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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.

31 August 2019

Honored to Review Taylor Fravel’s “Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy since 1949” in Journal of Chinese Political Science

Andrew S. Erickson; review of M. Taylor Fravel, Active Defense: China’s Military Strategy since 1949 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019); Journal of Chinese Political Science, 30 August 2019.
Click here to access the full text of the review.
Just in time for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China and several of its military services, Fravel […]

29 August 2019

Good Riddance to the INF Treaty: Washington Shouldn’t Tie Its Own Hands in Asia

Here I argue that Washington is right to leave the missile-limiting INF Treaty, which Beijing won’t even consider joining, and suggest what this can help the United States to achieve moving forward.
Andrew S. Erickson, “Good Riddance to the INF Treaty: Washington Shouldn’t Tie Its Own Hands in Asia,” Foreign Affairs, 29 August 2019.
In early August, […]

01 August 2019

U.S. Ends Cold War Missile Treaty, With Aim of Countering China

My further thoughts, including some not quoted in this article: 
Russia wouldn’t fully honor INF. China wouldn’t join INF. Unilateral constraint was a losing proposition: China developed the world’s foremost force of missiles precisely within the ranges that INF would prohibit. So this increasingly antiquated treaty had no future.

One post-INF option for the U.S. is to […]

30 July 2019

U.S.-China Military-to-Military Relations: Policy Considerations in a Changing Environment

This article examines American bilateral military relations with China in the present context and offers policy recommendations. I propose a four-fold approach that is (1) clear and cogently communicated, (2) conditional and credible, (3) comprehensive, and (4) consistent. The U.S. should emphasize equitable reciprocity and pursue a transactional approach that recognizes that progress can occur […]

29 July 2019

China’s Defense White Paper Means Only One Thing: Trouble Ahead

Here I offer an assessment of China’s 2019 Defense White Paper and its implications.
Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s Defense White Paper Means Only One Thing: Trouble Ahead,” The National Interest, 29 July 2019.
Observers should look elsewhere for the latest insights on the specifics of PLA development, but no one should miss the ambition, assertiveness, and resolve permeating […]

24 July 2019

China Promises Further Military Cooperation With Russia

Jeremy Page, “China Promises Further Military Cooperation With Russia,” The Wall Street Journal, 24 July 2019.
Beijing accuses U.S. of undermining regional stability and sharpens its warnings against Taiwan in new defense report
BEIJING—China vowed to step up military cooperation with Russia, a day after the two countries’ first joint air patrol triggered a rare confrontation over the Sea […]

24 July 2019

China Takes Aim at U.S., Taiwan in Military Blueprint

Gerry Shih, “China Takes Aim at U.S., Taiwan in Military Blueprint,” The Washington Post, 24 July 2019.
BEIJING — China sharpened its hostility toward the United States and Taiwan in a new high-level report on its future military strategy that accused Washington and its allies of undermining global stability. …
“If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, […]

24 July 2019

Full Text of 2019 Defense White Paper: “China’s National Defense in the New Era” (English & Chinese Versions)

For a well-formatted bilingual PDF of the report complete with figures and appendices, check out the version Peter Wood has posted here!
Click here to download a Word doc of the English-language version.
China’s National Defense in the New Era
The State Council Information Office of
the People’s Republic of China
July 2019
First Edition 2019
ISBN 978-7-119-11925-0
© Foreign Languages Press Co. Ltd., Beijing, […]

23 July 2019

China Defense White Papers—1995-2019—Download Complete Set + Read Highlights Here

Since I couldn’t find a single-source location on the Internet, and various official PRC websites have deactivated some of the previous links, I decided to make my own. Now you can download cached PDFs of all China’s Defense White Papers directly by year!
Except for the 2019 edition, which is accessible here; and the 2015 edition, […]

19 July 2019

My Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Tribute: Lunar Module Program Director Joseph G. Gavin Jr. & His Contributions to American Aerospace Achievement

