Conversation

08.29.17

Is the United States Still the Predominant Power in the Pacific?

Dennis J. Blasko, James Holmes & more
In late August, a U.S. destroyer collided with an oil tanker—the fourth such accident for the U.S. Navy in Asia since January. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has increased troop commitments in Afghanistan, threatened to strike North Korea with “...

If a Crisis Shuts down the South China Sea, Here Are the Losers — and a Few Winners

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Several industries are trying to assess what open confrontation in the South China Sea would cost them, and a lot of them don't like what they’re finding. The world’s second–largest economy is getting more wary — and...

After U.S. Destroyer Collision, Chinese Paper Says U.S. Navy a Hazard

Reuters
The U.S. navy’s latest collision at sea, the fourth in its Pacific fleet this year, shows it is becoming an increasing risk to shipping in Asia despite its claims of helping to protect freedom of navigation, an official Chinese newspaper said.

What If Trump Ordered a Nuclear Strike on China? I’d Comply, Says Admiral

New York Times
The commander of the United States Pacific Fleet was asked a hypothetical question during a talk on Thursday in Australia: If President Trump ordered a nuclear strike on China, would he comply? “The answer would be yes,” the commander, Adm. Scott H...

As India and China Face Off in the Mountains, a New Confrontation Is Growing in the Ocean

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
India-China ties, already weighed down by a Himalayan border dispute, are set for further pressure amid territorial concerns in the Indian Ocean. Beijing has been expanding its naval presence there, triggering worry from New Delhi.

US, India and Japan Begin Naval Exercises, as China Looks On

Steve George and Huizhong Wu
CNN
A rising Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean has prompted the largest naval exercise the region has seen in more than two decades. The United States, Japan and India have deployed front-line warships, submarines, and aircraft as part of the tri-...

Take a Tour of China’s First Aircraft Carrier, a Secondhand Soviet-Era Ship Now in Hong Kong

Zheping Huang
Quartz
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was open to the public for the first time this past weekend. The event took place in Hong Kong as part of the 20th anniversary marking the city’s handover to Chinese rule.

China May Soon Establish Naval Base in U.S. Ally Pakistan

Wajahat S. Khan
NBC News
Nuclear-armed Pakistan is a key ally of the United States — but the relationship is far from untroubled. And one of Washington's main geopolitical rivals appears ready to step in...

China Likely to Set up Military Base in Pakistan – Pentagon

Telegraph
The report from the Pentagon predicts China will expand its military prowess after the construction of its first overseas naval base in Djibouti, a strategic location at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal.

South China Sea: U.S. Warship Challenges China’s Claims with First Operation under Trump

CNN
A U.S. Navy destroyer has sailed close to a disputed South China Sea island controlled by China for the first time under U.S. President Donald Trump.

Why China Still Can’t Beat U.S. to Become the World’s Most Powerful Navy

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
China will eventually become the world’s No 2 aircraft carrier power, trailing only the United States, but its carrier strike group air crews are still far below international standard, military experts say.

Taiwan’s Failure to Face the Threat from China

ENOCH Y. WU
New York Times
China’s aggression in the Asia-Pacific region has been met with little tangible response from the United States and other countries. China’s neighbors have acquiesced to Beijing’s claims to the airspace above the East China Sea and have stood by as...

Sri Lanka Rejects Chinese Request for Submarine Visit: Sources

Shihar Aneez, Ranga Sirilal
Reuters
Sri Lanka has rejected China’s request to dock one of its submarines in Colombo this month, two senior government officials said on Thursday as the Indian prime minister who worries about growing Chinese activity in a country it has long viewed as...

China Coast Guard’s New ‘Monster’ Ship Completes Maiden Patrol in South China Sea

Franz-Stefan Gady
Diplomat
The world’s largest coast guard vessel, the 12,000-ton China Coast Guard (CCG) cutter 3901, has successfully completed its first patrol in the South China Sea this month, according to Chinese government reports.

Made-In-China Aircraft Carrier Is Readied for Launch

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
China was making final preparations to launch its first domestically built aircraft carrier as it marked the 68th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Navy on Sunday.

Recreating China’s Imagined Empire

Ian Johnson from New York Review of Books
China’s influence in the world has become a persistent theme of these early days of the Donald Trump era. During his campaign, Trump portrayed China (not entirely incorrectly) as the leading malefactor in the politics of international trade—holding...

China and Russia Send Intelligence-Gathering Vessels to ‘Chase’ Trump’s ‘Armada’ to North Korean Waters

Daily Mail
China and Russia have sent intelligence-gathering vessels to ‘chase’ Donald Trump’s armada to North Korean waters, it has been claimed.

China and Russia Send Intelligence-Gathering Vessels to ‘Chase’ Trump’s ‘Armada’ to North Korean Waters

Daily Mail
China and Russia have sent intelligence-gathering vessels to ‘chase’ Donald Trump’s armada to North Korean waters, it has been claimed.

