Tensions between China and Japan over disputed maritime boundaries in the East China Sea have dramatically escalated in the past decade. This thesis examines how disputed delimitation in the East China Sea has impacted the development, interests, and policies of China s People s Liberation Army Navy. The key questions addressed in this paper are; how is China s interpretation of delimitation in the East China Sea unique? Why is maritime delimitation, particularly in the East China Sea, so important to the PLA Navy? And what policies is the PLA Navy promoting in support of China s East China Sea maritime delimitation claims and why? In brief, this paper will demonstrate and conclude that China has made a unique and controversially large maritime territory claim, based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea s 76th article on natural prolongation of a nation s maritime shelf. The PLA Navy views maintaining and securing China s delimitated maritime territory as crucial to securing undersea natural resources and vital shipping lanes, thus securing China s economic power. The PLA Navy understands that a strong, blue-water navy is critical to a country s economic success and subsequent presence as an international political power. The key policies being promoted by the navy are the assertion and defense of maritime boundaries, especially rights to offshore resources with China s EEZ; securing sea lanes and freedom of navigation at sea; and being a presence in sovereignty disputes over offshore islands as well as Taiwan. All of these issues are critical to the PLA Navy s goals of preserving China s economic and political power.