27 November 2020

Watch SOAS Seminar: “China as a Rising Military Power: Developments, Dynamics, Downsides & Dangers”

Andrew S. Erickson, “China as a Rising Military Power: Developments, Dynamics, Downsides, and Dangers,” School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) China Institute Seminar, University of London, UK, Webinar via Zoom, 30 November 2020.

Click here to watch on YouTube.

Presenter: Professor Andrew S. Erickson (U.S. Naval War College; Visiting Scholar, Harvard Fairbank Center)

Date: 30 November 2020 Time: 5:00 PM London Time (12:00 NOON EST) to 6:50 PM (1:50 PM EST)

Venue: Webinar broadcast live on Facebook
Posted on YouTube through SOAS China Institute account.


China has already parlayed the world’s second largest economy and defense budget into armed forces boasting global superlatives. It has long retained the world’s largest standing ground force. Each of China’s three sea forces—Navy, Coast Guard, Maritime Militia—is now the world’s largest by number of ships. China has the Indo-Pacific’s largest air forces. It has the world’s largest sub-strategic missile forces, and one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated surface-to-air missile forces. The world’s largest technological acquisition and application infrastructure augments domestic weapons development. Forces’ further advances and potential employment are guided by the most far-reaching, clearly defined grand strategy of any great power today, with lofty goals for 2035 and 2049. Long before those milestones, paramount leader Xi Jinping wants his sweeping defense reforms to yield overwhelming military power that commands deference to Party policies at home and abroad. At the nexus of those contested parameters lies the greatest of all flashpoints: Taiwan. And the most dangerous decade may well have already begun. China under Xi has likely reached its peak growth rate and the zenith of its leaders’ ability to mobilize resources to serve ambitious national objectives.


Professor Andrew S. Erickson is a Professor of Strategy in the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute. A core founding member, he helped establish CMSI and stand it up officially in 2006, and has played an integral role in its development. CMSI inspired the creation of other research centers, which he has advised and supported; he is a China Aerospace Studies Institute Associate. Erickson is currently a Visiting Scholar in full-time residence at Harvard University’s John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, where he has been an Associate in Research since 2008. He is also an Executive Committee member of Israel’s Haifa Maritime Center and a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Erickson has deployed in the Pacific as a Naval Postgraduate School Regional Security Education Program scholar aboard the flagship aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. Erickson received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He runs the research website www.andrewerickson.com.

Chair: Professor Steve Tsang (Director, SOAS China Institute)

Organiser: SOAS China Institute

Contact email: sci@soas.ac.uk