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China is in the process of becoming an Atlantic naval power, Ryan D Martinson argues. Since 2014, the activities of the Chinese navy in the South Atlantic have evolved from port visits and largely symbolic joint exercises to independent operations at sea. This helps the Chinese navy to gain familiarity with the operating environment, so that it can effectively respond when called on by civilian leaders to protect China’s growing interests in the region. China’s increased naval presence in the South Atlantic may also reflect a shift in Beijing’s strategy for countering perceived threats from the US military in the Western Pacific.
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