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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...

Little Blue Men: The Maritime Militias Pushing China's Claims

Simon Tisdall
Guardian
Ostensibly civilian fishermen are ‘buzzing’ US navy ships and those of neighboring countries with rival territorial claims.

Beijing is Setting the Stage for War in the South China Sea

Steve Mollman
Quartz
Beijing is setting itself up to be repeatedly provoked in the South China Sea. It might even be counting on it.

China Says Has Wide Support for Stance on South China Sea Case

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China says it is fully within its rights not to participate in a legal case lodged by the Philippines against Chinese claims.

China Scrambles Fighters as U.S. Sails Warship near Chinese-Claimed Reef

Michael Martina, Greg Torode and Ben...
Reuters
China denounced the U.S. patrol as an illegal threat to peace which only went to show its defense installations in the area were necessary.

Philippine Front-Runner Duterte Floats New Tactic in South China Sea Dispute

Jeremy Page and Trefor Moss
Wall Street Journal
Davao City mayor’s proposal is at odds with U.S.’s multilateral response on maritime disputes.

China to Carry out More Military Drills in South China Sea

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China's military will carry out more military exercises in the South China Sea this month involving advanced warships and submarines...

China Is Building Its First Overseas Military Base in Djibouti—Right next to a Key US One

James Jeffrey
China signed an initial 10-year lease for their base, and will pay $20 million per year in rent.

China Enlists Rap Video for Military Recruitment

Gabriel Wildau
Financial Times
China’s military has released a rap music video titled “Battle Declaration” as part of a campaign to lure young recruits.

Conversation

05.01.16

Xi Jinping’s New Military Position

Andrew J. Nathan & Tai Ming Cheung
Late last week, China’s news media were filled with images of President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping touring the joint battle command center of the Central Military Commission, dressed for the occasion in combat fatigues. The occasion for...

China Won't Allow Chaos or War on Korean Peninsula: Xi

Michael Martina
Reuters
China would safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, meanwhile maintaining its sovereignty and rights there.

Storm Clouds Gather over South China Sea Ahead of Key U.N. Ruling

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
Signs that China might build more island ahead of a U.N. ruling have provoked the U.S. to step up its vigilance.

President Xi Jinping’s Most Dangerous Venture Yet: Remaking China’s Military

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
The Chinese leader’s plan to revamp the armed forces, a milestone in the nation’s emergence from isolationism, faces hurdles at home.

SOUTH CHINA SEA WATCH: Tussle over Plane; Russia Backs China

Hrvoje Hranjski, Christopher Bodeen,...
Associated Press
Tensions in the South China Sea are rising, pitting China against smaller and weaker neighbors that all lay claim to islands.

China Appears to Confirm New Missile Test

Military Times
China maintains that “technological research experiments ... within China’s boundaries are normal and are not aimed at any specific nations or targets.”

China's Xi Jinping Takes Commander in Chief Military Title

BBC
Correspondents say that the move will be interpreted by some as a propaganda message that he is now in absolute control.

Backed Into A Corner: Friendless Beijing Seeks Moscow's Support In South China Sea

Tim Daiss
Forbes
China and Russia called for settlement of the dispute based on negotiation and consultation.

U.S. Protests after Chinese Military Jet Lands on South China Sea Island

Jamie Crawford, Jim Sciutto and Tim...
CNN
China's landing of a military jet on a man-made island in the disputed waters drew a protest from the U.S. military Monday...

China Dispatches Military Plane to Disputed Man-Made Island

Associated Press
The move drew complaints from Vietnam, which along with four other governments is enmeshed a heated dispute with Beijing.

