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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.

29 June 2016

“Tensions between China and U.S. Intensify over South China Sea,” Interviewed by Eleanor Hall on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)’s The World Today Program

Andrew S. Erickson, Interviewed by Eleanor Hall, “Tensions between China and U.S. Intensify over South China Sea,” The World Today Program, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), 29 June 2016.
Click here to listen to both key interview highlights (MP3 Download) and the full-length interview (Extra Audio).
The World Today is Australia’s leading midday current affairs radio program, broadcast across […]

27 June 2016

“Chapter 5: China’s Maritime Militia”—Just Published in RADM Michael McDevitt’s CNA Report on “Becoming a Great ‘Maritime Power’: A Chinese Dream”

Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy, “Chapter 5: China’s Maritime Militia,” in Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt, USN (ret.), ed., Becoming a Great “Maritime Power”: A Chinese Dream (Arlington, VA: CNA Corporation, June 2016), 62-83.
Introduction
An important component of China’s local armed forces is the militia. It supports China’s armed forces in a variety of functions, and […]

24 June 2016

China’s Maritime Militia: What It Is and How to Deal With It

Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy, “China’s Maritime Militia: What It Is and How to Deal With It,” Foreign Affairs, 23 June 2016.
Last October, when the American destroyer USS Lassen sailed by Subi Reef, an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, a number of Chinese merchant ships and fishing boats maneuvered around it, apparently having anticipated […]

22 June 2016

Interview by 美国之音 (Voice of America) on 海上民兵 (Maritime Militia) of 潭门镇 (Tanmen Township) & Beyond

萧雨 [Xiao Yu], “南海仲裁在即 潭门渔民集体封口” [South China Sea Arbitration Imminent—Tanmen Fishermen Collective Seals Mouth],  美国之音 [Voice of America], 23 June 2016.
中菲南中国海仲裁案最后裁决的日子越发临近,一些西方记者来到中国海南省琼海市一个以“海上民兵连”著称的小渔村,发现一股显然是来自中国政府的力量正包围着这里。
紧紧尾随的政府车

20 June 2016

South China Sea: The Mystery of Missing Books and Maritime Claims

John Sudworth, “South China Sea: The Mystery of Missing Books and Maritime Claims,” BBC News, 19 June 2016.
If you want to understand the way China really feels about its controversial claim to huge swathes of the sea off its southern shore, then the island of Hainan is a good place to start.
This is a place […]

16 June 2016

Reported Chinese Efforts to Conceal Maritime Militia Reach Intelligence-Insulting Level

Chinese officials are insulting foreign intelligence, likely in all senses of the word.
Xi Jinping’s visit in 2013 to Tanmen Township, and the designation of its Maritime Militia as a national model, has made this the leading unit for other seaports to emulate. Yet earlier this month, as the Al Jazeera article below documents, a local […]

09 June 2016

Putting “Meat on the Bones” of the U.S.-Japan Alliance Coordination Mechanism

Thomas Storch, “Putting ‘Meat on the Bones’ of the U.S.-Japan Alliance Coordination Mechanism,” Sasakawa USA Forum, Issue 2, 1 June 2016.
U.S.-Japan alliance coordination has historically been hindered by structural challenges, such as the lack of a mutual defense pact or a joint operational command structure, as exist in both the U.S.-South Korea alliance and the […]

06 June 2016

“China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress”: Latest Edition 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 May 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 […]

02 June 2016

Team Tsai Ing-wen: a Who’s Who of the New Cabinet

A handy guide with useful analysis on a vital and timely subject!
Lauren Dickey, “Team Tsai Ing-wen: a Who’s Who of the New Cabinet,” Jamestown Foundation China Brief 16.9, 1 June 2016.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took office on May 20 with no shortage of challenges ahead. Her inaugural speech focused on five specific areas: transforming economic […]

02 June 2016

The Courage to Fight and Win: The PLA Cultivates Xuexing for the Wars of the Future

Ryan D. Martinson, “The Courage to Fight and Win: The PLA Cultivates Xuexing for the Wars of the Future,” Jamestown Foundation China Brief 16.9, 1 June 2016.
With all its new weapons systems and platforms, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has become a powerful military by any standard that can be quantified. But how will PLA […]

24 May 2016

Chinese Navy Trains and Takes Risks

Unquestionably a must-read article by a leading expert on a vital topic! Cogent, pithy, informative, and insightful.
Capt. Dale C. Rielage, USN, “Chinese Navy Trains and Takes Risks,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 142.5 (May 2016): 36-41.
Improvements in Chinese Navy multi-mission platforms have seen a focus on realistic training.
In the past decade, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army […]

24 May 2016

Shepherds of the South Seas

Be sure to read in full this superb, path-breaking article by my CMSI colleague Ryan Martinson. For analysis of Chinese maritime policy and China Coast Guard development, it simply doesn’t get any better than this!
Ryan D. Martinson, “Shepherds of the South Seas,” Survival 58.3 (2016): 187-212.

Abstract

The huhang in strategic context
Huhang operations: backstop of economic…
The […]

20 May 2016

Doctrinal Sea Change, Making Real Waves: Examining the Naval Dimension of Strategy

Andrew S. Erickson, “Doctrinal Sea Change, Making Real Waves: Examining the Naval Dimension of Strategy,” in Joe McReynolds, ed., China’s Evolving Military Strategy (Washington, DC: Jamestown Foundation, 2016), 99-132.
Available through Brookings Institution Press.
Powered by the world’s second largest economy and defense budget, beyond its shores China has been formulating and implementing a consistent, incremental strategy […]