritime conflict and designing novel diplomacy. The explorations and expansionist methods used by China in the recent times echo an important reflection that those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part. The passion to control the sea is not a new one among the Chinese which traces back to the Yi peoples (Neolithic tribes) considered the first migrants, the first boat people and is showcased with zeal by "Big Daddy Xi" - Xi Xinping (Philips, 2014) a populist leader whose corresponding naval interest is making other states lose sleep over it. Sea control and supremacy has in effect been the code to obtain the superpower status pursued by the Romans, British, French, Americans, Russians and Chinese.

What essentially the question remains is how the rise of China as naval power in the Ming dynasty from sudden withdrawal have made a shift from decreased to expanded capacities in sea leading to maritime rivalry? Is China's continued sea-faring activities historically rooted to the fear held by powerful nations of sudden collapse when unable to build capacities to protect themselves from aggressors? The idea is to explore the implications of the continuous aggressive attacks by foreign capitalist on the borders of China to divide China into "spheres of influence" and the assertion of China in a multi-polar world to carry its own "sphere of influence" in the seas. Often sea politics and maritime supremacy is connected to power seeking nature of the leader? The paper explores the transition from China's passionate seafaring nature, to concentrated claims over South China Sea which after 2009 has become a subject of conflict in claims over South China Sea. The key is to examine the rise of Chinese power in Asia and the threats faced by other powers holding similar aspirations but unable to make an impact.

Sea Farers and Maritime Control

Travel, traffic and carriage have been easier by sea than by road and those whose ships have the greatest speed have the weather - gage (Mahan 1890). History is proof to great powers like the Romans, English, French and Americans need to explore, control and dictate terms in the sea, to remain unchallenged and display great naval power as a sign of incontestable leadership. The Roman Empire with an amazing sea fleet displayed preponderance at sea and controlled almost the basin between Italy, Sicily, Macedonia and Spain once, but after several wars Rome was exhausted and Rome too did not emerge as an undisputed master of the sea. The British Royal Navy under Elizabeth I developed into a stunner performer and dominated the seas until the 20th century engaging the French and other European powers and remained a dominant maritime power for long but had to hand over the ranks to United States of America, Russia and China. The existing stock of warships and the power of the Royal Navy are today no match or incompetent to meet the 21st century challenges. James Cook an 18th century navigator famous for mapping the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia; Charles Clerke, another Royal Navy Officer who conducted three voyages; Edward Riou who left huge impact during French Revolutionary Wars are some remarkable seafarers and navigators of the Royal Navy of Great Briatin. In an article titled 'Can The U.S. Can Learn From The Death Of The Royal Navy?, the poor state of Royal Navy is described as left with no influence and without the basics resulting to the downfall and weakening of once a supreme power at the seas. After plummeting to a low, the Royal Navy is once again trying to revive itself by producing more destroyers, newer submarines, new astute-class attack submarines, frigates, bigger and better warships, heavy ton carriers which can accommodate approx 50 or more aircraft. …

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