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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 April 2016

“Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress”—Latest Edition of Ron O’Rourke’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report

Ronald O’Rourke, Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 22 December 2015), R42784.
Summary
China’s actions for asserting and defending its maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claims in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS), particularly since late 2013, have heightened concerns among […]

05 April 2016

China’s Goldwater-Nichols? Assessing PLA Organizational Reforms

Phillip C. Saunders and Joel Wuthnow, China’s Goldwater-Nichols? Assessing PLA Organizational Reforms (Washington, DC: Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, April 2016).
The Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs (CSCMA), part of National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, has just published INSS Strategic Forum 294—“China’s Goldwater-Nichols? Assessing PLA Organizational Reforms.” […]

04 April 2016

“China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress”: Latest Version of Ron O’Rourke’s Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report

Ronald O’Rourke, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 31 March 2016), RL33153.
Summary
China is building a modern and regionally powerful navy with a limited but growing capability for conducting operations beyond China’s near-seas region. Observers of Chinese and U.S. military forces view China’s improving naval capabilities as posing a potential […]

31 March 2016

“Barriers, Springboards and Benchmarks: China Conceptualizes the Pacific ‘Island Chains’”—Published as Lead Article in The China Quarterly

Andrew S. Erickson and Joel Wuthnow, “Barriers, Springboards and Benchmarks: China Conceptualizes the Pacific ‘Island Chains’,” The China Quarterly 225 (March 2016): 1-22.
Download PDF version directly (access required).
This FirstView version of the article, also know as a final Version of Record (VoR), hereby replaces the Accepted Manuscript (AM) [a preliminary version of the article], the contents of […]

30 March 2016

China Defends Deployment of Anti-Ship Missiles to South China Sea Island

Sam LaGrone, “China Defends Deployment of Anti-Ship Missiles to South China Sea Island,” USNI News, 30 March 2016.
… Last month, news broke that China had deployed several HQ-9 anti-air missiles batteries to Woody Island after the U.S. conducted a freedom of navigation operation (FON op) near Chinese holdings at nearby Triton Island. …
“While the HQ-9 deployment was a […]

29 March 2016

My Latest Assessment of Chinese and Foreign Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Development—Now Available in Jane’s Navy International

Andrew S. Erickson, “Raining Down: Assessing the Emergent ASBM Threat,” Jane’s Navy International, 16 March 2016.
Contents

A2/AD capability
Reconnaissance/strike complex
Iran’s enigmatic ‘ASBM’
Potential countermeasures
ASBMS: RE-BALANCING STRATEGIC COMPETITION?
COMMENT

The anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) has been portrayed as a game-changing weapon that threatens the dominance of the carrier strike group (CSG). Andrew Erickson examines emerging ASBM capabilities, assesses their potential operational […]

29 March 2016

Latest Edition of Ian Rinehart’s CRS Report—“The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress”

Sophisticated, thought-provoking, a great contribution!
Ian E. Rinehart, The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 24 March 2016), R44196.
Summary
China is building a modern and regionally powerful military with a limited but growing capability for conducting operations away from China’s immediate periphery. The question of how the United States should respond […]

29 March 2016

Sustained Support: the PLAN Evolves its Expeditionary Logistics Strategy

Andrew S. Erickson and Capt. Christopher P. Carlson, USNR (Ret.), “Sustained Support: the PLAN Evolves its Expeditionary Logistics Strategy,” Jane’s Navy International, 9 March 2016.
Contents

Projecting force
Sustaining forces
Special delivery
Remote maintenance
Supporting facilities
UNDERWAY REPLENISHMENT
COMMENT

As China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy seeks to support sustained operations at distance, Andrew Erickson and Christopher Carlson discuss its strategy and tools for supporting this new international presence
China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has stepped […]

25 March 2016

The 1974 Paracels Sea Battle: A Campaign Appraisal

I strongly recommend this brilliant piece by my CMSI colleague Toshi Yoshihara in the latest issue of Naval War College Review! He provides a brilliant assessment of China’s use of  conventional and irregular forces, including two maritime militia trawlers, in hybrid warfare. Definitely a must-read! Scan the first two paragraphs below, and you’ll see why immediately…
Toshi Yoshihara, […]

23 March 2016

Register Now for CIMSEC’s Thurs. 24 March CFAR 2016 Forum: Maritime Security, Technology, and Foreign Policy

On Thursday 24 March the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) will host the second annual CIMSEC Forum for Authors and Readers (CFAR), an event for our readers and the public to engage our contributors on their work and topics of interest. Thanks to the generous support of CNA we are pleased to offer a professional workshop on a range of maritime security issues. The […]

07 March 2016

“China’s Maritime Militia”—Our Most Extensive, Detailed Analysis Yet

Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy, “China’s Maritime Militia,” CNA Corporation, 7 March 2016.
An important component of China’s local armed forces is the militia—an armed mass organization of mobilizable personnel who retain their normal economic responsibilities in daily civilian life. A reserve force of immense scale, the militia is organized at the grassroots level […]

07 March 2016

China Expands Land Filling at North Island in the Paracels—Satellite Images Also Show Dredging of a New Harbor Basin

Victor Robert Lee, “China Expands Land Filling at North Island in the Paracels—Satellite Images Also Show Dredging of a New Harbor Basin,” The Diplomat, 7 March 2016.
Posted with the author’s permission.

Satellite imagery from March 2nd, 2016 shows a marked expansion of China’s dredging and land filling at North Island in the Paracels. The newly manufactured […]

05 March 2016

The Limits of Growth: Economic Headwinds Inform China’s Latest Military Budget

Andrew S. Erickson and Adam P. Liff, “The Limits of Growth: Economic Headwinds Inform China’s Latest Military Budget,” China Real Time Report (中国实时报), Wall Street Journal, 5 March 2015.
With an official defense budget increase of 7.6% to 954 billion yuan ($147 billion) announced today, Beijing’s quest to restore China’s historic “greatness” and to attain international status as […]