Books

04.18.16

China’s Future

David Shambaugh
China’s future arguably is the most consequential question in global affairs. Having enjoyed unprecedented levels of growth, China is at a critical juncture in the development of its economy, society, polity, national security, and international relations. The direction the nation takes at this turning point will determine whether it stalls or continues to develop and prosper.Will China be successful in implementing a new wave of transformational reforms that could last decades and make it the world’s leading superpower? Or will its leaders shy away from the drastic changes required because the regime’s power is at risk? If so, will that lead to prolonged stagnation or even regime collapse? Might China move down a more liberal or even democratic path? Or will China instead emerge as a hard, authoritarian, and aggressive superstate?In this new book, David Shambaugh argues that these potential pathways are all possibilities—but they depend on key decisions yet to be made by China’s leaders, different pressures from within Chinese society, as well as actions taken by other nations. Assessing these scenarios and their implications, he offers a thoughtful and clear study of China’s future for all those seeking to understand the country’s likely trajectory over the coming decade and beyond. —Polity Press{chop}

U.S., Philippines Conduct Joint Patrols In South China Sea

Camila Domonoske
NPR
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the patrols and increased military support are intended to "tamp down tensions."...

China Summons G7 Diplomats to Protest S. China Sea Statement

Associated Press
China said the G-7 countries should have focused on global economy instead of "hyping up maritime issues and fueling tensions in the region."...

4-Star Admiral Wants to Confront China. White House Says Not So Fast

David Larter
Navy Times
Adm. Harry Harris is proposing a response to China's island-building that may include launching aircraft and conducting military operations...

China Switches on Lighthouse on Artificial Island in South China Sea

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China held a "completion ceremony", marking the start of operations of the 180-ft high lighthouse on Subi Reef...

Vietnam Seizes Chinese Vessel in South China Sea

Oliver Holmes
Guardian
Captain and two sailors detained amid escalation in territorial dispute between Hanoi and Beijing.

China Says No Need to 'Gesticulate' over South China Sea Plans

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, asked about Work's remarks, said any sovereign state had the right to set up an ADIZ...

Obama Seeing China Leader as South China Sea Tensions Rise

Matthew Pennington
Associated Press
World leaders, including those from China, Japan and South Korea, will be in town for a summit hosted by Obama on nuclear security.

Japan Opens Radar Station Close to Disputed Isles, Drawing Angry China Response

Nobuhiro Kubo and Tim Kelly
Reuters
Expert said it was part of a strategy to keep China at bay in the Western Pacific.

Indonesia Vows to Prosecute Chinese Trawler Crew in South China Sea Dispute

Guardian
Indonesia won't release eight Chinese fishermen arrested for illegal fishing, and regional tensions are tightening...

China's Xi to push Obama next week on North Korea talks

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
On this issue, China's position is consistent. We are dedicated to the decentralization of the Korean peninsula...

U.S. Hopes for Talks with China about Possible THAAD Move to South Korea

Andrea Shalal
Reuters
Beijing underscored its concerns but seemed to open the door to a diplomatic solution.

Indonesia Protests China's Retrieval of Illegal Fishing Ship

Associated Press
The fishing vessel Kway Fey was being towed when a Chinese coastguard vessel collided with it, allowing its escape.

What’s Behind China’s ‘New’ South China Sea Tsunami Warning Center?

Prashanth Parameswaran
Diplomat
A tsunami alert center had already begun initial operations even though it is still under construction.

After Shootout, China Says Uighur Militants a Threat to Indonesia

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Ethnic Uighur militants are increasing their presence in Indonesia, China's Foreign Ministry said after two Uighurs were kill by Indonesia security forces...

Media

03.15.16

Taiwan’s New Direction

Eric Fish from Asia Blog
In January, Taiwan’s voters handed the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a landslide victory, giving it control of both the parliament and presidency for the first time ever. The victory came at the expense of the...

Malaysia, Australia to Discuss China Moves in Disputed South China Sea

Rozanna Latiff
Reuters
They meet to ensure efforts are made to “hold China to their promise of not placing military assets in the area”.

Media

03.10.16

China’s Secret Weapon on Disputed Island: Beer and Badminton

Soldiers, ships, and military outposts are the usual tools of nations staking out their territory. But on disputed shoals in the South China Sea, Beijing may be deploying a new arsenal: soccer fields, pipelines, and tea shops.Woody Island is a...

