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Andrew S. Erickson China's rapid development is reshaping the world in all dimensions. Chinese language open sources offer insights into these critical trends. While such materials are increasing constantly in number, diversity, and sophistication, only a fraction is available in English. The analyses available here, many based on sources not previously considered outside China, are designed to help bridge that gap--and thereby increase understanding of the most dynamic great power in the international system today.

13 June 2021

CMSI China Maritime Report #14: “Chinese Views of the Military Balance in the Western Pacific”

Eric Heginbotham, Chinese Views of the Military Balance in the Western Pacific, China Maritime Report 14 (Newport, RI: Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute, June 2021).

Dr. Eric Heginbotham is a principal research scientist at MIT’s Center for International Studies and a specialist in Asian security issues. Before joining MIT, he was a senior political […]

09 June 2021

The Joel Wuthnow Bookshelf: PLA Organization, Development & Growing Global Activities

Dr. Joel Wuthnow is a senior research fellow in the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs within the Institute for National for Strategic Studies at the U.S. National Defense University (NDU).

Wuthnow’s research areas include Chinese foreign and security policy, Chinese military affairs, U.S.-China relations, and strategic developments in East Asia. In addition to his […]

09 June 2021

Important New CRS Report by Caitlin Campbell: “China’s Military: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA)”

Caitlin Campbell, China’s Military: The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) R46808 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 4 June 2021).
Click here to download a cached copy.

China’s military modernization is a major factor driving some observers’ concerns about China’s rise, China’s intentions toward the United States and its allies and partners, and the role China aspires to play in the […]

06 June 2021

The Elsa Kania Bookshelf: Sino-American Competition, Technological Futures & Approaching Battlefield Singularity

Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research focuses on China’s military strategy, defense innovation, and emerging technologies. Her book, Fighting to Innovate, should be forthcoming with the Naval Institute Press in 2022.

At CNAS, Ms. Kania has contributed […]

02 June 2021

PRC Researcher on President Biden’s China Experts (中国通)

David Cowhig, “PRC Researcher on President Biden’s China Experts 中国通,” 高大伟 David Cowhig’s Translation Blog, 29 May 2021.
Reposted with permission. For a cornucopia of fascinating and timely insights, fully accessible in natively-nuanced English, check out David’s many other great translations here!

About 高大伟 David Cowhig
After retirement David Cowhig translated, with his wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu’s 2019 “Bullets […]

30 May 2021

The Ian Chong Bookshelf: Academic Rigor, Sino-Asian Revelations, Real-World Relevance

Among my many blessings, it has been my good fortune to have enjoyed such a wonderful time in Princeton’s Politics Ph.D. program. My classmates there included Ian Chong, whom I’ve subsequently met up at with conferences across the United States and Asia. We’ve also overlapped as affiliates at Harvard and of the Columbia-Harvard China and […]

29 May 2021

The Oriana Skylar Mastro Bookshelf: Stanford Scholar-Servicemember Insights into Key PRC & Indo-Pacific Security Challenges

Dr. Oriana Skylar Mastro is a Center Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an inaugural Wilson Center China Fellow.

Mastro continues to […]

28 May 2021

The Rush Doshi Bookshelf: Policy-Relevant Scholarship on America’s Indo-Pacific Interests, China’s Grand Strategy & Techno-Economic Competition

Among his many top-caliber publications, Rush Doshi (杜如松) coauthored a cutting-edge chapter for the Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI)’s Naval Institute Press volume on Chinese naval shipbuilding!
Dr. Doshi brought leading expertise to his recent positions as the Director of The Brookings Institution China Strategy Initiative and a fellow in Brookings Foreign Policy, […]

28 May 2021

The Cristina Garafola Bookshelf: A RAND Researcher-Practitioner’s Insights into China’s Air Force, Military Modernization & Deterrence Efforts

I’ve been following Cristina’s pathbreaking work closely ever since I saw her present illuminating research on People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) forces at the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI)’s inaugural conference at RAND in June 2015. In addition to policy positions at State and Treasury, Cristina has applied her analytical insights […]

27 May 2021

Honored to be Cited by Jacqueline Deal on PLA Budgeting in Politico’s “China Watcher”

Jacqueline Deal, “China Could Soon Outgun the U.S.,” Politico China Watcher, 27 May 2021.

