How might Chinese strategists synthesize Mahanian logic with the constraints imposed by China’s seaward geography as they craft maritime strategy? This is the central question of this chapter. Liu Huaqing imprinted several central tenets of Mahanian theory on Chinese maritime thought. Liu clearly agreed with Mahan that power projection, offensive power (as embedded in the offshore defense strategy), sea control, and the integration of peacetime and wartime operations are among the four key pillars of maritime power. At the same time, China’s unique littoral dilemma, as manifest in the ﬁrst island chain, demanded certain modiﬁcations to Mahan’s approach to sea power. China was neither at liberty to project naval power unimpeded, like President Theodore Roosevelt’s America, nor hopelessly hemmed in, like Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany. Thus, the nexus of sea-power theory and the geographic realities of the Asian littoral supply a basis to project how China might seek to exert command of the sea.