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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.

21 April 2022

“Modern Chinese Maritime Forces”—1 April 2022 Edition—Covers World’s Most-Numerous Navy, Coast Guard & Maritime Militia Ships

This is the most comprehensive unclassified Chinese maritime order of battle, ship silhouettes, and data available anywhere. It tracks the world’s most-numerous Navy, Coast Guard, and Maritime Militia vessels in unrivaled detail. Even just flipping through this volume for a minute reveals the staggering scope and extent of PRC sea power across the waterfront today. I […]

18 April 2022

Eight New Points on the Porcupine: More Ukrainian Lessons for Taiwan

To make Taiwan an indigestible choking hazard, here’s exactly where to invest now.
Andrew S. Erickson and Gabriel B. Collins, “Eight New Points on the Porcupine: More Ukrainian Lessons for Taiwan,” War on the Rocks, 18 April 2022.
Watching Russia falter in Ukraine, Chinese President Xi Jinping may conclude that if he decides to invade Taiwan, he cannot hope […]

22 March 2022

The Center for Naval Warfare Studies (CNWS): An Introduction

Founded, in the words of Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, United States Navy, as “a place of original research,” one of the primary functions of the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) is to conduct research, analysis, and gaming to support the requirements of the Secretary of the Navy and others. The Center for Naval Warfare Studies […]

18 March 2022

China’s Energy Import Dependency: Potential Impacts on Sourcing Practices, Infrastructure Decisions & Military Posture

Check out this must-read testimony on China’s energy import dependency from Gabe Collins at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy! It’s part of a timely U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission (USCC) hearing on PRC energy issues…
Watch the webcast, read the text, or just scroll through Gabe’s 16 data-rich exhibits—and I guarantee you’ll come […]

13 March 2022

2013 PRC-Ukraine Treaty of Friendship & Cooperation/Joint Communiqué: Signed by Xi, But What’s it Worth?

As Putin wages war against Ukraine, and China’s position remains unclear heading into a high-level Sino-American meeting on this issue, the 2013 Joint Communiqué and Treaty that Beijing concluded with Kiev under Xi himself raises important questions about PRC commitments. Consider the first line of the actual Communiqué itself: “2013年12月5日签署的《中华人民共和国和乌克兰友好合作条约》具有重要意义,标志着中乌关系迈上更高发展水平。” [“There is important meaning to […]

12 March 2022

O’Rourke’s Latest CRS Report—USG/N Info on PLAN Ships & Projections of #s Lead thru 2040—“China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities”

As part of Ronald O’Rourke’s continuous incremental improvements, this 261st (!) edition of his report on PRC naval modernization incorporates numbers provided by the U.S. Navy. Given the authoritative analysis supporting these revelations, and the rarity with which they are made publicly available in this manner, they are all worth reading carefully in full!
Bottom line […]

10 March 2022

CMSI China Maritime Report #19: “The PLA Airborne Corps in a Joint Island Landing Campaign”

Cristina L. Garafola, The PLA Airborne Corps in a Joint Island Landing Campaign, China Maritime Report 19 (Newport, RI: Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute, March 2022).

About the Author

Cristina L. Garafola is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on the ramifications of China’s rise for its global status, particularly […]

09 March 2022

Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community—Key China Content

Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community (McLean, VA: Office of the Director of National Intelligence, February 2022). [with information as of January 2022]

PRC-specific content, pp. 6–9:

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will continue efforts to achieve President’s Xi Jinping’s vision of making China the preeminent power in East Asia […]

07 March 2022

Lead Senior Navy School’s Research Arm through Critical Decade of Great Power Competition—Apply Today to Become Dean, CNWS, Naval War College!