As we reach the historic 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing on July 20, it’s a fleeting opportunity to recognize all who made it possible while direct human connections and memories still exist. Among the many contributors, please spare a thought for Joe Gavin, the Lunar Module (LM) Program Director. Gavin consistently avoided the limelight, and never […]

15 July 2019

LT Michael Vines, RAN, Reviews “China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations” for Australian Naval Institute

Lt. Mitchell Vines, Royal Australian Navy; review of Andrew S. Erickson and Ryan D. Martinson, eds., China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2019); The Australian Naval Institute, 14 July 2019.
The latest combined effort by Erickson and Martinson, China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations, arrives on the heels of the Naval War College’s 2017 China Maritime Studies Institute […]

11 June 2019

Chinese Naval Shipbuilding among “Naval Books of the Year” reviewed in Warship 2019

Conrad Waters; review of Andrew S. Erickson, ed., Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2016); “Naval Books of the Year,” Warship 2019 (UK: Osprey), 203-04.
Hardback, 376 pages, 35 maps, plans & tables; price US$39.95. ISBN 978-1-68247-081-7
This is the sixth in a series of books examining current Chinese naval capabilities jointly […]

10 June 2019

Honored to Contribute “China” Chapter in New Oxford University Press Volume—“Comparative Grand Strategy”

“China,” in Thierry Balzacq, Peter Dombrowski, and Simon Reich, eds., Comparative Grand Strategy: A Framework and Cases (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2019), 73-98.
Scholars still debate the very notion of a Chinese grand strategy. Nonetheless, recent leadership and policy statements, and their explicit linkage to historical patterns of Chinese behavior, suggest that China may well have […]

07 June 2019

Department of Defense Arctic Strategy

Report to Congress: Department of Defense Arctic Strategy (Arlington, VA: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, June 2019).
Click here to download a cached copy.
DoD’s desired end-state for the Arctic is a secure and stable region in which U.S. national security interests are safeguarded, the U.S. homeland is defended, and nations work cooperatively to […]

06 June 2019

China’s Rare Earth Dominance: How Usable a Weapon?

Andrew S. Erickson and Gabriel B. Collins, “China’s Rare Earth Dominance: How Usable a Weapon?” The National Interest, 6 June 2019.
It could provoke a response from Washington that Beijing does not want to see.
As Washington and Beijing brace for a protracted trade war, Chinese sources increasingly discuss the potential for weaponizing the Middle Kingdom’s major mineral advantage: […]

01 June 2019

The Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region

The Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region (Arlington, VA: Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1 June 2019).
Click here to download a cached copy.
p. 8
The People’s Republic of China’s Military Modernization and Coercive Actions
As China continues its economic and military ascendance, it seeks Indo-Pacific regional hegemony in the near-term […]

01 June 2019

France and Security in the Indo-Pacific

France and Security in the Indo-Pacific (Paris: Minister for the Armed Forces, May 2019).
Click here to download a cached copy.
This is definitely not Paris’s version of the Washington’s China Military Power report. It is instead a counterpart to the simultaneously-released  Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Strategy Report. 
In fact, this French document contains only 9 mentions of “China” in […]

30 May 2019

Interviewed by Washington Post “Monkey Cage“ Editor Jessica Chen Weiss of Cornell on “What China’s Assertiveness in the South China Sea Means—And What Comes Next”

Jessica Chen Weiss, “What China’s Assertiveness in the South China Sea Means—And What Comes Next,” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post, 30 May 2019.
China’s ‘maritime gray zone operations’ target U.S. naval vessels.
On Wednesday, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, remarked that despite assurances that there would be no moves to […]

29 May 2019

With Beijing Considering a “稀土之战” (Battle of Rare Earths), It’s Time to Revisit Chinese Mining & Mineral Activities Strategically

Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, “China SignPost™ ‘Greatest Hits’ #6: Mining & Minerals,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国) 78 (23 December 2013).
China SignPost™ 洞察中国–“Clear, high-impact China analysis.”©
China’s rise as a top global mineral consumer and producer creates three key dynamics that we believe investors and policymakers should follow closely.
First, the pursuit of minerals is bringing Chinese miners and energy […]