The current four overseas interests for China:
With the continuous expansion of China's overseas business, the governments are more accountable for protecting the overseas interests. There are four responsibilities: the protection of the people and fortunes overseas; the guarantee of smooth trading; the prevention of the overseas intervention which harms the unity of the country and the defense against foreign invasion. The purpose of the tasks is to deter the threats posed on our legal interests.
To guarantee the abovementioned interests, we need to enhance the power in safeguarding our overseas interests. And the power should be comprehensive enough to demonstrate our political, economic and military forces. As for the military aspect, we should be able to conduct the retaliatory attack within the country or at the neighboring area of our potential enemies. We should also be able to put pressure on the potential enemies' overseas interests. With further development, China will be in great demand of the military protection.
Obviously, navy is crucial in safeguarding the security of the country. When our country's core interests are harmed, the navy is responsible to conduct retaliatory attack including blocking the enemy's sea traffic.
When the public discusses overseas military bases, they refer to the supply base for the navy escorting the ships cruising in the Gulf of Aden and Somali. The discussion shows people's enthusiasm in defending the interests of the country. Yet their worries are not the most important reasons for the setup of an overseas military base.
It is true that we are facing the threat posed by terrorism, but different from America, it is not a critical issue. The real threat to us is not posed by the pirates but by the countries which block our trade route.
The threats also include secessionism outside the Chinese mainland. The situation requires us be able to hit the vulnerable points of our potential opponents by restricting their international waterway. So we need to set up our own blue-water navy and to rely on the overseas military bases to cut the supply costs.