Apply now to become the next Dean, Center for Naval Warfare Studies (CNWS) at the Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island—the Navy’s “Home of Thought”! The next individual in this intellectually pivotal position will provide thought leadership and management for a dynamic team of scholars, analysts, international and military operational law experts, cyber specialists, war gamers, […]

06 March 2022

Meanwhile—China to Raise *Official* Annual Defense Budget by 7.1% to $230 Billion (1.45 trillion yuan)

China to raise military budget by 7.1% this year
By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-06 14:10

China plans to raise its annual defense budget by 7.1 percent to 1.45 trillion yuan ($230 billion) for the 2022 fiscal year, its seventh-straight year of single-digit growth, according to a draft budget plan unveiled on Saturday.
The figures were […]

06 March 2022

Putin’s Naval Strategy & Development—Key Docs/Translations + Analysis from Russia Maritime Studies Institute

The last decade has seen the reemergence of Russia from its post-Cold War malaise. In this environment, it is vital that the U.S. and its partners develop a clear understanding of the strategic and operational factors that shape Russia’s approach to maritime issues and that drive Russian military and foreign policy decision making.
At sea, Russia […]

05 March 2022

Office of Naval Intelligence Details Russia’s Navy—Unique Info Set!

The Russian Navy – A Historic Transition
ONI’s most recent unclassified report on Russia’s navy, The Russian Navy – A Historic Transition, looks historically and currently at the role played by Russian naval forces. It is the first such report discussing the Russian Federation Navy by ONI since the seventh and last issue of Understanding Soviet […]

27 February 2022

Unique Reference! Russia’s Aircraft: Russian Military Aircraft, 1955 – Present

A comprehensive order of battle containing all aircraft in service over the previous seven decades right up to now in Moscow’s Naval Aviation (AVMF), Military Air Force (VVS), Air Defense Forces (PVO), and Long-Range Aviation (DA). Use this unique and timely unclassified reference for open source research and war gaming!
Larry Bond, Chris Carlson, and Peter […]

27 February 2022

Timely! Russia’s Navy: The Soviet and Russian Navy, 1955 – Present Day

A comprehensive compendium of Moscow’s naval ships and associated missiles/weapons & sensors from seven decades ago to right now, as you’ve never seen them before… Consult this unparalleled unclassified reference for analysis or war gaming today! 
Larry Bond, Chris Carlson, and Peter Grining, eds., Russia’s Navy: The Soviet and Russian Navy, 1955 – Present Day (Admiralty Trilogy Group, […]

24 February 2022

Putin’s Ukraine Invasion Underscores: Nuclear Posture Review Must Preserve (Extended) Deterrence 100%, Avoid Dangerous “Sole Purpose” Language, etc.

Bottom line up front: Virtue signaling is no substitute for deterrence signaling!
Andrew S. Erickson, “Putin’s Ukraine Invasion Underscores: Nuclear Posture Review Must Preserve (Extended) Deterrence 100%, Avoid Dangerous ‘Sole Purpose’ Language, etc.,” China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 24 February 2022.
As tonight’s unfolding Ukraine tragedy underscores only too starkly, the Biden Administration must preserve deterrence, including […]

23 February 2022

In Loving Memory: Admiral Eric McVadon, 1936–2022

Rear Admiral Eric A. McVadon, Jr. was a Naval Aviator, Vietnam War veteran, Commanding Officer of Naval Station Keflavik (Iceland), and celebrated U.S. Defense Attaché in Beijing (1990–92). With his deep experience, thoughtfulness, and infectious enthusiasm, he was a valued mentor to many China Hands.

True to form, he was also a great friend and supporter […]

11 February 2022

Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States

Indo-Pacific Strategy of the United States (Washington, DC: The White House, 11 February 2022).
Click here to read Twitter thread with key quotes from document.
Download a cached copy here.
Background Press Call
Fact Sheet

Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials Previewing the U.S.’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

11:07 A.M. EST
MODERATOR:  Thanks, everyone, for joining us.  As […]

28 January 2022

The China Maritime Militia Bookshelf: Latest Data/Analysis, SECNAV Guidance, Music Video & More!

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, 28 January 2022.

Amid wave after wave of Coronavirus variants, 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, I hope […]

27 January 2022

138th Edition of O’Rourke’s CRS Report! “U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South & East China Seas: Background & Issues for Congress”—Latest Info on PAFMM & CCG

Now in its 138th (!) iteration, this periodically-updated Library of Congress report is indispensable for policy-makers and analysts alike!

Ronald O’Rourke, U.S.-China Strategic Competition in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests—Background and Issues for Congress, R42784 (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 18 January 2022).
If you have trouble accessing the website above, please download a cached copy […]