– Defense News – It’s no secret that China has embarked on a major modernization and expansion plan for its Navy, and its aggressive building program, coupled with the placing in service of more modern submarines, an aircraft carrier, destroyers with ever-sophisticated sensors and a large number of long-range surface-to-surface missiles, is altering politics and strategies throughout the Asian theater. What is not so clear is what sort of fleet the Chinese are building toward, and how far their industrial capability can take them.
– Real Clear Defense – My entreaty to American diplomats and naval leaders is this: yield nothing to China in the South China Sea. Do not compromise on surveillance flights, underwater surveys, or any other part of the law of the sea for the sake of amity with Beijing. Freedom of the sea is indivisible. Let some of it go and the rest is apt to follow. By contrast, exercising high-seas freedoms to the maximum extent lawful represents a statement—backed by steel—that no coastal state may annul or modify basic principles underlying the liberal maritime order.
USNI Blog – “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” – Rahm Emanuel
– USNI News – For China, the broader Mediterranean region is of real interest in terms of both energy security and trade.
– BBC – The US says that China has expanded its programme of land reclamation in the South China Sea.
– US Department of Defense – Department of Defense’s annual report to Congress, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015
– RealClearDefense – A “Great Wall of Sand”? Kudos are due U.S. Pacific Command chieftain Harry Harris for spotlighting China’s misadventures in the South China Sea.
– RealClearDefense – In Jan. 2015, The Namibian reported the existence of a “confidential letter from Namibia’s ambassador to China, Ringo Abed, to Namibia’s foreign minister stat[ing] that ‘a [Chinese] delegation will visit Namibia … for discussions … on the way forward regarding plans for the proposed naval base in Walvis Bay’.”
– USNI News – Six Russian and three Chinese naval ships will meet in the Mediterranean next month to conduct a series of surface exercises to include live fire drills.
– Aviation Week – China may be able to take out an American aircraft carrier with its feared DF-21 antiship ballistic missile (ASBM) without even taking a shot. Now some powerful people in DC are looking to reduce the fleet by a carrier or two in the belief that the DF-21 will make it too dangerous for the ships even to get close to Chinese territorial waters.
– BBC – Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea.
– Office of Naval Intelligence – Now added to ONI’s report on “The PLA Navy: New Capabilities and Missions for the 21st Century” are posters detailing Chinese ships and aircraft, equipment, and leadership structure.
– Wall Street Journal – With tensions mounting over China’s island-building in the South China Sea, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence has published its first report on the Chinese navy since 2009. Here are five graphics that illustrate some its key findings.
– Aviation Week – As the U.S. takes sharper aim at the Asia-Pacific, China has American military vulnerabilities more squarely in its sights, according to regional geopolitical and military experts.
– Real Clear Defense – On 19 August 2014 a U.S. Navy (USN) P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft was flying in international airspace above the Chinese exclusive economic zone (EEZ) ~135 miles east of Hainan Island in the South China Sea when a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) armed J-11 fighter intercepted it. In a series of maneuvers that came within 30 feet of the P-8, the J-11 exposed its weapons load out and conducted a barrel roll over the U.S. aircraft, passing within 45 feet of the U.S. aircraft. While the incident ended without a collision or harm to the aircrew, it invoked memories of another that did not end as well—the April 2001 collision between a USN EP-3 and a PLAN J-8 in which the Chinese pilot perished.
– The Diplomat – The most striking revelation of the 2015 ONI report is that the PLAN has apparently already equipped a class of guided missile destroyers with China’s most advanced supersonic anti-ship missile. “[T]he newest class, the LUYANG III destroyer is fitted with the new vertically-launched YJ-18 ASCM,” the report says.
– Office of Naval Intelligence – The ONI’s review of the state of the Chinese Navy.
– DefenseTech – The Chinese Navy is preparing to commission three new, nuclear-powered attack submarines with a vertical launching system able to fire supersonic anti-ship missiles.
– National Interest – Fire from all directions awaits the U.S. Navy in a conflict with Beijing.
– Wall Street Journal – China’s territorial ambitions in the East and South China seas are by now well-documented. Much less understood is one of the key factors in the country’s ability to realize those ambitions: an increasingly well-funded and capable maritime militia.
– USNI News – China’s latest nuclear submarine design appear to include a shelter capable of holding a miniature submarine for special operations forces (SOF) not unlike vehicles used to deliver Navy SEALs to shore from U.S. nuclear attack boats.
– Foxtrot Alpha – China isn’t just expanding its military reach into the South China Sea, it’s rapidly building completely new islands, and as you’d expect, that’s generating plenty of anxiety from the other nations in the neighborhood.
– Aviation Week – The general feeling among many of China’s naval neighbors and in U.S. military circles is that China has been turning into a bit of a bully in (re)staking territorial claims in the seas off its coasts, and there’s been an onslaught recently of material on how to deal with the Asian giant on that front.
– World Politics Review – After years of invitations that Beijing did not accept, coupled with last year’s cancellation of the event due to sequestration, the head of China’s navy, Adm. Wu Shengli, led a nine-officer delegation to this year’s International Seapower Symposium. Participants in the plenary and regional breakout sessions no doubt wondered who exactly Wu is, what mandate he has, what sort of navy he leads, where it is heading and how it will be interacting with the U.S. Navy. This article addresses these timely questions.
– War is Boring – Crunch the numbers on the location and number of PLAN visits and it becomes apparent that a desire for prestige and expertise outpaces the alternative explanations.