Amphibious Warfare: The Key to China's Overseas Military Ambitions

Jul 26, 2019 | 09:30 GMT

This image shows the Chinese naval ship Changbai Shan, an amphibious transport dock

The Chinese navy's amphibious transport dock Changbai Shan

(VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock)


  • Amphibious warfare is a key element of China's warfighting strategy, figuring prominently its military's readiness for expeditionary warfare to safeguard Chinese interests in the South China Sea and the invasion of Taiwan.
  • China's new Type 075 amphibious ships mark a new chapter in the continued improvement of its military sealift capability. 
  • Progress, however, remains uneven, with obstacles to the overall development of China's amphibious capabilities remaining.

China did not rule out the use of force against Taiwanese "separatists" in a defense white paper released July 24, making the state of its amphibious assault capabilities -- which it would rely on in any effort to forcibly reunify the island with the mainland -- once again of wide interest. In the past few months, numerous images have surfaced showcasing significant progress in the construction of China's first landing helicopter dock vessel, the Type 075, the first of which is expected to be launched later this year. This is just the latest development in the continued upgrade of China's amphibious capabilities, though China has by no means conquered all of the issues that would limit its ability to carry out a successful amphibious invasion....

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