North Korea Push Will Send U.S. Allies to China: Ex-CIA analyst

Joe Hildebrand
News.com.au
Donald Trump’s move against North Korea is set to send American allies like Japan and South Korea into China’s hands, giving the Asian giant a “once in a generation” opportunity in its push to become the world’s number one superpower, a former top...

U.S. Reroutes Warships toward Korean Peninsula in Show of Force

Eric Schmitt
New York Times
The commander of American forces in the Pacific has ordered an aircraft carrier and several other warships toward the Korean Peninsula in a show of force by the Trump administration

Japan Plans to Send Largest Warship to South China Sea, Sources Say

Reuters
China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation.

Conversation

03.09.17

Is THAAD the Start of a U.S.-China Arms Race?

Isaac Stone Fish, Graham Webster & more
In late February, U.S. President Donald Trump called for adding $54 billion to the U.S. military budget—an increase of roughly 10 percent. And in early March, despite outcry from Beijing, the United States began deploying the Terminal High-Altitude...

China’s Modest Military Spending Hike Masks Bigger Goals

Yvonne Chiu
CNN
China’s announcement of the smallest percentage increase to its military budget since 2010—around 7% (to approximately $148 billion)—seems designed in part to project the image of being the sober, peaceful force in the Asia-Pacific sphere.

China Drills Again Near Taiwan as Island Warns of Threat

Ben Blanchard and J.R. Wu
Reuters
Chinese jets and warships carried out exercises near Taiwan and into the Western Pacific on Thursday, as the self-ruled island's defense minister warned of a growing threat from its giant neighbor...

The Army Gets Back in the Ship-Killing Business

Jeremy Hsu
Wired
Since1996, the Chinese military has steadily expanded its umbrella of land-based missiles, strike aircraft, and submarines designed to overwhelm both U.S. air bases and carrier strike groups.

Books

02.28.17

Everything Under the Heavens

Howard W. French
From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of China’s Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China’s ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China’s present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to forecast just what kind of global power China stands to become–and to interact wisely with a future peer.Steeped in deeply researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best. —Penguin Random House{chop}

China Is Likely to Ramp up Its Naval Abilities in Response to Trump’s Unpredictability

Ben Blanchard and Michael Martina
Time
The PLA Navy is likely to secure significant new funding in China’s upcoming defense budget as Beijing seeks to check U.S. dominance of the high seas and step up its own projection of power around the globe.

South China Sea: U.S. Carrier Group Begins ‘Routine’ Patrols

BBC
U.S. aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson has started what it calls “routine operations” in the South China Sea, with a fleet of supporting warships.

China Warns U.S. against Fresh Naval Patrols in South China Sea

Reuters
China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the United States was planning fresh naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea.

U.S., China Military Planes Come Inadvertently Close over South China Sea

CNBC
A U.S. Navy P-3 plane and a Chinese military aircraft came close to each other over the South China Sea in an incident the Navy believes was inadvertent, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday.

Donald Trump Is Handing China the World

David Axe
Daily Beast
While Trump focuses on building up the U.S. Navy to counter China, Beijing is gobbling up the other segments of global relations that used to be dominated by the U.S.

China Commissions 31st Stealth Warship

Hindu
Chinese media have said the U.S. has to wage a war with China if America blocks it from accessing the artificial islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

South China Sea: China Media Warn US over ‘Confrontation’

BBC
Blocking China from islands it has built in contested waters would lead to “devastating confrontation,” Chinese state media have warned.

Tillerson Channels Reagan on South China Sea

James Kraska
Lawfare Blog
Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said that perhaps the United States should deny China access to its artificial islands in the South China Sea.

China Launches New Electronic Intelligence Naval Ship

CNBC
China’s Navy has launched a new electronic reconnaissance ship as Beijing’s new assertiveness to territorial claims in the South China Sea fuels tensions.

Power Plays Across the First Island Chain: China’s Lone Carrier Group Has a Busy December

Ankit Panda
Diplomat
For the first time, China’s lone carrier entered the Western Pacific. What does the Chinese Navy have in mind?

Chinese Navy Returns Seized Underwater Drone to U.S.

Chris Buckley
New York Times
A Chinese vessel returned the submersible drone to a United States Navy ship in international waters off the Philippines, near where it was taken

Viewpoint

11.09.16

Donald Trump’s Peace Through Strength Vision for the Asia-Pacific

Peter Navarro from Foreign Policy
In 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced with great fanfare in Foreign Policy that the United States would begin a military “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific. This beating of the American chest was done against the backdrop of China’s...

North Korea and The South China Sea: What’s Next?

Paul Haenle & Gary Roughead from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Given the increasingly complex security environment in the Asia-Pacific, it is critical for the United States and China to deepen cooperation on promoting regional stability. In this podcast, Paul Haenle and Admiral Gary Roughead, former Chief of...

