Exploiting command of the sea
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Exploiting command of the sea book
The reward for having command, or control, of the sea is the capacity to use it for the strategic purposes and to deny its use to any adversary. The requirement always to think about seapower 'in the round' is nowhere more obvious than when applied to the control of sea communications. President Hu Jintao in the 1990s drew attention to what he termed 'the Malacca dilemma', in which at least 40 per cent of China's general trade came by sea through routes that could readily be controlled by possible adversaries. In 2015, the prestigious 'Blue Book' argued that China needed to investigate proactive ways to 'hedge against the risks of other states threatening China with sea-lane security'. The massive revenues Portugal picked up from its control of sea communications allowed it to invest in a strong navy, to control the Indian Ocean choke-points and to establish strong garrisons in such key places as Goa.