Hi! Welcome...

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.

09 October 2020

Honored to Contribute “China’s Maritime Militia: An Important Force Multiplier” in Admiral McDevitt’s book on China as a 21st-Century Naval Power

Honored to contribute to Admiral McDevitt’s landmark book. This must-read volume rightly recognizes China as already having unmatched across-the-board maritime capabilities in 2020, and offers PLA Navy projections to 2035!
Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy, “Appendix II—China’s Maritime Militia: An Important Force Multiplier,” in Michael McDevitt, China as a Twenty-First-Century Naval Power: Theory, Practice, and […]

09 October 2020

Navy Force Structure & Shipbuilding Plans: Background & Issues for Congress

Ronald O’Rourke, Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 7 October 2020).
Click here to download a cached copy.
And be sure to check out the freshly-updated Table 2 below!
Summary
In December 2016, the Navy released a force-structure goal that calls for achieving and maintaining a fleet of 355 […]

07 October 2020

Naval Intelligence Essay Contest Winner—First Prize: “Embrace Analog Tools in a Digital Intelligence Age”

Commander Christopher Nelson, U.S. Navy, and Andrew Rhodes, “Embrace Analog Tools in a Digital Intelligence Age,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 146.10 (October 2020).

Naval Intelligence Essay Contest Winner—First Prize
Cosponsored by the Naval Institute and Naval Intelligence Professionals

Summary: The naval intelligence community must strike a balance between old tools and new technology.
Commander Nelson is the deputy […]

02 October 2020

“Modern Chinese Maritime Forces”—New Edition—Unmatched Detail on World’s Largest Navy, Coast Guard & Maritime Militia!

Manfred Meyer (edited by Larry Bond and Chris Carlson), Modern Chinese Maritime Forces (Admiralty Trilogy Group, 1 October 2020).

“A compilation of all ships and boats of the Chinese Navy, Coast Guard, Maritime Militia and other state authorities”
In terms of ship numbers, each of China’s three sea forces is the world’s largest by a large margin. For the […]

28 September 2020

The China Military Power Report 2020 Bookshelf

The latest edition of the Pentagon’s China Military Power reports, released at the beginning of this month, is also the greatest since their inception twenty years ago. At 173 pages, it also the longest and most substantive. A high-water mark in public analysis from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, it begins with a self-critical […]

20 September 2020

The Joseph Gavin Aerospace Engineering Bookshelf: Centennial Edition

On the centenary of his birth (18 September 1920), I would like to offer a compilation of background research and personal perspectives on one of the space age’s pioneers, Joseph Gleason Gavin, Jr. His life and career interconnected with a bold new era that saw humans transcend their earthly bounds and set foot on another […]

18 September 2020

Assistant Secretary of State Stilwell’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony: “Advancing U.S. Engagement & Countering China in the Indo-Pacific & Beyond”

David R. Stilwell, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, “Advancing U.S. Engagement and Countering China in the Indo-Pacific and Beyond,” Testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,” Washington, DC, 17 September 2020.

Chairman Risch, Ranking Member Menendez, and Members of the Committee:
Thank you for the opportunity to testify before the Committee to […]

18 September 2020

SECDEF Esper’s China- & Navy-Focused Speech at RAND—Full Text as Delivered

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Speech at RAND (As Delivered), RAND Corporation, Arlington, VA, 16 September 2020.

Well thank you for that introduction—kind introduction Michael and good morning everyone. It’s great to be here and I also want to thank Dr. Edward Harshberger for moderating today’s discussion. And I really look forward to a […]

17 September 2020

Full Text of 1st such PRC White Paper: “China’s Armed Forces: 30 Years of UN Peacekeeping Operations”

China’s Armed Forces: 30 Years of UN Peacekeeping Operations (Beijing: The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, September 2020).
Click here to download the full text directly from Xinhua. Or, simply read it below:

Contents
Preface
I. Embarking on Missions for World Peace
II. A Key Force in UNPKOs
III. Implementation of Pledges Announced at the UN […]

17 September 2020

Toxic Politics: China’s Environmental Health Crisis and its Challenge to the Chinese State

Yanzhong Huang, Toxic Politics: China’s Environmental Health Crisis and its Challenge to the Chinese State (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2020).
Summary: China’s deepening health crisis reveals the fragility of the party-state and undercuts China’s ability to project influence internationally.
Watch for further information and related events at the Council on Foreign Relations!

