Archive | Blog Posts

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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26 March 2019

Honoring the Many Contributions of Andrew Marshall, An Early Supporter and Sponsor of CMSI

Andrew Marshall was a great visionary who inspired and generously supported the research of many others. This included my own early efforts in Chinese-language open source analysis as a Office of Net Assessment-sponsored research fellow at the Naval War College in 2005-06 while completing my Ph.D. on leave from Princeton; and, more importantly, those of […]

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19 March 2019

In Loving Memory: A Tribute to CMSI Founding Supporter Kyrill Korolenko

Kyrill “Ky” Korolekno completed his extraordinary life on Saturday 16 March 2019 in Newport, Rhode Island. Those who knew him personally lost a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, friend, and colleague. The U.S. Navy lost a national treasure: a widely patented electrical engineer who over a five-decade career was one of its great innovators in undersea […]

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04 March 2019

China’s 2019 Defense Spending to Rise 7.5% to 1.19 Trillion Yuan (~177.61 Billion U.S. Dollars)

It’s official! In 2019 China will raise defense spending by 7.5% to 1.19 trillion yuan (about 177.61 billion U.S. dollars). That’s a large increase off an enormous baseline. The official figures were released today at Beijing’s biggest political meetings of the year—the “Two Sessions,” back-to-back meetings of two major PRC political bodies: the nearly-3,000-delegate National People’s […]

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24 February 2019

Open Source Research on China’s Maritime Law Enforcement Force Structure Development: Methodology & References

The following publications regarding the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s rapid development of the world’s largest maritime law enforcement (“Coast Guard”) fleet and key dynamics concerning its force structure are based on far more extensive open source research than can be reflected in the space available for citations within them:

Joshua Hickey, Andrew S. Erickson, and […]

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18 February 2019

The Ryan Martinson Bookshelf–Unique Insights into China’s Coast Guard, Maritime Policies, and Activities at Sea

For analysis of Chinese maritime policy and China Coast Guard development, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. Enjoy this fully updated one-stop library of my colleague Ryan Martinson’s work. It’s well worth reading all 20 of these superb publications!
Ryan D. Martinson, “China’s Far Seas Naval Operations, From the Year of the Snake to […]

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16 February 2019

Important article by Prof. Wu Zhengyu, Renmin University of China—“Towards Naval Normalcy: ‘Open Seas Protection’ & Sino-US Maritime Relations”

Looking for substantive maritime geostrategic analysis by a top Chinese scholar? Read on!
Zhengyu Wu, “Towards Naval Normalcy: ‘Open Seas Protection’ and Sino-US Maritime Relations,” The Pacific Review (Published online: 14 February 2019).
On May 26th, 2015, China published its 10th Defense White Paper which integrated ‘open seas protection’, along with ’offshore waters defense’, into its naval […]

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19 January 2019

The Coast Guard is a U.S. Armed Service. Here’s what it secures, why that matters & why it must be paid now for its vital work…

Never thought I’d have to help build awareness regarding Coast Guard service members’ irreplaceable work, but here we are…
The Coast Guard is a U.S. Armed Service whose uniformed personnel safeguard America’s long sea border and enormous exclusive economic zone, both of which are among the world’s very greatest.
Coastguardsmen have served in every American military […]

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02 January 2019

The China Anti-Piracy Bookshelf: Statistics & Implications from Ten Years’ Deployment… & Counting

What a difference a decade makes! When the definitive histories of how China became a great sea power in the 21st century are written, an important chapter will surely be devoted to a development that reached the ten-year mark today: China’s deployment of 31-and-counting naval task forces to the Gulf of Aden since 26 December 2008.
A […]

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26 December 2018

The China Anti-Piracy Bookshelf: Reflections on a Decade of PLAN Deployments to the Gulf of Aden

What a difference a decade makes! When the definitive histories of how China became a great sea power in the 21st century are written, an important chapter will surely be devoted to a development that reached the ten-year mark today: China’s deployment of 31-and-counting naval task forces to the Gulf of Aden since 26 December […]

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19 December 2018

The Complete China Maritime Militia Bookshelf: Latest & Greatest


Tracking China’s “Little Blue Men”—A Comprehensive Maritime Militia Compendium
Rarely is a topic so little recognized and so little understood, yet so important and so amenable to research using Chinese-language open sources… To increase awareness and understanding of this important subject, here is a convenient compendium of major publications and […]

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14 December 2018

Worth Reading in Full—Randall Schriver’s Interview: “‘Not Much Distinction’ Between China’s Navy and Militia Fishing Boats”

Yoshinari Kurose, interview with Randall Schriver: “‘Not Much Distinction’ Between China’s Navy and Militia Fishing Boats,” Japan Forward/Sankei Shimbun, 13 December 2018.

(Click here to read the original article in Japanese.)


Randall Schriver, United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, recently spoke to Yoshinari Kurose, Washington Bureau chief of The Sankei Shimbun and JAPAN Forward.
The […]

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