Conversation

08.25.16

Could China Now Defeat the United States in a Battle Over the South China Sea or Taiwan?

Joel Wuthnow, Phillip C. Saunders & more
Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping kicked off the latest round of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reforms at a September 3, 2015 military parade. The reforms could result in a leaner, more combat-effective PLA. This could create new...

There Are a Lot More Chinese Soldiers in Africa Today... And Likely More To Come

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Around 2014, the Chinese began to shift their military engagement strategy in Africa to include the deployment of combat-ready infantry units to countries like Mali and South Sudan where the United Nations is being actively targeted by Islamist...

China Spy Ship ‘Shadowing’ U.S., Japanese, Indian Naval Drill in Western Pacific

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
U.S. tries to protect freedom of navigation, China challenges....

Conversation

06.13.16

A War of Words Over the South China Sea

Edward Friedman, Feng Zhang & more
Beginning earlier this year, four-star Admiral Harry Harris, the U.S. Navy’s top commander in the Pacific, has spoken out in speeches, interviews, private meetings, and testimony to Congress urging that the U.S. take more aggressive action against...

Conversation

05.16.16

Escalation in the South China Sea

Julian G. Ku, M. Taylor Fravel & more
International tensions are rising over the shipping lanes and land formations in the South China Sea. Last week, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force scrambled fighter jets in response to a U.S. Navy ship sailing near the disputed Fiery Cross Reef...

U.S. Proposes Reviving Naval Coalition to Balance China’s Expansion

Ellen Barry
New York Times
Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command proposed reviving a coalition that had collapsed because of protests from China.

Conversation

02.02.16

How Close Was the Latest Close Call in the South China Sea?

Julian G. Ku, Feng Zhang & more
Had things in fact calmed down in recent weeks as the Chinese official press claimed, only to be stirred up again needlessly by another Freedom of Navigation sail by the U.S. Navy?

Viewpoint

01.08.16

The Storm Beneath the Calm: China’s Regional Relations in 2016

Yanmei Xie
On the surface, 2015 came to a close in a moment of relative tranquility after a turbulent year for China’s neighborhood. But the calm is misleading: the optics of regional diplomacy have become increasingly detached from the reality of the...

China Lands More Civilian Planes on Fiery Cross Reef

BBC
China has landed two civilian planes on an island built in the disputed South China Sea, days after an earlier landing there prompted international concern.

S. China Sea Tensions Surge as China Lands Plane on Artificial Island

Greg Torode and Michael Martina
Reuters
China's increasing military presence in the disputed sea could effectively lead to a Beijing-controlled air defence zone...

China Defence: Work Starts on Second Aircraft Carrier

BBC
BBC
China is expanding its navy amid rising tension with its neighbours in the East and South China Seas.

China to Build Naval Hub in Djibouti

Jeremy Page and Gordon Lubold
Wall Street Journal
Beijing confirms for the first time plans for East African nation, already home to U.S. base.

Conversation

10.28.15

Making Waves in the South China Sea

Peter Dutton, Jessica Chen Weiss & more
Challenging China’s newly assertive behavior in the South China Sea, this week the U.S. Navy sailed some of its biggest ships inside the nine-dash line, exercising its claim to freedom of movement in international waters plied by billions in trade...

Media

10.28.15

‘Stop Boasting and Fight’

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
On October 27, the high-stakes maritime game of chicken that has been playing out in the South China Sea came to a head. In a long-discussed freedom of navigation patrol, the United States sailed the USS Lassen, a guided missile destroyer, within 12...

China Navy Calls for United States to Reduce Risk of Misunderstandings

Reuters
China hopes the United States can scale back activities that run the risk of misunderstandings, and respect China's core interests...

Five Chinese Navy Ships Are Operating in Bering Sea Off Alaska Coast

Jeremy Page in Beijing and Gordon Lubold
Wall Street Journal
Chinese naval presence off Alaskan coast appears to be a first.

China Hits Back at U.S. Criticism over South China Sea ‘Restrictions’

Megha Rajagopalan
Reuters
Free overflights and navigation doesn't equal foreign warships and jets to violate sovereignty and security, Beijing said. ...

China, Africa, and the Indian Ocean: A New Balance of Power

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For centuries the Indian Ocean was a vital conduit in the British empire, connecting colonies in South Asia with Africa as part of a vast imperial network. Today, the Indian Ocean once again plays as a vital role in an emerging global trading empire...

China’s Expanding Military Presence in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China is steadily expanding its military footprint in Africa, highlighted by the recent deployment of 700 combat-ready troops to join a multinational peacekeeping operation in South Sudan. In all, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy now have an...

China: The Indian Ocean can’t be India’s backyard

Business Insider
Chinese military officials warn that the Indian Ocean is not India's "backyard" and may result in clashes...

China Voice: South China Sea Issue Should not Hinder China-U.S. Ties

Xinhua
A U.S. anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft flew over waters off China's Nansha Islands last month. ...