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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.

15 November 2018

U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission Issues 2018 Report—Highlights China’s Coast Guard & Maritime Militia

2018 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, Second Session, 14 November 2018.
 
Click here to read the full text.
 
Report PDFs:
2018 Annual Report to Congress.pdf
Executive Summary 2018 Annual Report to Congress.pdf
2018 Recommendations.pdf
 
Chapters: 
Chapter 1 Section 1- Year in Review, Economics and Trade.pdf
Chapter 1 Section 2- Tools to Address […]

09 November 2018

SECDEF Mattis calls for “PRC Maritime Militia to operate in a safe and professional manner in accordance with international law…”

Important statement from Secretary Mattis at U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue (D&SD) press conference today, Friday 9 November 2018:
“We… discussed the importance of all military, law enforcement & civilian vessels & aircraft—including those in the PLA Navy, Chinese Coast Guard & PRC Maritime Militia—to operate in a safe & professional manner in accordance with […]

04 November 2018

“Modern Chinese Maritime Forces” Covers World’s Largest Fleets in Unprecedented Detail

Manfred Meyer (edited by Larry Bond and Chris Carlson), Modern Chinese Maritime Forces (Admiralty Trilogy Group, 2018).
You can order a copy here.
The Admiralty Trilogy Group (ATG) is pleased to announce that in addition to publishing games supporting its tactical naval game system, the Admiralty Trilogy, it has released its first nonfiction book this fall. Click here […]

30 September 2018

Latest CMSI Volume—“China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations”—Now Available for Preorder on Amazon

Andrew S. Erickson and Ryan D. Martinson, China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, forthcoming 2019).
As with the previous six volumes in our “Studies in Chinese Maritime Development” series, an Amazon Kindle edition will be available.
Eventually, there will also be an authorized Chinese-language translation through Ocean Press, China’s leading maritime publisher.
Coauthor, “Introduction” and […]

28 September 2018

Latest CRS Report by O’Rourke—“China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress”—Includes Maritime Militia Analysis

Ronald O’Rourke, China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress, R42784 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 1 August 2018).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
You can also click here to access the report via the new public CRS website.
 
KEY EXCERPTS:
USE OF CHINA COAST GUARD SHIPS, […]

28 September 2018

Latest Version of O’Rourke’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report: “China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress”

Ronald O’Rourke, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, RL33153 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 1 August 2018).

If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
You can also click here to access the report via the new public CRS website.
 
Summary

The question of how the United States should respond to […]

28 August 2018

Japan MoD Releases White Paper: Defense of Japan 2018—Mentions China Maritime Militia for 2nd Year in a Row

Defense of Japan 2018 (Tokyo: Japan Ministry of Defense, 28 August 2018).
Full Text (Japanese) (580 pages)
Click here to download a cached copy.
Digest (English) (20 pages)
Click here to download a cached copy.
 
MARITIME MILITIA COVERAGE IN DEFENSE OF JAPAN 2018
第3節中国
Section 3: China
pp. 89-123
 p. 92
一方で、国防費については、内訳の詳細を明らかにしていない8。
8 国防白書「2008年中国の国防」及び「2010年中国の国防」では、それぞれ2007年度、2009年度の国防費の支出に限り、人員生活費、訓練維持費、装備費のそれぞれについて、現役部隊、予備役部隊、民兵別の内訳が明らかにされたが、最近はそのような説明も行われていない。
 p. 93
5 軍事態勢
5) Military Posture
中国の軍事力は、人民解放軍、人民武装警察部隊(武警)16 と民兵17 から構成されており、中央軍事委員会の指導及び指揮を受けるものとされている。人民解放軍は、陸・海・空軍とロケット軍などからなり、中国共産党が創建、指導する人民軍隊とされている。
17 平時においては経済建設などに従事するが、有事には戦時後方支援任務を負う。国防白書「2002年中国の国防」では、「軍事機関の指揮のもとで、戦時は常備軍との合同作戦、独自作戦、常備軍の作戦に対する後方勤務保障提供及び兵員補充などの任務を担い、平時は戦備勤務、災害救助、社会秩序維持などの任務を担当する」とされる。12(平成24)年10月9日付解放軍報によれば2010年時点の基幹民兵数は600万人とされている。
p. 99
また、中国の軍隊以外の武装力である民兵の中でも、いわゆる海上民兵が中国の海洋権益擁護のための尖兵的役割を果たしているとの指摘もある41。海上民兵については、南シナ海での活動などが指摘され42、漁民や離島住民などにより組織されているとされているが、その実態の詳細は明らかにされていない。しかし、海上において中国の「軍・警・民の全体的な力を十全に発揮」43 する必要性が強調されていることも踏まえ、こうした非対称的戦力にも注目する必要がある44。
41 13(平成25)年4月、習近平国家主席が海南省の海上民兵を激励した際、海上民兵に対し、遠洋の情報を集め、島嶼建設支援作業を積極的に行うよう指示し、「君たちは海洋権益を守るために先陣の役割を果たしている」と語ったと言われている。
42 例えば、09(平成21)年3月、南シナ海の公海上で中国海軍艦艇などが米海軍調査船「インペッカブル」を妨害した際、同船のソナーを取り外そうとした漁船には海上民兵が乗船していたと指摘されている。また、14(平成26)年5月から7月にかけて大水深掘削リグ「海洋石油981」が西沙諸島南方で試掘活動を行った際、同リグの護衛船団として、海上民兵が乗船する鋼鉄製漁船も進出していたとの指摘がある。
43 16(平成28)年8月、常万全国防部長(当時)が浙江省の海上民兵装備などを視察した際、「『戦い勝利できる』という要求を保証するという観点から、軍・警・民の全体的な力を十全に発揮」する必要性について訓示した。
44 中国の海上民兵については国際法上の地位が不明確であるとの指摘がある。15(平成27)年11月、スウィフト米太平洋艦隊司令官(当時)は、呉勝利中国海軍司令員(当時)との会談に際し、中国の法執行機関と海上民兵を含めた海上兵力がプロフェッショナルに、かつ国際法規に従って行動することの重要性を強調した。
 
