There are areas such as munitions, where effectiveness of a navy relative to others can be improved by the use of
weapons which reduce the effectiveness of one’s opponents. Such weapons are the Dong Feng 21D anti-carrier missile,
and the EM52 rocket propelled mine.
Structurally, it can be argued that they are weakened by a
complex command structure which has both executive and political (commissars) chains of command. These forms of
organisation have been tested in various wars – for example by the former Soviet Union, North Vietnam and China
itself in the Korean War. Some commentators would claim that lower effectiveness is compensated for with greater
numbers of personnel and subjugation of the individual to the state.
The PLAN is divided into three fleets: the North Sea
Fleet (HQ Quindao) with six major bases, the East Sea Fleet (HQ Ningbo) with five major bases, and the South Sea
Fleet (Zhanjiang) with five major bases. There are at least as many minor bases as major bases. This is a large
number of bases for a coast line which is 8,000 miles in extent, as compared with the US coastline which is over
12,000 miles long.