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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.

28 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China’s RIMPAC Maritime-Surveillance Gambit

Andrew S. Erickson and Emily de La Bruyere, “China’s RIMPAC Maritime-Surveillance Gambit,” The National Interest, 29 July 2014.
Forty-nine ships from 22 countries, including China, are currently participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) maritime training exercises off the coast of Hawaii. Submarines and aircraft have joined them. But last Friday, an electronic display map [...]

23 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China’s Space Development History: A Comparison of the Rocket and Satellite Sectors

Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s Space Development History: A Comparison of the Rocket and Satellite Sectors,” Acta Astronautica (26 June 2014).
Copyright © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Highlights
• China’s first space achievements were in military/civilian rockets and satellites.
• Nuclear power status and deterrence required missiles to credibly deliver warheads.
• Satellites were also prioritized for strategic reasons and lack of [...]

19 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Crashing Its Own Party: China’s Unusual Decision to Spy on Joint Naval Exercises

Andrew S. Erickson and Emily de La Bruyere, “Crashing Its Own Party: China’s Unusual Decision to Spy on Joint Naval Exercises,” China Real Time Report (中国实时报), Wall Street Journal, 19 July 2014.
A party crasher from China’s navy is enjoying an intelligence buffet at the world’s largest maritime gathering – and the feasting will make it hard [...]

18 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China Sends Uninvited Spy Ship to RIMPAC

At the world’s foremost maritime cooperation wedding, a wedding crasher from China’s navy is enjoying an intelligence buffet…
Sam LaGrone, “China Sends Uninvited Spy Ship to RIMPAC,” USNI News, 18 July 2014.
China slipped an uninvited guest into the world’s largest naval exercise.
The U.S. invited four ships from China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to the Rim [...]

17 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

In China’s Sights: A New Missile Threatens the U.S. Navy’s Biggest Warships—And Stability in the Pacific

Mark Thompson, “In China’s Sights: A New Missile Threatens the U.S. Navy’s Biggest Warships—And Stability in the Pacific,” Time, 28 July 2014, 33-36.
There are few things as awesome as a U.S. aircraft carrier—100,000 tons of nuclear-powered steel towering 20 stories above the waterline and crammed with nearly 70 warplanes ready to do its nation’s bidding. [...]

17 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China’s Strategic Rocket Force: Upgrading Hardware and Software (Part 2 of 2)

Andrew S. Erickson and Michael S. Chase, “China’s Strategic Rocket Force: Upgrading Hardware and Software (Part 2 of 2),” Jamestown China Brief 14.14 (17 July 2014).
Part One of this article covered the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army Second Artillery Force’s (PLASAF) conventional arsenal and the “conventionalization of deterrence”—the creation of doctrines that rely on [...]

16 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Outcomes of Strategic Track of 6th Round of U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Outcomes of the Strategic Track
Media Note, Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, July 14, 2014
At the Sixth Round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) July 9-10, 2014, in Beijing, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, special representative of President Xi Jinping, and Secretary of State John Kerry, special representative of President Barack Obama, [...]

14 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Pandora’s Sandbox: China’s Island-Building Strategy in the South China Sea

Andrew Erickson and Austin Strange, “Pandora’s Sandbox: China’s Island-Building Strategy in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs, 13 July 2014.
Ongoing international disputes over territory in the South China Sea have led many to invoke an old adage: “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. [...]

13 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Chinese Fleet Participating in RIMPAC Drill Leaves for Exercise Area

“Chinese Fleet Participating in RIMPAC Drill Leaves for Exercise Area,” Xinhua, 11 July 2014.
Photo taken on July 9, 2014 shows Chinese navy’s missile frigate Yueyang leaves Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the United States. The Chinese fleet participating in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational naval exercises left Pearl Harbor for the exercise area on [...]

13 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China Issues 2nd Foreign Aid White Paper

Philippa Brant, “China’s Foreign Aid White Paper: Quick Overview,” The Lowy Interpreter, 10 July 2014.
Today, the Chinese Government released its much-awaited second White Paper on Foreign Aid. It’s been in the pipeline for a while, as I’ve noted a number of times, and follows the first white paper published in April 2011. 
So what does it say?
First, it is an [...]

08 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China Thinks It Can Defeat America in Battle, But It Overlooks One Decisive Factor

What Wayne Hughes calls “war at sea,” I term “deterrence by denial.” The concepts are quite similar in many respects. The unifying theme is that the United States—together with allies and partners—remains determined and able to defend the global system and uphold peace and stability, including in the vital portion within the Yellow, East China, [...]

05 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Chinese Engagement in Africa: Drivers, Reactions, and Implications for U.S. Policy

Worth a long Saturday of thorough reading and reflection! The hallmark RAND quality and clarity, focused on a topic that will be with us for decades, particularly as Africa is projected to become the last, largest locus of global population growth in an otherwise largely graying planet.
Balanced and nuanced–not yet another polemic either ignoring or [...]