China Expresses Alarm at Philippines-Japan Aircraft Deal

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Philippines will lease five aircraft from Japan to help patrol the disputed South China Sea.

China Offers Afghanistan Army Expanded Military Aid

Jessica Donati and Ehsanullah Amiri
Wall Street Journal
Expanded military aid was offered to combat the Taliban, reflecting Beijing’s readiness to deepen its engagement with Afghanistan.

China Says It Won't Budge on South China Sea Sovereignty

Chiristopher Bodeen
Associated Press
China's foreign minister said China's development there was not militaristic but defensive...

Ailing Economy Slows China’s Military Expansion

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
Much of this year’s budget will go toward major restructuring of armed forces, official says.

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.

Possible Radar Suggests Beijing Wants ‘Effective Control’ in South China Sea

Michael Forsythe
New York Times
China may be building series of radar facilities on artificial islands, which would help it to establish “effective control” over sea and air.

Media

02.19.16

New Video Celebrates Chinese Missiles With Old-School Communist Pomp

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
Trumpets sound and trombones blare as a warhead launches. Intercontinental ballistic missiles mounted on trucks parade down the center of a boulevard crowded with bystanders. “We are the glorious Rocket Force,” a mixed choir sings in a Soviet-...

China May Put its Nuclear Weapons on High Alert, and It's a Dangerous Idea

Elliott Negin
Huffington Post
The radical departure from China's longtime nuclear policy could pose a threat not only to the U.S., but also to China itself...

China’s Risky Gamble to Become a Major Player in the Middle East and North Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s three-country tour of the Middle East and North Africa offers yet another example of Beijing’s expanding drive for increased global influence. During his first visit to the region, Xi traveled to Saudi Arabia, Egypt,...

Will China Take Kim Jong-Un's Insult Lying Down?

Robert A. Manning
North Korea has conducted a nuclear weapon test and an intercontinental ballistic missile test as Beijing tries to repair frayed ties with Pyongyang.

'China Has Only One Real Ally'

Business Insider
Director of the Institute for International Relations at Tsinghua University believes China's only real ally is Pakistan...

Conversation

02.09.16

What New Approach Should the U.S. and China Take to North Korea?

John Delury, Seong-Hyon Lee & more
On Sunday, North Korea launched a long range rocket many see as a test of its capability to launch a missile attack against the U.S., defying both American and Chinese pressure not do so. Republican U.S. presidential candidates argued Washington...

Q. and A.: Yan Xuetong Urges China to Adopt a More Assertive Foreign Policy

Yufan Huang
New York Times
Director at Tsinghua University advocates "moral realism" as China challenges the US for world leadership...

Invisible Bridges

Peter Hessler, photo by Davide...
New Yorker
Over the past two centuries, there have been periodic tensions between Russia and China, including some serious border conflicts, and historically Russia has usually held the upper hand. But nowadays, at the personal level, Monteleone notices a...

China Struggles for Balance in Response to North Korea’s Boldness

Jane Perlez and Choe Sang-Hun
New York Times
North Korea's Kim Jong-un emphatically ignores China’s entreaties to refrain from launching a rocket...

How Japan Sees China’s Island Building Problem

Everett Rosenfeld
Japanese deputy foreign minister said Tokyo views Beijing's seizures and buildup on islands and reefs in the South China Sea as a "problem."...

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?

China’s Diplomatic Dilemma: Protecting its People and Property Overseas

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Chinese special operations forces are training in the western deserts of Xinjiang in complex search and rescue missions, in environments that closely resemble North Africa or certain parts of the Middle East. Recently, these newly-trained military...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s new interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about nearly 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.

Postcard

01.18.16

A People’s Friendship

James Palmer
It takes a brave man to jump off a moving train for the sake of a sale, but the clothes hawkers had the easy courage of men who did this on the regular. I watched as they leapt off the front carriage as the train chugged into a station with no stop...

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.

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