Publication:
The prospect of China's access to naval facilities in Burma and the ramifications for regional stability

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Authors
Chin, Victor A.
Subjects
Advisors
Malley, Michael
Miller, Alice L.
Date of Issue
2007-06
Date
Publisher
Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School
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Abstract
This thesis examines the prospect of the People's Liberation Army Navy to gain access to naval facilities in Burma and the implications for the Asia-Pacific region. With much of China's energy resources sailing through the Strait of Malacca, Burma is in a strategic position to affect China's energy security design. If China were given access to port facilities in Burma to service the expanding Chinese naval fleet, it would give PLAN the ability to control maritime trade routes as well as the ability to command strategic chokepoints along those routes jeopardizing the security interests of the maritime powers that depend on these waters. The increase in PLAN's capabilities could generate an uncertain climate and prompt a build up of rival naval powers in the region. This thesis will argue that although the PLA Navy will be able to ply China's extended sea lines of communication with the help of Burmese naval facilities, the Chinese naval vessels have not attained sufficient modernization to pose a major threat to the United States or the regional powers. It is also unlikely China would challenge the U.S., the current guarantor of freedom of navigation, for dominance of the sea. The danger will come from the regional instability caused by the naval arms race to counter the expanded capabilities of the PLA Navy.
Type
Thesis
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Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
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Format
xii, 83 p. : ill., col. maps ;
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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