Book description
Environmental degradation in China has […]

14 September 2020

The China Maritime Militia Bookshelf: New Data, Official Report Content & Wikipedia Entry

CHINA’S MARITIME MILITIA: DATA & ANALYSIS

Tracking China’s “Little Blue Men”—A Comprehensive Maritime Militia Compendium
As Coronavirus rages on, fishy things have been happening across the South and East China Seas, home to virtually all of China’s unresolved maritime disputes… Since Beijing remains far from being fully forthcoming and transparent, it is to be hoped that governments whose nations’ ships have […]

13 September 2020

People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM)… Now Has a Wikipedia Entry!

“People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia,” Wikipedia, entry as of 13 September 2020.

The People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) is the government funded maritime militia of China[1]. For reportedly operating in the South China Sea without clear identification, they are sometimes referred to as the “little blue men”, a term coined by Andrew S. Erickson of the Naval War College in reference to Russia’s “little […]

13 September 2020

“U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South & East China Seas”—114th ed. of O’Rourke’s latest CRS Report offers CCG + PAFMM updates

Now in its 114th iteration, not far behind its counterpart on PLA Navy development, this Library of Congress report is indispensable for policy-makers and analysts alike!

Ronald O’Rourke, U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress, R42784 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 28 August 2020).
If you have trouble accessing […]

13 September 2020

“U.S. Role in the World: Background & Issues for Congress”—Updated CRS Report Has Major China/Russia Coverage

Ronald O’Rourke, U.S. Role in the World: Background & Issues for Congress R44891 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 26 August 2020).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
You can also click here to access the report via the new public CRS website.

Summary
The U.S. role in the world refers to the overall character, purpose, or […]

13 September 2020

Latest Version of Timely CRS Report—“Renewed Great Power Competition”

Ronald O’Rourke, Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress, R43838 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 25 August 2020).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
You can also click here to access the report via the new public CRS website.

Summary
Many observers have concluded that the post-Cold War era of international relations—which […]

13 September 2020

China’s Grand Strategy: Trends, Trajectories, and Long-Term Competition

Andrew Scobell, Edmund J. Burke, Cortez A. Cooper III, Sale Lilly, Chad J. R. Ohlandt, Eric Warner, and J.D. Williams, China’s Grand Strategy: Trends, Trajectories, and Long-Term Competition (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2020).
Click here to read a press release.

To explore what extended competition between the United States and China might entail out to 2050, the authors identified and characterized China’s grand strategy, […]

10 September 2020

CMSI China Maritime Report #8: “Winning Friends and Influencing People: Naval Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics”

A great new contribution from Tim Heath at RAND!
Timothy R. Heath, Winning Friends and Influencing People: Naval Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics, China Maritime Report 8 (Newport, RI: Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute, September 2020). 
In recent years, Chinese leaders have called on the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to carry out tasks related to naval diplomacy beyond […]

09 September 2020

China is the World’s Biggest Shipbuilder, And its Ability to Rapidly Produce New Warships Would Be a “Huge Advantage” in a Long Fight with the US, Experts Say

Ryan Pickrell, “China is the World’s Biggest Shipbuilder, And its Ability to Rapidly Produce New Warships Would Be a ‘Huge Advantage’ in a Long Fight with the US, Experts Say,” Business Insider, 8 September 2020.
China could build up its fleet or rapidly replace losses in a conflict, much as the US was able to do […]

08 September 2020

Coming Next Month! “China’s Maritime Militia: An Important Force Multiplier” in Admiral McDevitt’s book on China as a 21st-Century Naval Power

Honored to contribute to Admiral McDevitt’s landmark book. This must-read volume rightly recognizes China as already having unmatched across-the-board maritime capabilities in 2020, and offers PLA Navy projections to 2035!
Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy, “Appendix II—China’s Maritime Militia: An Important Force Multiplier,” in Michael McDevitt, China as a Twenty-First-Century Naval Power: Theory, Practice, […]