Xi Likes Big Boats (Coming Soon to a Reef Near You)

War on the Rocks – When General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Tanmen village in April 2013, he famously urged China’s South China Sea fishers to “build big boats, charge forth on the deep sea, and catch big fish.” As recent scenes from Whitsun Reef reveal, however, very little “charging” is taking place, which means very few “big fish.” But, in one respect, Chinese fishers have clearly obeyed Xi’s command: They have built some very large boats.