Archive | Blog Posts

20 September 2020

The Joseph Gavin Aerospace Engineering Bookshelf: Centennial Edition

On the centenary of his birth (18 September 1920), I would like to offer a compilation of background research and personal perspectives on one of the space age’s pioneers, Joseph Gleason Gavin, Jr. His life and career interconnected with a bold new era that saw humans transcend their earthly bounds and set foot on another […]

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17 September 2020

Toxic Politics: China’s Environmental Health Crisis and its Challenge to the Chinese State

Yanzhong Huang, Toxic Politics: China’s Environmental Health Crisis and its Challenge to the Chinese State (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2020).
Summary: China’s deepening health crisis reveals the fragility of the party-state and undercuts China’s ability to project influence internationally.
Watch for further information and related events at the Council on Foreign Relations!

Book description
Environmental degradation in China has […]

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13 September 2020

China’s Grand Strategy: Trends, Trajectories, and Long-Term Competition

Andrew Scobell, Edmund J. Burke, Cortez A. Cooper III, Sale Lilly, Chad J. R. Ohlandt, Eric Warner, and J.D. Williams, China’s Grand Strategy: Trends, Trajectories, and Long-Term Competition (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2020).
Click here to read a press release.

To explore what extended competition between the United States and China might entail out to 2050, the authors identified and characterized China’s grand strategy, […]

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26 August 2020

“Warning to the United States!” China Fires DF-26B & DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) “Aircraft-Carrier Killer” into South China Sea

Kristin Huang, “Chinese Military Fires ‘Aircraft-Carrier Killer’ Missile into South China Sea in ‘Warning to the United States’,” South China Morning Post, 26 August 2020.

Weapon one of two sent over disputed waters a day after American spy plane reportedly nears Chinese naval drill, source says
PLA flexes muscle in response to continued US testing of Beijing’s […]

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20 August 2020

The Definitive History: International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Symposia on the History of Rocketry & Astronautics

Ingemar Skoog and R. Cargill Hall, “Fifty Years of IAA History Symposia (1967–2016),” Acta Astronautica, Volume 134, (May 2017): 368-84.
a International Academy of Astronautics, Immenstaad, FRG
b International Academy of Astronautics, Arlington, TX, USA

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Symposia on the History of Rocketry and Astronautics have been held annually at the International Astronautical Congresses since […]

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19 August 2020

Which Way the Dragon? Sharpening Allied Perceptions of China’s Strategic Trajectory

This well-written, pathbreaking analysis is unrivaled in its timeliness, relevance, and quality! Strongly suggest reading the full report with your full attention if you possibly can. At very least, don’t miss the key excerpts below…
Ross Babbage, Jack Bianchi, Julian Snelder, Toshi Yoshihara, Aaron Friedberg and Nadège Rolland, Which Way the Dragon? Sharpening Allied Perceptions of China’s Strategic Trajectory, Future […]

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18 August 2020

“South China Sea Military Capabilities Series”—Unique, Penetrating Insights from J. Michael Dahm, former Assistant U.S. Naval Attaché in Beijing

J. Michael Dahm, South China Sea Military Capabilities Series: A Survey of Technologies and Capabilities on China’s Military Outposts in the South China Sea (Laurel, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, 2020).
In the information age, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) believe that success in combat will be realized by winning a struggle for information […]

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16 August 2020

Lessons from ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ for Today

Charles Edel, “Lessons from ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ for Today,” Made by History Perspective, Washington Post, 15 August 2020.
The war in the Pacific holds the keys to addressing our problems today.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender to American forces in World War II. According to the novelist James Michener in his 1948 […]

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13 July 2020

Washington Post: Trump “administration plans to say the U.S. now regards virtually all Chinese maritime claims outside its internationally recognized waters to be illegitimate”

Matthew Lee and Lolita C. Baldor, “US to Reject Nearly all Chinese claims in South China Sea,” Washington Post, 13 July 2020.
U.S. officials say the Trump administration is poised to… [reject] outright nearly all of Beijing’s significant maritime claims in the South China Sea.
In a move the officials say is expected as early as Monday… […]

