In a move that would make fabled Chinese explorer Zheng He proud, the Chinese navy has ventured into the Indian Ocean for exercises, passing through Indonesia on the way.
This is an approximate map of the path taken by People’s Liberation Navy ships Changbaishan, Wuhan and Haikou taken in late January 2014. The landmass at the bottom right is Australia.
The path is based on information from the Associated Press and the Australia-based thinktank, the Lowy Interpreter.
Any fear in the wake of this unannounced visit to the neighborhood will certainly build the case for a more capable Australian submarine fleet. US foreign policy realist John Mearsheimer laid out this scenario in 2010 in an article for the UK Spectator.