The naval arm of the People's Liberation Army, the military of the People's Republic of China. Until the early 1990's, the navy performed a subordinate role to the PLA land forces. The strategy of the PLAN was a combination of Maoist guerilla warfare and the Soviet young officers school.
In recent years, the PLAN has become more prominent oweing to a change in Chinese strategic priorities. The possibility of a massive land attack by the Soviet Union has receded, and the new strategic threats include conflict with the United States or a resurgent Japan in areas such as Taiwan or the Spratly Islands.