16 April 2018

Cornell Contemporary China Initiative Lecture—“The People’s Republic at Sea: Great Power with ‘Chinese Characteristics’”

Andrew S. Erickson, “The People’s Republic at Sea: Great Power with ‘Chinese Characteristics’,” Contemporary China Initiative Lecture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 9 April 2018.

Click here to watch a video of the lecture.

 Monday, April 9, 2018, 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Goldwin Smith Hall, G64, Kaufmann Auditorium

232 East Ave, Central Campus

The Cornell Contemporary China Initiative Lecture Series, featuring interdisciplinary talks by scholars on issues in China today, runs every Monday this semester.

Co-sponsored by the Cornell East Asia Program.

Andrew S. Erickson, Professor of Strategy in the NWC’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI), U.S. Naval War College

“The People’s Republic at Sea: Great Power with “Chinese Characteristics”

Powered by the world’s second largest economy and defense budget, China has become a great sea power in its own right, and in its own way. China’s Armed Forces comprise three major organizations, each with a maritime subcomponent that is already the world’s largest such sea force by number of ships. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) contains the PLA Navy (PLAN); the People’s Armed Police (PAP) has formally been put in charge of the consolidating China Coast Guard (CCG); and the People’s Armed Forces Militia contains a growing proportion seagoing units, the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM). Not seeking war but seeking to change the status quo in its favor, Beijing employs its enormous second and third sea forces in maritime “gray zone” operations to further its disputed East and South China Sea sovereignty claims using coercion short of warfare; typically with its first sea force providing coordination and deterrence from over the horizon. This lecture considers why and how China has gone to sea to further its security interests, as well as suggest potential implications.

About Cornell Contemporary China Initiative

The Cornell Contemporary China Initiative is a forum that brings together scholars, researchers and students with sustained research interests in contemporary China. In response to widely expressed needs related to contemporary China across Cornell campus, CCCI invites excellent speakers to the university to give talks on an array of interdisciplinary issues about contemporary Chinese economy, politics and society. So far, CCCI has invited over 50 notable academics and public intellectuals to Cornell as part of its lecture series. With diverse professional backgrounds including professors, lawyers, journalists, authors and musicians, these speakers offer unique perspectives on the study of China today. CCCI expands EAP’s intellectual engagement with a wide range of Cornell faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students, including those in the professional schools and STEM fields, in an active endeavor to reach across colleges and disciplinary boundaries and interact with a broader constituency at the university. 

Follow us on WeChat for updates on ongoing activities and events:

Inaugural Event: Professor Sherman Cochran (Hu Shih Professor Emeritus of Chinese History) gave a lecture, “The Greatest Cornellian: Hu Shih, Class of 1914,” on November 20, 2014 at the Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium in Milstein Hall. Read about it in this Cornell Chronicle article.

Contemporary China Lecture Series: The weekly lecture series is the cornerstone of CCCI. It features interdisciplinary talks by scholars and public intellectuals on contemporary issues in China. These talks are recorded and selections made available to the entire Cornell community and public on Vimeo: Cornell East Asia Program.

One-credit Course: This one-credit undergraduate course serves to complement the lecture series by requiring students to attend several foundation-setting lectures by the instructor, and then attend the weekly talks and write short assignments. The course allows students to further engage with the themes covered each week.

Student Symposium: CCCI hosts an annual student symposium as a platform for students to present their research on contemporary China to an engaged audience of faculty and fellow students.

Conference in China: CCCI will host a series of conferences in different cities across China, taking urbanization and the city as our point of departure to address issues related to rural transformation, urban planning, sustainable development, and technology and infrastructure. The goal is to create networks of potential collaborators and foster long-term research cooperation.

New Undergraduate Courses on Contemporary China: The Initiative is currently assessing students’ needs and interests related to China and is systematically developing new courses on contemporary China. Over the next several years, EAP has plans to encourage its faculty through the course development fund to develop a dozen more courses that would address a broad range of topics relevant to contemporary China.

CCCI Resource Center: CCCI cultivates an online presence to archive the video recordings of the talks and selected articles and supplementary materials provided by the series speakers.