The 500 warships will include aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, amphibious ships and a burgeoning frigate and destroyer force.
Just in the past three weeks a new destroyer and new corvette have been launched and discussion over new carrier-based aircraft has been increasing. The growth in the PLA(N) force structure has been rapid: indeed it is hard to recall growth at a similar pace in any navy across history.
China's official defense spending is expected to be $233 billion in 2020, up from $123 billion in 2010, according to a new report by IHS Jane's.
Against this, the US Navy – still the world's most powerful naval force – has an aspiration of returning to a force design of around 350 units.
Simultaneous development of floating nuclear power stations, permanent military bases in the South China Sea and the full deployment of the BeiDou satellite navigation system are starting to provide Beijing with a competitive edge in the China Seas.