The release earlier this month of an official Chinese government report showing that the threats that country faces come mostly from the sea serves to underscore the importance of safeguarding national security through effective maritime security—including state-of-the-art counter-piracy efforts.
As Xinhua noted, in "China's Ocean Development Report (2013)" distributed by the China Institute for Marine Affairs under the State Oceanic Administration, the Asian giant’s determination to “strengthen its capability to handle international maritime affairs over the next 20 years” remains—according to the report—based on maritime security policies that have not changed fundamentally.
Which, in my opinion, is where counter-piracy operations come in as part of considerations regarding the second-largest global economy’s high-seas voyage into the future. As an oil production boom in the United States causes exporters who provided for American markets to seek other clients—especially prized relations in an energy-thirsty China—the world oil tanker trade is itself expanding at its quickest rate in the past decade.
The oil being shipped requires tankers to trek significantly longer routes, while adding to the number and location of shipping choke points, as well as challenges such as growing vulnerabilities to piracy.