Check out China Defense Blog's interesting analysis of the PLAN's evacuation of thousands of Chinese nationals from Libya over the last week. They take a look at the argument that the deployment of a 054A class Frigate to assist in the evacuation was China's way of saying don't mess with our citizens because we can now project power around the globe and ask if it really was gunboat diplomacy, as some have suggested.
It's definitely worth a read on a Sunday afternoon:
China’s ongoing evacuation of its citizens from a chaotic Libya is starting to draw close scrutiny from pundits, due to the PLAN’s use of a 054A class Frigate (Xuzhou, FFG-530) amongst other civilian means of evacuation. Unsurprisingly, we can leave it to some media outlets to exaggerate this action into nothing less than old school imperialist “gunboat diplomacy”.It goes on to say:
Instead of “praising” China’s “new-found assertiveness”, perhaps the authors should have asked why was the PLAN able to sail into Libya with impunity? And why neither the rebels nor the Libyan government questioned whether China has ulterior motives other than ferrying its citizens away from the cross-fire? The correct answer is NOT China’s determined “show of force” or “power projection”, but its record of restrained and infrequent use of force, coupled with its consistent policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.It's pretty interesting, what do you think?
Click here for the rest of the article.