China's shipping dominance a security threat to the US

Control of the seas relies not just on naval firepower but also commercial shipping

China, including Hong Kong, owns more commercial vessels than any other country. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Soon after President Xi Jinping of China took power, he instructed top Communist Party leaders in a 2013 speech to turn the country into a "maritime superpower".

China already has the world's largest navy, though its ability to contend with United States naval forces remains in doubt. But leaders in Beijing have realised that maritime strength is not measured solely in firepower.

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