Xiaobing Li traces the evolution of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) by examining its adaptation, modernization, and setbacks in the past sixty years. Based on newly available Chinese sources and personal interviews with retired generals, admirals, and PLA officers, the work offers a rich Chinese perspective on PLAN warfighting history. The untold operational stories of the Chinese captains, boatswains, sailors, gunners, and naval pilots provide a firsthand look at a naval officer and his crew during the Cold War and beyond. Li’s focus on major battles and important engagements during Chinese naval operations from 1949 to 2009 captures important lessons learned by naval leaders and government officials who faced their opponents at a time when the PLAN underwent a complex transformation—one that has only accelerated in recent years. China’s New Navy concludes that some early experiences are still relevant to Beijing’s leaders as they consider specific strategic and operational challenges in today’s volatile world. Li redefines and adapts such strategic Cold War concepts as nuclear deterrence and local warfare to be meaningful in today’s strategic context, one in which PLAN is ready to open fire first in a defensive offense against other sea powers like the U.S. Navy.