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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.

01 April 2021

Follow World’s Most Maritime Militia, Coast Guard, & Navy Ships—with Today’s New Edition of “Modern Chinese Maritime Forces”

Manfred Meyer (edited by Larry Bond and Chris Carlson), Modern Chinese Maritime Forces (Admiralty Trilogy Group, 1 April 2021).

“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 […]

29 March 2021

Records Expose China’s Maritime Militia at Whitsun Reef

Andrew S. Erickson and Ryan D. Martinson, “Records Expose China’s Maritime Militia at Whitsun Reef,” Foreign Policy, 29 March 2021.
Beijing Claims They Are Fishing Vessels. The Data Shows Otherwise.
Accompanying slide deck: Andrew S. Erickson and Ryan D. Martinson, “Exposed! Here are China’s Maritime Militia Ships at Whitsun Reef,” China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 29 March […]

25 March 2021

The Ryan Martinson Bookshelf: Unique Insights on China’s Maritime Policies, Forces & Ops + Whitsun Reef/Spratlys

For analysis of Chinese maritime policy and China Coast Guard development, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. Enjoy this fully updated one-stop library of my colleague Prof. Ryan Martinson’s work. It’s well worth reading all of these superb publications and interviews, even as they exceed three dozen in number!
Most recently, as both […]

22 March 2021

China’s Secretive Maritime Militia May Be Gathering at Whitsun Reef

Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s Secretive Maritime Militia May Be Gathering at Whitsun Reef,” Foreign Policy, 22 March 2021.
Boats designed to overwhelm civilian foes can be turned into shields in real conflict.

An obscure boomerang-shaped feature in the South China Sea may host the next phase of PRC maritime coercion. Since at least March 7, 2021, many […]

22 March 2021

Manila Protests Presence of Hundreds of Chinese Ships in Contested Waters

Aie Balagtas See and Zachary Haver, “Manila Protests Presence of Hundreds of Chinese Ships in Contested Waters,” Radio Free Asia, 22 March 2021.

… … … According to Philippine National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., the 220 Chinese ships were seen moored at the “large boomerang shaped shallow coral reef” [Whitsun Reef] on March 7 – […]

22 March 2021

What’s Next for U.S.-China Military Relations?

Brilliant must-read article on one of the few potentially productive areas for U.S.-China security dialogue and cooperation at this time!

Robert D. Williams, “What’s Next for U.S.-China Military Relations?” Lawfare Blog, 22 March 22, 2021.

Professor Williams is a senior research scholar, lecturer, and executive director of the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School. He is also a nonresident […]

21 March 2021

The China Maritime Militia Bookshelf: Latest Data, Official Statements, Fleet Estimate & Trilingual Wikipedia Entry

Andrew S. Erickson, “Tracking China’s ‘Little Blue Men’—A Comprehensive Maritime Militia Compendium,” China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 21 March 2021.

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 […]

20 March 2021

Latest on CCG + PAFMM & from Biden Administration—“U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South & East China Seas”—O’Rourke’s Newest CRS Report

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, 18 March 2021).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy here.
You can also click here to access the […]

15 March 2021

U.S. Navy Projections of PLAN Force Size through 2040—Documented Exclusively in Latest CRS Report—“China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities”

Ronald O’Rourke, China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress, RL33153 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 9 March 2021).
Having trouble accessing the website above? Please download a cached copy here!
You can also click here to access the report via the public CRS website.

In addition to his continuous incremental improvements, Ronald O’Rourke has revised this latest edition […]

14 March 2021

Testimony by Admiral Philip S. Davidson, USN, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command: “U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Posture”

Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing: United States Indo-Pacific Command
Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Time: 09:30 AM
Location: Room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building

Agenda
To receive testimony on United States Indo-Pacific Command in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2022 and the Future Years Defense Program.
*There will be a closed session at 8:00a.m., immediately prior […]

13 March 2021

Japan Ministry of Defense: “Security Environment Surrounding Japan”

This latest set of major reports from Japan’s Defense Ministry brims with exquisitely detailed graphics that convey important new information. (Identical versions in English and Japanese.) Those of us who’ve long enjoyed exchanges with Japanese government interlocutors are familiar with this elegant style. The course I took with Edward Tufte makes me think he’d plead for fewer […]

12 March 2021

Latest Edition of CRS Report Encapsulating Our Era—“Renewed Great Power Competition”

Ronald O’Rourke, Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress, R43838 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 4 March 2021).
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 renewal of great power competition was acknowledged alongside other considerations in […]

12 March 2021

Annual Freedom of Navigation Report, Fiscal Year 2020

Report to Congress, Annual Freedom of Navigation Report, Fiscal Year 2020 (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 27 January 2021).

p. 3
The Annual DoD FON Report
Every year, DoD releases an unclassified report identifying the excessive maritime claims that U.S. forces operationally challenged over the last fiscal year.
Below is a summary of excessive maritime claims that DoD […]

12 March 2021

U.S. Territories: The Frontlines of Global Competition with China

Must-read analysis by two former officials with top-level experience and expertise!
Alexander B. Gray and Douglas W. Domenech, “U.S. Territories: The Frontlines of Global Competition with China,” RealClearDefense, 11 March 2021.
Alexander B. Gray, a Senior Fellow in National Security Affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council, served on the staff of the National Security Council from 2018 to […]

05 March 2021

China Has Built the World’s Largest Navy. Now What’s Beijing Going to Do With It?

Honored to be included in this tour de force treatment of a timely topic, with a dream team of experts quoted in-depth!

Great to see extensive coverage of CMSI’s latest China Maritime Report, by top Office of Naval Intelligence analysts Jennifer Rice and Erik Robb!
Here’s my latest Chinese Naval Shipbuilding Bookshelf, as cited in the feature […]

02 March 2021

Going Nowhere Slowly: U.S.-China Military Relations, 1994-2001

Who got China “wrong”? Many, sadly… Who got China “right”? General Charles Hooper, for one!
I knew General Hooper KNEW the PRC in meeting him there when he served as Defense Attaché, U.S. Embassy Beijing (2007–09).
But it’s worth revisiting his insights from even before that, in 2006, during his second time at Harvard.
Having received an MPA […]

01 March 2021

Survey of English-Language Books on the PLA

This foundational survey of modern PLA studies reveals the state of the field just before the two decades’ meteoric growth to its present profusion. It specifically covers five dozen of the most significant works published over the past three decades, together with other sources emerging from China’s government and in then-still-new media such as the […]

24 February 2021

Xinjiang Production & Construction Corps: Key Policy Tool from Mao to Now, Under Xi

People of conscience worldwide recoil in horror at the tragic repression continuing across Xinjiang. Policy-makers of conviction, in the Biden Administration and around the world, are weighing options to respond. To help inform these vital efforts, it is important to revisit just how much Chinese Communist Party’s efforts in Xinjiang have been militarized, securitized, and […]

23 February 2021

The Ryan Martinson Bookshelf: Unique Insights on China’s Maritime Policies, Forces & Ops + New Coast Guard Law

For analysis of Chinese maritime policy and China Coast Guard development, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. Enjoy this fully updated one-stop library of my colleague Ryan Martinson’s work. It’s well worth reading all of these superb publications and interviews, even as they exceed three dozen in number!
Andrew S. Erickson, “The Ryan Martinson […]