As Beijing ramps up military activities around Taiwan, the steady growth and modernization of China’s naval fleet is fueling concerns about how Beijing could use what is already the world’s largest navy in a move against the self-ruled island.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy could not only play a crucial role in blockading and attacking the island, but also in attempting to deter and deny a potential intervention by the United States and its allies during such a campaign — a concept known in military parlance as "anti-access/area denial.”

Crucial to this is not only the increasing capabilities of Chinese warships and associated systems, but also the impressive rate at which they are being constructed.