Currently, nine countries have overseas bases (by their number, the U.S., the UK, France, India, Italy, Russia, Germany and Japan). China has learned from history that the "insufficiency of military power projection capability" (军事投送能力不足) results in the incapacity to protect overseas citizens and interests. This explains in the view of the authors why military power is important to protect Chinese interests along the maritime trade routes to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden. Since the 2016 reform, the Central Military Commission has established an "office for overseas operations" (海外行动处) which provides guidance and coordination and plays an important role in the development of overseas bases.
The authors argue that China’s ports/bases strategy needs to progress on the basis of the "cultivation of the military by the civilian" (以民养军). On a strategic level, China must never depart from the political priority attached to bases, which is not military domination but protection of trade interests.
During the phase of expansion, China needs to "reduce the sensitivity" (減少敏感度) of its actions, and "stop before going too far" (适可而止) to avoid the "tragedy of great powers" (大国悲剧). In other words, the construction of bases needs to be linked to the exercise of international responsibilities. But beyond such operations, China has no choice since it faces international pressures constraining its rise, "bases are a necessity", and developing the capacity to exercise "sea control" (制海权) in the Western Pacific is essential to the growth of the country’s interests.
In conclusion, it appears that the Chinese strategic community is already thinking in tactical terms with regard to the future bases to protect the country’s overseas interests. Djibouti provides a lesson: future bases will have to be justified in terms of the international responsibilities that they help China shoulder. No author advocates building bases to compete with the United States militarily and one author even warns against the risk of overstretch. At the same time, strategic competition with the U.S. is the central element of China’s military thinking. In sum, extra attention will be paid to avoid projecting the image of confrontation with the United States when making decisions on the location of China’s future bases.
 Xue Guifang, Zheng Hao,"Risk management and realistic needs for China’s construction of overseas bases in the 21st Century" (中国21世纪海外基地建设的现实需求与风险应对), Guoji Zhanwang, no. 4, 2017, pp. 104-121.
 Wang Tianze, Qi Wenzhe, Hai Jun, "An Exploration Into Logistical Support of Transportation and Projection for Military Bases Abroad" (海外军事基地运输投送保障探讨), Guofang Jiaotong Gongcheng yu Jishu (Defense Transportation Engineering and Techniques), no. 1, 2018, pp. 32-36.
 Liu Dalei, Hu Yongmin, Zhang Hao, "Equipment Support in Overseas Military Actions" (我军海外军事行动装备保障问题研究), Junshi Jiaotong Xueyuan Xuebao – Journal of Military Transportation Academy, vol. 19, no. 9, September 2017.
 Li Qingsi, Chen Chunyu, "Analysis of Chinese Overseas Port String Bases Strategy" (试析中国的海外港链基地战略), Quyu yu Quanqiu Fazhan – Regional and Global Development, no. 2, 2019, pp. 123-137.