24 July 2015

12:00 Noon, Capitol Hill Forum 24 July (Today): “Follow the Dragon Tracks: China’s Emerging Presence from the South China Sea to Facilities Access in the Indian Ocean”

July 24, 12:00 Noon, Capitol Hill Forum featuring Dr. Andrew Erickson

Invitation to the Defense Forum Foundation’s

Congressional Defense and Foreign Policy Forum



Ambassador J. William Middendorf, II                        Suzanne Scholte

Chairman, Defense Forum Foundation                            President, DFF


Luncheon Topic:

“Follow the Dragon Tracks: China’s Emerging Presence

from the South China Sea to Facilities Access in the Indian Ocean”

Speaker: Dr. Andrew Erickson, Associate Professor, Naval War College 

When: Friday, July 24, 2015, 12:00 noon-1:15 pm

Where: B-339 Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill


As China works to develop a blue water navy, some of its first distant seas presence is occurring in the energy- and trade-rich sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. This is the epicenter of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Route Economic Belt (21世纪海上丝绸之路), an initiative promulgated by President Xi Jinping in October 2013 that Beijing is developing to spread trade and influence. China’s 2015 Defense White Paper outlines increasingly complex, far-ranging interests; unprecedented mritime emphasis; and growing power projection capabilities. Meanwhile, six-plus-years of anti-piracy deployments in the Gulf of Aden offer an irreplaceable springboard for increasingly essential operations to safeguard citizens and interests overseas. Yet this expensive mission, with diminishing political and operational returns, must wind down at some point. In its place will likely emerge a network of access points to support growing Chinese naval activity in more robust, economical fashion. Dr. Erickson will survey candidate ports and their likely roles in China’s Indian Ocean Region presence and operations.


RSVP Required (acceptances only): by email to rsvp@defenseforumfoundation.org or by phone to 703-534-4313 by noon, Thursday, July 23rd to attend this forum.


Cost: No charge to Members of Congress or Congressional Staff.  A $35 fee is requested from all others solely to cover the cost of the lunch so we can open the Forum to the general public.  Send check prior to lunch to DFF, 3014 Castle Road, Falls Church, VA 22044 or via paypal at our website: www.defenseforumfoundation.org


DFF’s Defense and Foreign Policy Forums were established in 1983 to provide Congressional staff the opportunity to hear from expert speakers in a nonpartisan, collegial atmosphere on important issues facing the United States of America and her allies.