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29 June 2020

The Hong Kong Watch Floor

An unclear, but clearly worrisome, future has arrived. Now that Beijing has adopted, and will be implementing, a popularly-opposed National Security Law that effectively invalidates core One Country, Two Systems-promised protections, risks are mounting for Hong Kongers. Under assault: some of their most cherished values and freedoms, and Hong Kong’s much-touted status as Asia’s World City.
Hong […]

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16 June 2020

Why the Compacts of Free Association Matter to Washington

A timely treatment of a vital American interest, one that the Trump Administration has rightly prioritized.
Grant Wyeth, “Why the Compacts of Free Association Matter to Washington,” The Diplomat, 9 June 2020.
With its eyes on China, the United States seeks to reaffirm its presence in the western Pacific.
Last week, virtual meetings were held between officials from the U.S. […]

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09 June 2020

Tension High, Altitude Higher: Logistical and Physiological Constraints on the Indo-Chinese Border

The Sino-Indian border dispute is a significant subject with broad ramifications. It is likely to become even more so as the world’s two most populous great powers face growing domestic challenges amid enduring issues of bilateral contention. All too often, however, emerging new data are granular, unclear, and difficult for outside observers to verify. MIT […]

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25 May 2020

The Hong Kong Watch Floor

The clock is ticking toward an unclear, but clearly worrisome, future. As Beijing prepares to implement a popularly-opposed National Security Law that effectively invalidates core One Country, Two Systems-promised protections, risks are mounting for Hong Kongers. Under assault: some of their most cherished values and freedoms, and Hong Kong’s much-touted status as Asia’s World City.
Hong Kong’s […]

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15 April 2020

Apollo 13’s Lifeboat Fifty Years On: Remembering Grumman’s Lunar Module and Program Director Joe Gavin

I saw the movie Apollo 13 with him. Now let me tell you the forgotten story of how he and his team helped rescue the astronauts while the world watched and waited…
Andrew S. Erickson, “Apollo 13’s Lifeboat Fifty Years On: Remembering Grumman’s Lunar Module and Program Director Joe Gavin,” China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 15 […]

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11 March 2020

Breaking News: WHO Finally Declares Coronavirus (COVID-19 via SARS-CoV-2) Pandemic

In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.  
There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives. 
Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals.
In the days and weeks ahead, we […]

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15 February 2020

SECDEF Esper at Munich Security Conference: “If the PRC will not change its ways, then defending [the global] system must be our collective priority”

“Remarks by Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper at the Munich Security Conference,” U.S. Department of Defense, 15 February 2020.
Good morning, it’s a pleasure to be with you today.
I want to thank the Munich Security Conference for inviting me to speak today.
I can see that the event has grown considerably in size and scope since […]

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16 November 2019

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

The pathbreaking exposé of Xinjiang policy under Xi just published by Austin Ramzy and Chris Buckley in The New York Times contains the following reference to a decades-old organization that continues to undergird PRC development and control of the long-repressed region:
“In the 2014 speeches, Mr. Xi had singled out southern Xinjiang as the front line […]

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26 October 2019

Commemorating 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing at International Astronautical Congress—Papers & Presentations on LM Program Director Joe Gavin

People often ask how I ended up pursuing the extremely fulfilling, and somewhat esoteric, career that I’m so fortunate to enjoy now. The two-word answer is: “Joe Gavin.” Best known as the Program Director for the Apollo Lunar Module that landed the first—and thus far only—twelve men on the moon, he also happened to be my grandfather. Hearing […]

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01 October 2019

China’s Massive 70th Anniversary Military (Missile) Parade: Here’s My Take

China’s Massive 70th Anniversary Military (Missile) Parade: Here’s My Take
Andrew S. Erickson
Paramount leader Xi Jinping just presided over the largest, most impressive military parade in the history of the world. The occasion: to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which just exceeded the Soviet Union’s lifespan by one year. The […]

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