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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.

05 March 2018

Xi’s Strong Military Dream: China’s Defense Budget to Grow 8.1% to ~$175 billion This Year, Rate Exceeds ~6.5% Economic Growth Target

A major announcement today from the National People’s Congress in Beijing: China’s defense budget will grow by 8.1% to ~$175 billion (1.11 trillion yuan) this year, a rate increase from the 7% in 2017. This latest raise represents a reversal of three years of slowing growth. It exceeds this year’s economic growth target of ~6.5%.
Here’s […]

26 February 2018

Numbers Matter: China’s Three ‘Navies’ Each Have the World’s Most Ships

Andrew S. Erickson, “Numbers Matter: China’s Three ‘Navies’ Each Have the World’s Most Ships,” The National Interest, 26 February 2018.
Numerical superiority allows China’s second and third sea forces to flood the maritime gray zone in ways that its neighbors, as well as the United States, may find very hard to counter.
As a friend’s five-year-old puts it, […]

15 February 2018

PACOM Commander Admiral Harris Testifies: “Across the South China Sea, China’s air force, navy, coast guard, and maritime militia all maintain a robust presence.”

Statement of Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., U.S. Navy, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, before the House Armed Services Committee on U.S. Pacific Command Posture, Washington, DC, 14 February 2018.
“Across the South China Sea, China’s air force, navy, coast guard, and maritime militia all maintain a robust presence. Routine patrols and exercises ensure Chinese forces are […]

14 February 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 […]

14 February 2018

Military Balance 2018 Addresses China’s Maritime Militia: “Reports to PLA command and trains to assist PLAN and CCG in a variety of military roles”

“Chapter 6: Asia,” The Military Balance 118:1 (London: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2018), 259.
p. 259
“Maritime Militia
Made up of full- and part-time personnel. Reports to PLA command and trains to assist PLAN and CCG in a variety of military roles. These include ISR, maritime law enforcement, island supply, troop transport and supporting sovereignty claims. The […]

06 February 2018

Book Launch at Harvard Coop—The China Questions—Wednesday 7 February, 7:00-8:30 PM

Join the editors and contributors to The China Questions for a book launch at the Harvard Coop’s Event Series.
DATE AND TIME
Wed, February 7, 2018
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST
Add to Calendar
 
LOCATION
Harvard Coop
1400 Mass Avenue 
Cambridge, MA 02138 
View Map

Join editors Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi, and contributors Peter Bol, Andrew Erickson, Susan Greenhalgh, Wai-yee Li, and Karen Thornber, at the […]

03 February 2018

2018 Nuclear Posture Review: Full Text PDF & Key China-Related Excerpts

Nuclear Posture Review (Arlington, VA: Office of the Secretary of Defense, February 2018).
Click here to download a full-text PDF of the officially-released report.
Read Executive Summary in English, РУССКИЙ, 中文, 한국어, 日本語, or FRANÇAIS.
Key China-Related Excerpts:
p. 2
The United States remains committed to its efforts in support of the ultimate global elimination of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. […]

22 January 2018

“The China Questions” Tops SupChina’s 2017 Winter Reading List

From SupChina: “Your brain needs expanding, and you need to buy gifts for your smart friends! We’re here to help with our selection of books recommended by our editors.”
“All the books on our [2017 winter reading] list have been published within the past six months. If you think we’ve left out something important, please let […]

22 January 2018

Latest & Greatest: The Complete China Maritime Militia Bookshelf

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 […]

22 January 2018

American Mandarin Society Issues Updated Syllabi Concerning China’s Military, Foreign Policy, Politics & Party, Economy, and Environment & Energy

Self-Study Syllabus on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (American Mandarin Society, 15 January 2018).
Suggest edits here.
“This syllabus is organized to build understanding of the PLA in a step-by-step fashion based on one hour of reading five nights a week for four weeks. In total, the key readings add up to roughly 800 pages, rarely more than […]

13 January 2018

Newest Edition of O’Rourke’s CRS Report—“China’s Maritime Territorial & Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes”—Compiles Reporting on Maritime Militia

Ronald O’Rourke, Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress, R42784 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 12 December 2017).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
KEY EXCERPTS:
1972 CONVENTION ON PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA (COLREGs)………………………………… 14
p. 14
1972 Convention on Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs)
China and the United States, as […]

04 January 2018

Ronald O’Rourke’s Latest 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, 13 December 2017).
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 […]

26 December 2017

Republic of China (Taiwan) Ministry of National Defense (中華民國國防部) Issues “2017 National Defense Report” 106年國防報告書

106年國防報告書 [2017 National Defense Report] (台北 [Taipei]: 中華民國國防部 [Republic of China, Ministry of National Defense], December 2017).
Click here to download the full-text Chinese-language version.
The Chinese-language cartoon version (to engage a popular audience) is available here.
Click here to access a complete bilingual set of biannual reports dating back to 1992.
Initial media coverage here and here.
 

序言
中華民國長期以來,是亞太地區維持和平、穩定和繁榮的重要成員。雖然, 我國與周邊國家皆無正式邦交,但我們以友善、誠信、互惠的原則,遂行實質
的交流,來構建一個穩定的安全環境,積極對區域安全、甚至國際社會,提供 […]

20 December 2017

Prof. Arthur Ding Reviews “Chinese Naval Shipbuilding” in The China Journal

Arthur S. Ding; review of Andrew S. Erickson, ed., Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2016); The China Journal 79 (January 2018): 195-197.
Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course, edited by Andrew S. Erickson. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2016. vii+ 357 pp. US$39.95 (cloth).
In his introduction, Andrew S. […]

18 December 2017

The Trump Administration’s New National Security Strategy—Summary, Full Text & Complete China-Related Excerpts

National Security Strategy of the United States of America 2017 (Washington, DC: The White House, December 2017).

Click here for Announcement & Summary.

Click here for Talking Points.

Click here for Q&A.

Click here for Fact Sheet.

Click here to download the full text. In case you have any difficulty accessing that version, here’s a cached copy.

OVERVIEW:

A NEW NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY […]

18 December 2017

Updated CRS Report—“The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress”

I wish this top-caliber team all possible energy, as they will surely be asked to update this important report constantly in light of new developments!
Kathleen J. McInnis, Andrew Feickert, Mark E. Manyin, Steven A. Hildreth, Mary Beth D. Nikitin, and Emma Chanlett-Avery, The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress R44994 (Washington, […]

17 December 2017

The Michael Chase Bookshelf: Leading-Edge Research on China’s Rocket Force and Strategic & Cross-Strait Security Issues

Professor Michael Chase, my former Naval War College colleague, has both extensive U.S. government experience and a set of publications that are well worth reading. It has been a great honor and pleasure to collaborate with him on multiple research and writing projects over the past decade. If you are a student at Georgetown or […]

13 December 2017

Routledge Releases 2nd Edition of Handbook of Asian Security Studies; Offers Chapters on Key Regional Issues, Including “China’s Maritime Ambitions”

Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s Maritime Ambitions,” in Sumit Ganguly, Andrew Scobell, and Joseph Liow, Routledge Handbook of Asian Security Studies, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2017), 100-114.
Introduction
Maritime forces are on the leading edge of China’s military modernization, both programmatically and geographically. They offer vital tools for to achieve progressively diminishing ripples of control in the […]

30 November 2017

“The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power”—Published by Harvard University Press to Commemorate Fairbank Center’s 60th Anniversary

Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi, eds., eds., The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017).
Published to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Harvard University’s John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies with 36 chapters contributed by its faculty and affiliates, The China Questions presents the most important issues in the fields […]