East Asian Security in the Age of the Chinese Mega-Cutter

CIMSEC – Zhongguo Haijing, or China Coast Guard (CCG) 2901, was not built to fight wars. At over 10,000 metric tons, it is by far the world’s largest constabulary vessel, a class of ship operating at the vanguard of China’s peacetime expansion in maritime East Asia. When it is commissioned sometime in the coming weeks, it will provide a huge advantage to China in the battle of wills taking place along its maritime periphery.

Marines Testing Operating from Foreign Ships, Near-Forgotten Platforms to Bring Units Back to Sea

USNI News – The Marine Corps is experimenting with the interoperability of its Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) with various non-traditional platforms, including rarely-used 1980s logistics ships and foreign navies’ amphibious ships, to help get its land-based units back out to sea.

4 Ways Taiwan Can Survive

Real Clear Defense – It may be a sign of the times that Taiwan seldom comes up during Q&A sessions following Asia talks these days. But it does sometimes—especially with savvy but lay audiences. So it was this week with the Financial Technology Forum, a gathering of IT professionals on Goat Island in Newport. Question: in light of China’s rise to diplomatic, economic, and military eminence and well-documented ambition to rule Taiwan, is it inevitable that the island will find itself subsumed within the mainland’s communist regime?

Dragon Tracks: Emerging Chinese Access Points In The Indian Ocean Region

Asian Maritime Transparency Institute – With six-plus-years of Chinese Gulf of Aden anti-piracy operations and China’s first submarine deployments to the Indian Ocean, considering possible support facilities for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) isn’t just for those theorizing a “String of Pearls” anymore. The U.S. Department of Defense itself forecasts that within the coming decade Beijing will establish one or more facilities capable of providing significant, if still limited, logistical support. The IOR is attracting increasing Chinese and American attention, with the latest U.S. Maritime Strategy referring to the “Indo-Asia-Pacific” and the previous commander of the U.S. Pacific Command describing its area of operations extending “from Hollywood to Bollywood.” With IOR geopolitics thus receiving growing outside attention, where China will ultimately locate its naval logistics points is an increasingly important question.