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Andrew S. Erickson China's rapid development is reshaping the world in all dimensions. Chinese language open sources offer insights into these critical trends. While such materials are increasing constantly in number, diversity, and sophistication, only a fraction is available in English. The analyses available here, many based on sources not previously considered outside China, are designed to help bridge that gap--and thereby increase understanding of the most dynamic great power in the international system today.

05 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

China’s Main Mission: South China Sea, Not Syria

Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s Main Mission: South China Sea, Not Syria,” The National Interest, 5 October 2015.
Don’t assume that an increasingly capable China is poised to conduct American-style naval air operations over Syria just yet…
With major real news and hype over the past few days about Chinese deck aviation development, it’s time to separate fact […]

03 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at Naval War College Seeks Top-Caliber Scholar for Highly-Desirable Professorship

Here’s a great opportunity to join a world-class research community where scholarship and policy come together daily in a prime seaside location. The oldest continuing institution of its kind in the world, and the U.S. Navy’s “Home of Thought,” the Naval War College educates and develops leaders, helps define the future Navy and associated roles […]

02 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Important Article from Foreign Policy: “In South China Sea, a Tougher U.S. Stance”

Be sure to go to the Foreign Policy website and read the entire text!
Dan De Luce and Paul Mcleary, “In South China Sea, a Tougher U.S. Stance,” Foreign Policy, 2 October 2015.
Rejecting China’s “Great Wall of Sand,” the U.S. Navy will patrol near man-made islands constructed by Beijing.
The United States is poised to send naval ships […]

01 October 2015 ~ 0 Comments

China’s First Domestic Aircraft Carrier Almost Certainly Under Construction

Quack, Quack, Quack! Looks like CV001A’s taking shape in Dalian!
Sam LaGrone, “China’s First Domestic Aircraft Carrier Almost Certainly Under Construction,” USNI News, 30 September 2015.
China has quietly begun construction on its first domestic aircraft carrier in the same northern Chinese shipyard that refurbished the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s current Soviet-era carrier, USNI News has learned.
Several […]

30 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

“Observations on PLA Studies”—Great New Addition to Series on China Military Methodology by Peter Mattis

Peter Mattis, “Observations on PLA Studies,” China Policy Institute Blog, University of Nottingham, 30 September 2015.
As China’s military modernization accelerated throughout the 1990s and 2000s, an outpouring of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) publications threatened to drown specialists in data. These sources, many of them available on the internet, have been a boon for analysts, providing […]

28 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

New Congressional Research Service Report—“The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress”

Ian E. Rinehart and David Gitter, The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress R44196 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 18 September 2015).
China is building a modern and regionally powerful military with a modest but growing capability for conducting operations away from China’s immediate periphery. The question of how the United States should respond to […]

26 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle Offers Cold Shoulder to Western Officials

This concentration of power and decision-making, combined with severe new limitations in authoritative channels to communicate and consult back and forth with the outside world, is highly worrisome. It could be particularly problematic in the event of a foreign policy-related incident or crisis, in which both rapid decision-making and effective external consultation and communication might […]

25 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

China Completes Runway on Fiery Cross Reef

James Hardy and Sean O’Connor, “China Completes Runway on Fiery Cross Reef,” IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, 25 September 2015.
Key Points

China has completed the runway on Fiery Cross Reef, its largest base in the Spratly Islands, Airbus Defence and Space satellite imagery dated 20 September has shown
The completion of the runway could enable China to accelerate […]

25 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Sean O’Connor, IHS Jane’s: “China May Be Building First Indigenous Carrier”

Sean O’Connor, “China May Be Building First Indigenous Carrier,” IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, 24 September 2015.
Click here to access set of five accompanying images offered by IHS Jane’s.
Key Points

An unidentified hull in an advanced state of construction at Dalian shipyard could be China’s first indigenous aircraft carrier
While a conclusive identification of the hull as an aircraft […]

24 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

H.R. McMaster Reviews “Rebalancing U.S. Forces” in Survival

H.R. McMaster; review of Carnes Lord and Andrew S. Erickson, eds., Rebalancing U.S. Forces: Basing and Forward Presence in the Asia-Pacific (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2014); in Survival: Global Politics and Strategy 57.5 (October-November 2015), 232-33.
United States military forces positioned overseas or engaged regionally on a rotational basis have been a mainstay of the global security […]

24 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

“Peaches and Plums Do Not Talk, Yet a Path Is Formed Beneath Them”—Greg Kulacki Explains What Xi May Really Have Meant in Seattle Speech

Gregory Kulacki, “Peaches, Plums and the Challenge of Cross-Cultural Communication,” China in Focus #19, All Things Nuclear: Insights on Science and Security, Union of Concerned Scientists, 24 September 2015.
Chinese President Xi Jinping likes to use Chinese idioms in his public remarks. While speaking to a select group of U.S. luminaries in Seattle on the first day […]

24 September 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Science: “China’s Island Building Is Destroying Reefs”

Here are some of my recent thoughts on Chinese dredging and island-manufacturing activities in the South China Sea (SCS):
While countries other than China have also been involved in dredging and island-construction in the SCS, China has far surpassed its neighbors—combined—in both construction to date and future potential. It has deployed one of the world’s largest dredging […]

24 September 2015 ~ 3 Comments

Full Text: President Xi’s Speech on China-US Ties

Click here for English-language version.
Click here for Chinese-language version.
Click here for some preliminary text analysis.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a policy speech on China-US ties Tuesday night, at a welcome banquet jointly hosted by Washington State government and friendly communities in Seattle, the United States. Xi arrived in this east Pacific coast city on Tuesday […]