Andrew Erickson and Ryan Martinson on China and the Maritime Gray Zone

The Diplomat – How China thinks about and acts in the maritime gray zone, and what that means for the region’s future.

Former Navy Intel Officer: Chinese Navy ‘Very Competent,’ Getting Better

USNI News – China’s rise as a naval power goes well beyond its growing number of ships and submarines but the People’s Liberation Army Navy growing capability to operate jointly with the Chinese air force and rocket corps.

Surging Second Sea Force: China’s Maritime Law-Enforcement Forces, Capabilities, and Future in the Gray Zone and Beyond

US Naval War College Review – As China’s sea services continue to expand, the consolidating China Coast Guard (CCG) has taken the lead as one of the premier sea forces in the region—giving China, in essence, a second navy. With 1,275 hulls and counting, the CCG carries out the maritime law-enforcement activities that dominate the South China Sea as the People’s Republic exerts its claims and postures for dominance.

Tracking the Type 002 – China’s third aircraft carrier

ChinaPower – The construction of a third aircraft carrier – the Type 002 – appears to be underway at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard. Commercial satellite imagery collected on April 17, 2019 shows significant new activity since ChinaPower first analyzed the shipyard in late 2018. At the new assembly facility to the southeast of the existing shipyard, there is evidence of a large vessel being assembled and a floodable basin being constructed.

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2019

Office of the Secretary of Defense – A report to Congress pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, as amended

China completing more ballistic missile subs, with plans for a new version

Defense News – China has launched two more nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines and might fit anti-ship ballistic missiles on a new cruiser class on the verge of entering service, according to a new Pentagon report.

China Can’t Execute Major Amphibious Operations, Direct Assault on Taiwan

USNI News – The Chinese military is reorganizing its land forces, but its moves do not increase its ability to mount a large-scale beach assault across the Taiwan Strait, according to a new Department of Defense report.

China’s ‘Long March’ to a Credible Nuclear Attack Submarine

National Interest – Mao Zedong famously said China would build nuclear submarines even if it took ten thousand years. It has required several decades, but new vitality is evident in this critical program for Beijing’s blue water aspirations.

China’s vast fleet is tipping the balance in the Pacific

Reuters – The Chinese navy, which is growing faster than any other major fleet, now controls the seas off its coast. Once dominant, the United States and its allies sail warily in these waters. A former U.S. naval officer says China’s advances have caught America napping.

China’s latest class of warship makes its public debut

Defense News – The first of a new class of guided missile destroyer from China made an appearance at a naval review to mark the 70th Anniversary of the country’s navy.

Why Does China Suddenly Want Nuclear Icebreakers?

National Interest – Beijing wants to join the race for Arctic resources and trade routes.

China to show new warships as Beijing flexes military muscle on navy anniversary

Reuters – China will show off new warships including nuclear submarines and destroyers at a parade next week marking 70 years since its navy’s founding, a senior commander said on Saturday, as Beijing flexes its increasingly well-equipped military muscle.

China militarizing deep sea

Washington Times – Space and cyberspace are not the sole domains for China’s growing asymmetric warfare programs. The Chinese military has another development program only recently disclosed that is part of the decadeslong buildup of weapons and forces: deep sea.

The Navy’s Newest Nemesis: Hypersonic Weapons

CIMSEC – In January 2019, Chinese Communist Party leaders announced that the newest iteration of their DF-17 missile system was being designed to overwhelm and sink U.S. aircraft carriers and surface combatants stationed in the West Pacific. According to official statements from the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF), a targeted salvo of eight hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs) set aloft by DF-17s would swamp a surface vessel’s close-in point defenses and annihilate it through incredible transfers of kinetic energy.

China’s Next Naval Target Is the Internet’s Underwater Cables

Bloomberg – Worried about Huawei’s 5G? Wait till it gets into the game for 95 percent of all data and voice traffic.

The Chinese Navy’s Marine Corps, Part 2: Chain-of-Command Reforms and Evolving Training

CIMSEC – This is the second part of a two-part article discussing organizational reforms and evolving missions for the PLA Navy (PLAN) Marine Corps.

A U.S.-China War Scenario: How Would China’s Military Attack a “Great Wall in Reverse”?

National Interest – Peering through a glass darkly now may help the allies discern what the red team may do.

Asia Rising: Ships of State?

US Naval War College Review – The commercial-strategic linkages and state support for PRC port and shipping ventures resemble a twenty-first-century version of the Dutch East India Company. These notionally commercial enterprises operate globally with the full financial and military backing of their home state, and the vessels that connect the ports are “ships of state,” functioning as instruments of Chinese national strategy while they sail as commercial carriers.

China Building Long-Range Cruise Missile Launched From Ship Container

Washington Free Beacon – China is building a long-range cruise missile fired from a shipping container that could turn Beijing’s large fleet of freighters into potential warships and commercial ports into future missile bases.

Strategic Strong Points and Chinese Naval Strategy

Jamestown Foundation – On August 1, 2017, China opened its first overseas military base, in the East African nation of Djibouti. This was a landmark event that raised a whole host of questions for Indo-Pacific states: Is Djibouti the first of other bases to come? If so, how many? Where will China build them? How will they be used? Where do they fit into Chinese military strategy? Chinese policymakers and analysts are pondering these same questions. However, they are employing concepts unique to Chinese strategic discourse, and it is essential to grasp these concepts in order to understand how Beijing intends to project military power abroad.

Details of China’s nuclear-powered icebreaker revealed

RCI – To be powered by two reactors, the vessel will manage to crush ice in the Arctic at a maximum speed of 11.5 knots.

The Chinese Navy’s Marine Corps, Part 1: Expansion and Reorganization

CIMSEC – This is the first part of a two-part article discussing organizational reforms and evolving missions for the PLA Navy (PLAN) Marine Corps. The first part focuses on the growing order of battle for the PLAN Marines.

Andrew S. Erickson and Ryan Martinson Discuss China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations

CIMSEC – On March 15th, the Naval Institute Press will publish China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations, a volume edited by professors Andrew S. Erickson and Ryan D. Martinson from the Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute. CIMSEC recently reached out to Erickson and Martinson about their latest work.

Asia Rising: China’s Global Naval Strategy and Expanding Force Structure

US Naval War College Review – The balance of power in the Indo-Pacific is shifting as China spends its national treasure to build a modern, blue-water navy and exerts its influence around the region, and the world, through economic investment and military power projection. Beijing’s pursuit of the China Dream is pushing America and its allies toward a decade of concern, when the already tenuous situation may experience further destabilization.

China’s Logistics Modernization is Changing the Pacific Military Balance

National Interest – The well-worn formulation that “amateurs study tactics, while professionals study logistics” has significant explanatory power when considering the rapidly changing balance of power in the western Pacific.