China's waning interest in maritime activities, from the late 15th century on, ended when the People's Republic of China came to power in 1949. The new government, with few shipping and shipbuilding resources, took 12 years to initiate, in 1961, a maritime program for a national flag merchant marine. Within 26 years, in 1987, China ranked ninth in tonnage of ocean-going merchant ships and fourth in commercial shipbuilding among the world's maritime countries--a remarkable achievement unequaled by any other nation in peacetime. China's Rise to Commercial Maritime Power examines the forces that have brought China to her present competitive commercial maritime status as well as the forces that will enhance that position in the future. While not concerned with China's naval policy or shipping and shipbuilding history, the study focuses on recent maritime accords to advance China's interests and her current maritime policy. A little-known aspect of the policy is her flag of convenience fleet of almost four million tons operating world-wide by her wholly owned subsidiary shipping companies registered in Hong Kong, Panama, and Liberia. A major contribution to the study of China and her surge to world-class status in shipping and shipbuilding, this study, augmented throughout by numerous tables and a chart, will be of special interest to students and scholars of Chinese studies, economics, and economic history.