The Imperial Chinese Navy was once one of the strongest navies in the world, and some of the most important maritime innovations originated in China. But few people are aware of China’s naval history. Why? It was intentionally hidden. Find out who concealed it, and why it was hidden at Strength and Paranoia: What Happened to the Imperial Chinese Navy?

On February 11 at 4:00 pm, our programs supervisor Dennis Chen will reveal the fascinating history of the Imperial Chinese Navy during this virtual presentation. Dennis will discuss the maritime inventions pioneered in China and how they came to give the Chinese navy strength. He’ll also cover the decline of China’s naval force.

The story of the demise of the Imperial Chinese Navy could be the plot of a mystery or adventure novel. This epic tale covers the rise and fall of empires and even features a court eunuch who became an admiral. This history of mythic proportions culminated in the dramatic defeat of China at the hands of European powers during the Opium Wars of the 1800s.

Dennis will also examine where the Chinese navy is today and where it might be headed in the future. This presentation will include images and video excerpts and an opportunity for audience questions.

Dennis Chen has been the programs supervisor and volunteer coordinator at the Vancouver Maritime Museum since 2017. At the VMM Dennis develops and presents education programs. Chen is also a member of the Department of Asian Studies Faculty at Alexander College where he teaches courses on China. He has been involved in a variety of nautical publications on the Ming Dynasty Voyages and the Byzantine Navy.

Strength and Paranoia: What Happened to the Imperial Chinese Navy? Is $5 and free for members.