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July 25, 2018 : Lancaster Campus history professor's latest research focuses on the Chinese Navy

by Sarah Shy

McGreevyOhio University Lancaster History professor Andrew McGreevy recently published “Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course” in the Spring, 2018 issue of the Association of Asian Studies journal Education about Asia. His article has also been included on an online website featuring the Chinese Navy.


McGreevy chose this topic because he said that “China has become the world’s number one builder of commercial ships and the Chinese Navy (or People’s Liberation Army Navy) is rapidly expanding to challenge the United States Navy in the Western Pacific.” According to McGreevy, the growth of Chinese shipbuilding is regarded as the most rapid change of its kind in modern history. The Chinese Navy is now the largest in the world with about three-hundred ships.


“Fast changes in shipbuilding relate to Chinese, American, and world history. What China is doing has an impact on global economics and military tactics and strategy.” McGreevy said.


From McGreevy’s knowledge and perspective on the topic, he had this to say about what he expects to see in the future, “The Chinese Army is being modernized in an attempt to counter developments in the United States Army. For the Chinese Navy, fast growth in the number of ships is taking place and China has announced important changes in ideas about the seas, naval strategies and global destinations. China is placing a new emphasis upon the seas. We may see more challenges for the United States Navy in places like the South China Sea. We may see the Chinese Navy along the coast of the United States.”


McGreevy hopes that through his article, teachers of modern Asian and American history will sense the importance about these subjects pertaining to China. He mentioned that a lot of the world’s economy travels by sea on ships and much of the subjects of military matters are often in the news. The news is mostly focused on the South China Sea, but China is preparing to go beyond that area.


“High school, college students, and the general public need to know what is going on in the Western Pacific regarding the Chinese Navy. The United States Navy wants to stay ahead of the Chinese Navy—to stay ahead will require great amounts of money and that relates to taxes and the federal budget for the United States Navy. Keeping the USN modern requires constant improvement in the scientific education provided in America. These things are all related.” He said.


McGreevy’s interest in Asian related topics began when he was a college student at The Ohio State University in the 1960s. Because of all the problems related to communism, McGreevy decided to major in Russian and Soviet History. China followed Russia into communism and he said with the Vietnam War Era it was logical to study Asia.


“America’s involvement with Japan was always of great interest with World War II and the following decades. The Korean War of the early 1950s led us into the recent summit with North Korea. Since 1950 we have all been involved with the topic of the American connection with Asian economies.  So, in many ways, being a history major has connected me to many things with Asia.” He said.


In 2002, McGreevy retired from being the Director of Continuing Education at Ohio University Lancaster. In addition to being an administrator, he taught a history course with each term. Since then, he has enjoyed teaching History 2460: The Rise of Modern Asia. McGreevy said that because of his love of teaching, his whole career has been a highlight for him and that his almost thirty years of teaching have gone by fast. Even so, some of his greatest experiences have been from military service in the US Marine Corps.


“I will never forget two cruises on an aircraft carrier, the USS Boxer, which included going to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Involving the USN, I also had a thrilling cruise on a nuclear-powered submarine, the SSN Ray. I think that travel is an important part of education.  I have had opportunities to travel to Russia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Finland, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Ireland, England, and Cuba. All of these travels contributed to my background for teaching history.” Said McGreevy.


McGreevy said he loves introducing students to modern Asian history. He enjoys watching them become interested in the subject and gain an understanding of countries in East Asia. He has learned from and met many wonderful people in his teaching career at Ohio University Lancaster.


“I have met students who fought in the Vietnam War, students who served in our military in peace time in Asia, students who are Asian, students who have traveled to Asia, students who want to work in Asia and students who plan to visit Asia. When I taught through Online/Distance Education, I had students who were in China and Japan. I learn a lot from my students.” Said McGreevy.


For more information Dr. Andrew McGreevy can be contacted by email at