History of the modern Navy in China dates back to Tongzhi 5th year of the Qing Dynasty (1866A.D.), when Shen Bao-Zhen established an academy in Mawei, Fujian and started lecturing. That was 139 years from now.
At the beginning of navy establishment in Qing Dynasty, a number of naval academies and shipyards were established in Mawei, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Weihaiwei, Yantai and Tianjin during the Tongzhi and Guangxu years. However, these schools failed to have unified planning, nor was there any long-term objective, because of the restriction of objective condition and the subject of the officials in charge.
It was not until the inauguration of the Republic of China that Dr. Sun Yat-sen proposed the formation of the Navy and the summon of maritime sovereignty, as he saw the origin of China prolonged weakness in its undefended coast which was subject to frequent foreign aggression. Nonetheless, China at that time was still troubled by serious civil war, where warlords occupied their separate regimes. Hence, naval academies run independently and separately, with neither unified organization nor standardized education system. Although naval academies such as Mawei, Qingdao, Wangpu, Dianlei, etc. had developed into well-equipped institutions with greatly improved education quality and that nurtured a large number of naval talents by the time before Sino-Japanese war, they were running under completely different systems.
As the national capital moved to Chongqing at the outburst of the World War II, naval academies throughout China were moved as well. The Qingdao, Dianlei and Wangpu academies were once combined but then ordered to stop before long. The Mawei Navy, after several moves, was re-established in Chongqing, continuing to recruit new cadets in 1941 and insisting on educating naval officers in that difficult time. Upon victory of the War, the government decided to establish the Central Naval Training Center at Qingdao in the winter of 1945, responsible for training the soldiers, in view of the importance of coastal defense and the pressing need to establish a modern navy. On June 16, 1946, the Chinese Naval Academy was established in Gaochang Temple, Shanghai and recruited new cadets for 1950 Class, and President Chiang Kai-Shek became the first superintendent. The Academy was moved to Qingdao since April 1, 1947. President Chiang made his first visit to the school on October 17, 1947 to express his eager expectation and encouragement to the entire school. The date then became the Academy's anniversary date, as a sign of respect and memory to President Chiang.
Officer education is the foundation of the Navy. While consolidating the naval force and taking every step to rebuild the navy, the Academy made special reference to the officer education system of the navies of well-developed countries, but did not forget to consider China's unique situation. Then, a four-year general education system was established. New cadets are recruited throughout the country from different provinces, and hence the Navy's foundation for the next century took root deeply at this time. Unfortunately, while the Academy gradually developed and expanded its scale, the Communist war spread. In 1949, the government moved. The school firstly moved to Xiamen in April 1949, then to the present location at Tsoying in September. The Academy then began building up itself in the rough and tumble environment with new cadets of the 1953 Class reporting duty in November.
After the retreat to Taiwan, the Academy had not ceased its effort in educating naval officers under the leadership of various superintendents. Special effort has not only been put in building the school facilities, but also in enhancing curriculum design. The 4-year comprehensive curriculum has been approved by the Ministry of Education in 1954 for conferring the Bachelor of Science degree. Voyage training has been implemented since 1967, to consolidate knowledge and practice and to broaden cadets' vision. In addition, as the Academy technological and academic achievement has won international recognition; distant-friend class was set up in 1983 for training Saudi Arabian border army and the incubation and education of navy officers. As the idea of sexual equality arises, the Academy broke through the Navy tradition to begin recruiting female cadets since 1994. In order to facilitate the academic linkage with advanced general civilian universities so that cadets may continue further study and research, the Academy restructured the academic constitution and set up five academic departments under general education division, in the hope to attract quality young elite to join the Navy. On the other hand, graduates of the Academy have made outstanding achievement both inside and outside the Navy. This is the hard work of the entire officers and cadets at the Academy who work toward the common goal of Educating the first-rate talents; building up the first-rate navy. We look forward to a prospering Naval.