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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.

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 [...]

04 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: Chinese and Outside Perspectives

Wow! Just finished reading all 512 pages. A veritable cornucopia of China military sources–excellent compendium of key speeches and data points.
Anthony H. Cordesman, Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: Chinese and Outside Perspectives (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2 July 2014).
The Burke Chair at CSIS has developed a new analysis of the trends [...]

04 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Dr. Shi Yinhong: Territorial Dispute-Related “Tension Between China and the US and U.S. Allies Will Deteriorate Rather Than Improve”

It’s always important to understand the context of strong quotations like the ones below. Sometimes essential factors are not captured initially, and things become clearer with time. But John Garnaut is an highly-experienced, extremely-reputable journalist and Dr. Shi Yinhong (时殷弘)’s views always merit close consideration. While he no doubt had to use his academic title [...]

03 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China’s Strategic Rocket Force: Sharpening the Sword (Part 1 of 2)

Andrew S. Erickson and Michael S. Chase, “China’s Strategic Rocket Force: Sharpening the Sword (Part 1 of 2),” Jamestown China Brief 14.13 (3 July 2014).

The Second Artillery has made significant progress, particularly in modernizing its hardware, but also operations and training.
Its main mission remains deterrence, especially toward U.S. intervention in a regional conflict.
This deterrence mission increasingly [...]

02 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

China’s RIMPAC Debut: What’s in It for America?

Invitations aren’t everything: China’s navy (legally) monitored RIMPAC 2012 in the U.S. EEZ despite lacking invitation to do so, or to participate in the exercise itself.
DoD’s 2013 report on China’s military explains: “the PLA Navy has begun to conduct military activities within the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of other nations, without the permission of those coastal [...]

02 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

After China: The Proliferation of Cruise Missiles

Robert Farley, “After China: The Proliferation of Cruise Missiles,” The Diplomat, 3 July 2014.
China may be demonstrating to its neighbors just how valuable cruise missiles can be.
The recent monograph by Dennis Gormley and Andrew Erickson on the development and relevance of China’s cruise missile force has received just acclaim from all quarters. Over the past two decades, [...]

02 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 [...]

02 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

What Explains China’s Comprehensive but Uneven Aerospace Development?

Andrew S. Erickson, “What Explains China’s Comprehensive but Uneven Aerospace Development?” in Christophe Rothmund, ed., Proceedings of the Forty-Third History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics, American Astronautical Society (AAS) History Series, Vol. 40 (San Diego, CA: Univelt, 2013), 55-63.
With respect to aerospace development capabilities, China is changing from a developing country whose leaders [...]