Welcome, China Watchers. This week’s guest host is Jacqueline Deal, senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, co-founder of the American Academy for Strategic Education and president of LTSG, a defense consultancy. She’s been tracking China’s military buildup for two decades and has testified frequently before the congressional U.S.-China Economic […]

27 May 2021

On the Great Wall with Joe Biden: A Retrospective

On the Great Wall with Joe Biden: A Retrospective
Andrew S. Erickson
As a summer intern at U.S. Embassy Beijing in 2001, I spent a day with then-Senator Biden on the Great Wall and in a nearby village. This afforded an unusual opportunity for extended conversation with him and observation of him interacting with others, particularly Chinese […]

27 May 2021

Illuminating China Brief Article by Joel Wuthnow: “What I Learned From the PLA’s Latest Strategy Textbook”

Joel Wuthnow, “What I Learned From the PLA’s Latest Strategy Textbook,” Jamestown China Brief 21.11 (25 May 2021).
A must-read! Joel Wuthnow’s analysis of the new (2020) edition of PLA NDU’s Science of Military Strategy, a key PLA textbook. It contains a number of updates in response to PLA reforms, but also suggests a revision to the military strategic […]

26 May 2021

Simplified Chinese-Language Edition of “The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power” Published by Harvard Fairbank Center

Jennifer Rudolph and Michael Szonyi, eds., The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).

陆德芙 [Jennifer Rudolph] and 宋怡明 [Michael Szonyi], 编 [Editors]; 余江 [Yu Jiang] and 郑言 [Zheng Yan], 译 [Translators]; 中国36问—对一个崛起大国的洞察 [The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power] (Cambridge, MA: 哈佛大学费正清中国研究中心 [John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University], 2020).

Simplified Chinese translation of my chapter: 艾立信 [Andrew S. […]

20 May 2021

The China Maritime Militia Bookshelf: Latest Developments, Statements, Numbers, Analysis, Wikipedia Entry & Music Video

Andrew S. Erickson, “Tracking China’s ‘Little Blue Men’—A Comprehensive Maritime Militia Compendium,” China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 20 May 2021.

As Coronavirus rages on, fishy things have been happening across the South and East China Seas, home to virtually all of China’s unresolved maritime disputes… Since Beijing remains far from being fully forthcoming and transparent, it is to be hoped […]

19 May 2021

Official Music Video: 三沙海上民兵之歌 “The Song of the Sansha Maritime Militia”

Open source intelligence pro tip #1: if you’re trying to lurk in the shadows of deniability—however implausible—don’t record and release an official music video!
Zachary Haver just published a blockbuster expose on the Sansha Maritime Militia. Among many revealing details, he mentioned that this vanguard unit of China’s Armed Forces has its own music video.
Immediately below […]

18 May 2021

In-Depth Multimedia Exposé by Zachary Haver, Radio Free Asia: “Unmasking China’s Maritime Militia”

Zachary Haver, “Unmasking China’s Maritime Militia,” Benar News, 17 May 2021.

China has long denied that it uses maritime militia forces to assert its maritime and territorial claims in the South China Sea, often describing the Chinese vessels clustered around disputed reefs and islets as just fishing boats.
But the paper trail left by the Chinese bureaucracy […]

17 May 2021

No Ordinary Boats: Cracking the Code on China’s Spratly Maritime Militias

China tends to be much more transparent in Chinese. And careful analysis of open sources can reveal important patterns and insights. Looks like my colleague Ryan Martinson just made an revealing discovery indeed!
Ryan D. Martinson, “No Ordinary Boats: Cracking the Code on China’s Spratly Maritime Militias,” Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), 17 May 2021.

A […]

13 May 2021

CMSI China Maritime Study/‘Red Book’ 16—“Chinese Nationalism & the ‘Gray Zone’: Case Analyses of Public Opinion & PRC Maritime Policy”

Andrew Chubb, Chinese Nationalism and the “Gray Zone”: Case Analyses of Public Opinion and PRC Maritime Policy, Naval War College China Maritime Study 16 (May 2021).
This volume examines the role of popular nationalism in China’s maritime conduct. Analysis of nine case studies of assertive but ostensibly nonmilitary actions by which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has advanced […]

12 May 2021

The Andrew Rhodes Bookshelf: Guiding Leaders across the Indo-Pacific through Geo-History, Strategy & Visual Communications

Andrew S. Erickson, “The Andrew Rhodes Bookshelf: Guiding Leaders across the Indo-Pacific through Geo-History, Strategy & Visual Communications,” China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 12 May 2021.
Andrew J. Rhodes is a career civil servant who has served as an expert in Asia-Pacific affairs in a variety of analytic, advisory, and staff positions across the Department of […]