DETAILS FROM […]

24 August 2018

The Complete China Maritime Militia Bookshelf: Latest & Greatest

INFORMATION & ANALYSIS CONCERNING CHINA’S MARITIME MILITIA:

Tracking China’s “Little Blue Men”—A Comprehensive Maritime Militia Compendium
Rarely is a topic so little recognized and so little understood, yet so important and so amenable to research using Chinese-language open sources… To increase awareness and understanding of this important subject, here is a convenient compendium of major publications and […]

24 August 2018

Interview with BBC News Mundo (Spanish) on China’s Maritime Militia—La poco conocida Milicia Marítima de China, la unidad de Pekín que “actúa bajo los radars” para controlar las aguas de Asia Pacífico

Tamara Gil, “La poco conocida Milicia Marítima de China, la unidad de Pekín que ‘actúa bajo los radares’ para controlar las aguas de Asia Pacífico” [The Little-Known Maritime Militia of China, The Beijing Unit that ‘Acts Under the Radar’ to Control the Waters of the Asia-Pacific], BBC News Mundo [BBC News World], 23 August 2018.
[Algunos […]

20 August 2018

Exposed: Pentagon Report Spotlights China’s Maritime Militia

Andrew S. Erickson, “Exposed: Pentagon Report Spotlights China’s Maritime Militia,” The National Interest, 20 August 2018.
For countering China’s shadowy Third Sea Force—the Maritime Militia—sunlight is the best disinfectant and demonstrated awareness is an important element of deterrence. This year’s Department of Defense report to Congress offers both.
Finally, some good news from Washington! Last Thursday the […]

17 August 2018

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant: Pentagon Report Spotlights Shadowy Maritime Militia—China’s Third Sea Force

Andrew S. Erickson, “Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant: Pentagon Report Spotlights Shadowy Maritime Militia—China’s Third Sea Force,” China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 17 August 2018.
For countering China’s Third Sea Force, sunlight is the best disinfectant and demonstrated awareness is an important element of deterrence. This year’s Department of Defense report to Congress offers both.
Finally, […]

16 August 2018

Pentagon Releases 2018 China Military Report—U.S. Government’s Most Extensive Public Coverage Yet of China’s Maritime Militia

My take: While virtually unique and heretofore publicly obscure, China’s Maritime Militia is known clearly to the U.S. government, which monitors it closely.
A component of the People’s Armed Forces, it operates under a direct military chain of command to conduct state-sponsored activities. The PAFMM is locally-supported, but answers to the very top of China’s […]

16 August 2018

U.S. Department of Defense Annual Reports to Congress on China’s Military Power—2002-18—Download Complete Set + Read Highlights Here

Since I couldn’t find a single-source location on the Internet, I decided to make my own. Now you can download PDFs of the Department of Defense’s China reports directly by year:
2018 + Accompanying Fact Sheet
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
 
Additionally, here are some highlights from, and analysis of, several of the most recent reports:
 
2017
Andrew S. Erickson, “New Pentagon China Report Highlights the Rise […]

16 August 2018

U.S. Department of Defense Annual Report to Congress—“Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018”—Click here to read the full-text Report & Fact Sheet

Click here to read the full text of the 2018 report and accompanying Fact Sheet.
Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018 (Arlington, VA: Department of Defense, 16 August 2018).

12 August 2018

China’s 30th Escort Task Force Sets Sail for Gulf of Aden as Navy’s Anti-Piracy Mission Approaches 10-Year Mark

Huang Panyue, ed.; Bei Guo Fang Wu, “PLA Navy Ends Era of ‘Supply-Ship Troika’ in its Escort Mission,” China Military Online, 9 August 2018.
The 30th Chinese naval escort taskforce set sail on August 6 from a naval port in Qingdao of east China’s Shandong Province to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia […]

30 July 2018

China’s Armed Forces: Strong and Growing Stronger

Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s Armed Forces: Strong and Growing Stronger,” Harvard Fairbank Center Blog Post, 30 July 2018.
Andrew S. Erickson, Professor at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) and Associate in Research at the Fairbank Center, assesses how strong China’s armed forces are and why that matters.
How strong are China’s three armed forces? The […]

24 July 2018

New Version of O’Rourke’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report: “China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress”

Ronald O’Rourke, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, RL33153 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 19 July 2018).

If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
Summary

The question of how the United States should respond to China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in […]

23 July 2018

New CRS Report by O’Rourke—“China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress”—Includes Maritime Militia Analysis

Ronald O’Rourke, China’s Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress, R42784 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 17 July 2018).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
KEY EXCERPTS:
USE OF CHINA COAST GUARD SHIPS, MARITIME MILITIA, AND OIL PLATFORMS ………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
p. 16
Use of Coast Guard […]

16 July 2018

ONI’s New 2018 China Recognition & Identification Guide Shows 3 Different Types of Maritime Militia Vessels

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), Coast Guard, and Government Maritime Forces 2018 Recognition and Identification Guide (Suitland, MD: Office of Naval Intelligence, July 2018).
Click here to download a cached copy.
Excerpt showing three types of Sansha City Maritime Militia vessels:

FT-16 WAG Qiong Sansha Yu 00000-00100- series numbers (60 meters)
FT-17 WAG Qiong Sansha Yu 00200-series numbers (60 meters)
FT-18 […]