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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.

26 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Congressional Research Service Report on “China’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)”

Ian E. Rinehart and Bart Elias, China’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), R43894 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 30 January 2015).
Summary
In November 2013, the People’s Republic of China (PRC, or China) announced that it would establish an “East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ),” covering a large swath of airspace over the East […]

26 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Puppies Who Climbed Out of the River: The Roles and Influence of Chief Commanders and Designers

Andrew S. Erickson, “Puppies Who Climbed Out of the River: The Roles and Influence of Chief Commanders and Designers,” The Human Dimension of China’s Defense Science, Technology, and Innovation System 8.5 (La Jolla, CA: University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, January 2015).
For all its limitations, China’s “Two Chiefs” program management system has […]

26 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

“Sino-Japanese Crisis (In)Stability in the East China Sea” Seminar at Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, Tues. 3 March 12:30-2:00 pm

Adam P. Liff and Andrew S. Erickson, “Sino-Japanese Crisis (In)Stability in the East China Sea,” to present in Special Series on International Relations of East Asia, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs; co-sponsored by Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies; International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard University, […]

22 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Sand Fight: China’s Island-Building Spree is About More Than Just Military Might

Gwynn Guilford, “Sand Fight: China’s Island-Building Spree is About More Than Just Military Might,” Quartz, 21 February 2015.
China’s playing Monopoly in the South China Sea—only, instead of building hotels on Pacific Avenue, it’s constructing helipads and, in some cases, whole new islands.
In less than a year, shallow reefs in the Spratly Islands have sprouted white-sand outcrops, […]

20 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Trouble Ahead? Chinese-Korean Disputes May Intensify

Andrew S. Erickson and Michael Monti, “Trouble Ahead? Chinese-Korean Disputes May Intensify,” The National Interest, 20 February 2015.
As Cold War glaciers melt, Chinese-Korean tensions may grow more pronounced.
The Christmas release of The Interview, however coarse in depiction, underscores the Korean peninsula’s tremendous geostrategic importance and potential for disruptive change. Brookings scholar Jonathan Pollack aptly terms it “the […]

20 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ten Reasons Why China Will Have Trouble Fighting a Modern War

Based on my own assessment, I believe that today’s PLA has significant strengths and compensating “workarounds” in addition to weaknesses—particularly vis-à-vis prioritized Near Seas missions. But the issues that Dennis Blasko raises here are significant and demand deep analytical consideration. 
Dennis J. Blasko, “Ten Reasons Why China Will Have Trouble Fighting a Modern War,” War on the […]

20 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The New Strategic Realities of U.S. Carrier Operations

Jeff Moore, “Essay: The New Strategic Realities of U.S. Carrier Operations,” U.S. Naval Institute News, 17 February 2015.
Just four days ahead of the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy announced its intention to award Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc (HII). approximately $4 billion to construct the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) super carrier, […]

16 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Dennis Blasko Offers Long-Sought Insights on PLA Corruption

A hot topic that many ask about—but on which almost no one offers specific answers; let alone solid, systematic analysis to back them up. Enter Dennis Blasko, whose painstaking research always merits close consideration. One of the few whose writings I know I simply can’t afford to miss!
My summation of Dennis’s argument:
1. PLA corruption least […]

16 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Efforts to Improve China’s Love-Hate Relationship With U.S. Yet to Meet Great Expectations

Even the mere perception that the U.S. National Security Advisor is insufficiently focused on, engaged with, or traveling to China and the rest of Asia is extremely damaging and requires immediate correction. Thank goodness, at least, for Evan Medeiros and Ryan Hass!
Kristine Kwok, Chief Asia Correspondent, “Efforts to Improve China’s Love-Hate Relationship With U.S. Yet […]

13 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

China’s Incomplete Military Transformation: Assessing the Weaknesses of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)

Michael S. Chase, Jeffrey G. Engstrom, Tai Ming Cheung, Kristen Gunness, Scott Warren Harold, Susan Puska, and Samuel K. Berkowitz, China’s Incomplete Military Transformation: Assessing the Weaknesses of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2015).
 The minute this report came out, I knew that I had to read it from cover to cover. I did so, and was not […]

12 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ashton Carter Wins Senate Approval as Defense Secretary

Great news–Dr. Ashton B. Carter was just confirmed as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense. He brings top-level experience and intellectual firepower. With Carter as Secretary of Defense and Bob Work as Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon is under very strong leadership in a challenging time.
Emmarie Huetteman, “Ashton Carter Wins Senate Approval as Defense Secretary,” New […]

09 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Chinese Communist Party Vows to Fulfill Dreams of 1.3 Billion in Promotional Video

Chris Buckley, “In Video, Communist Party Vows It Wants to Fulfill Your Dreams,” 9 February 2015.
Perhaps you want an attractive wife? Or to open a little restaurant? Maybe blue skies and clean water? Or, less modestly, a world without war? Be assured: The Chinese Communist Party and its 83 million members are rooting for you.
That […]

09 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Major China UAV Development & Export Survey by Shephard Media Asia-Pacific Editor Gordon Arthur in Unmanned Vehicles

Gordon Arthur, “Out of the Red,” Unmanned Vehicles 20.1 (February/March 2015): 31-38.
China’s indigenous unmanned vehicles industry is clearly playing catch-up with Western manufacturers, but it is starting to close the gap and seize export opportunities. Gordon Arthur examines the country’s recent technological advances and asks: what next?
The capability of China’s unmanned vehicle industry is maturing. […]