26 January 2019

China’s Rise & the International Order—Register Now for 7 February DC Rollout Event for New NBR Volume “Strategic Asia 2019: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions”

The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) invites you to join them for a discussion and luncheon to mark the release of the eighteenth volume in the Strategic Asia series: Strategic Asia 2019: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions, edited by Ashley J. Tellis, Alison Szalwinski, and Michael Wills.

This event will feature remarks by Strategic Asia Program Research Director Ashley J. Tellis as well as two panels of Strategic Asia authors discussing China’s regional geographic ambitions and influence on international rules and order. The panels will be followed by a luncheon and keynote remarks by Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver.


China’s Rise and the International Order

Thursday, February 7, 2019

9:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

(Registration from 9:30–10:00 a.m.)


Elliott School of International Affairs

City View Room, 7th Floor

George Washington University

1957 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20052


Kindly note that space is limited. Seating will be limited and served on a first-come, first-served basis. If you plan to attend and have yet to register, please RSVP by clicking here.


Media inquiries:

Dan Aum, Director of Government and Media Relations

202.347.9767 or media@nbr.org


Now in its eighteenth year, NBR’s Strategic Asia Program is a major research initiative that draws together top Asia studies and international relations experts to assess the changing strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific. Learn more about NBR’s Strategic Asia Program.

Follow@NBRNews on Twitter and join the discussion using #StrategicAsia.



Randall G. Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Department of Defense



Ashley J. Tellis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Samantha Custer, AidData, College of William & Mary

Patricia M. Kim, United States Institute for Peace

Elizabeth Wishnick, Montclair State University

Joel Wuthnow, National Defense University



Ashley J. Tellis, Alison Szalwinski, and Michael Wills, eds., Strategic Asia 2019: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions (Seattle, WA: National Bureau of Asia Research, 2019).

Strategic Asia 2019: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions, the eighteenth volume in the Strategic Asia series, describes how China seeks to reshape the international system to serve its strategic aims. Each chapter assesses the country’s ambitions in a particular geographic or functional area and presents policy options for the United States and its partners to address the challenges posed by a rising China.


Pursuing Global Reach: China’s Not So Long March toward Preeminence

Ashley J. Tellis


Russia and the Arctic in China’s Quest for Great-Power Status

Elizabeth Wishnick


China’s Quest for Influence in Northeast Asia: The Korean Peninsula, Japan, and the East China Sea

Patricia M. Kim


A Rising China’s Challenge to Taiwan

Michael S. Chase


Shifting Winds in Southeast Asia: Chinese Prominence and the Future of the Regional Order

Ja Ian Chong


The Red Flag Follows Trade: China’s Future as an Indian Ocean Power

David Brewster


China’s Belt and Road: One Initiative, Three Strategies

Joel Wuthnow


Power vs. Distance: China’s Global Maritime Interests and Investments in the Far Seas

Andrew S. Erickson


China’s Role in Reshaping the International Financial Architecture: Blunting U.S. Power and Building Regional Order

Rush Doshi


China’s Global Development Spending Spree: Winning the World One Yuan at a Time?

Samantha Custer and Michael J. Tierney


China’s Promotion of New Global Values

François Godement


Praise for the Strategic Asia Program

“Every year NBR’s Strategic Asia assembles leading experts to analyze key aspects of international relations in the Asia-Pacific. It has proved year in and year out to be the model for practical and timely analysis that meets high scholarly standards for depth and rigor.”

The Strategic Asia annual edited volume incorporates assessments of economic, political, and military trends and focuses on the strategies that drive policy in the region. Learn more about Strategic Asia.



Andrew S. Erickson, “Power vs. Distance: China’s Global Maritime Interests and Investments in the Far Seas,” in Ashley J. Tellis, Alison Szalwinski, and Michael Wills, eds., Strategic Asia 2019: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions (Seattle, WA: National Bureau of Asia Research, 2019), 247-77.


An examination of China’s maritime power projection along a continuum of national interests and capabilities that diminish with distance and could be subject to slowing, setbacks, or reversal.


Under Xi Jinping’s ambitious emphasis on national rejuvenation, China is growing in all dimensions of national power, acquiring increasingly far-flung interests overseas. It is facing mounting domestic and international pressure to address them with unprecedented capabilities, particularly with its rapidly developing navy, and is allocating increasing resources with which to do so. Yet approaching and sustaining the remarkable U.S. constellation of global support capabilities that allow the U.S. to engage in combat operations against another major military worldwide seems unrealistic for China—even looking out over decades—given both the uniquely favorable opportunities that the U.S. has enjoyed and China’s geographic liabilities. Moreover, in its fourth decade of sustained growth in national power, China faces increasing headwinds that will likely slow its future progress overseas, as well as internal risks that may even draw it inward. Even if China becomes convulsed by internal problems, its very disarray could subject its immediate neighbors lacking significant sea buffers to tremendous challenges.


  • To counter China’s expanding maritime presence, the U.S. should carefully cultivate its global network of alliances and partnerships, which is a unique strength offering unparalleled influence, access, and power projection. 
  • Particularly for worst-case scenarios, U.S. decision-makers must consider how to leverage China’s strong power-distance gradient to shape its behavior across a full spectrum of contingencies. 
  • U.S. planners must address enduring technological imbalances and invest accordingly in capabilities to counter China’s military counterintervention approaches while targeting its vulnerabilities. 

Andrew S. Erickson is a Professor of Strategy in the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. 

Ashley Tellis, p. 23:

“Andrew Erickson’s chapter on China’s global maritime interests and investments in the ‘far seas’ carefully delineates the different factors that have taken Beijing along this path and offers an assessment of its consequences and limitations. That China has embarked on such a course at all obviously conveys its growing confidence: reflected in Hu Jintao’s articulation of the PLA’s new historic missions, these developments confirm China’s desire to take on expanded responsibilities beyond the mere defense of its homeland.