|Part of GOA PLAN anti-piracy drill in 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]|
*** China’s process of gaining Far Seas experience is not simply one of increasing operational naval capabilities—it is far broader. Antipiracy operations conveniently enable China both to respond to internal and external pressures to act on the international stage and to raise significantly the overall ability of its increasingly powerful navy. The Gulf of Aden has challenged Beijing to adjudicate among multifarious, often contradictory, domestic and international forces. As the first major window into China’s Far Seas operations and its approach thereto, it foreshadows how Beijing will take its place in the world as its interests expand and its actions impact others more strongly.