– National Interest – Japan only needed a small-scale triumph over imperial China to fulfill its aims in 1894-1895. It saw no need to overthrow the Qing regime, occupy China or even vanquish the entire Qing navy. Today, likewise, China need not utterly defeat American arms to achieve modest goals. Capability sufficient to Beijing’s purposes may soon fall within the PLA’s grasp. Heck, it may already be within reach.
– Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative – The People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) announced on May 18 that it had landed bombers, including the top-of-the-line H-6K, on an outpost in the South China Sea for the first time.
– Washington Free Beacon – China’s military has stepped up militarizing disputed islands in the South China Sea by deploying advanced missile systems on the Spratly islands.
– Reuters – U.S. military officials now say China’s military bases on man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea are virtually complete. Exclusive data and satellite imagery shows the pace of construction on reefs and reclaimed land in the Spratly and Paracel Islands.
– CIMSEC – Great Power competition is back, and such competition brings Russia and China together as political partners, and is echoed in their increasing naval cooperation. Such naval cooperation provides one another with tacit support in their respective areas of geopolitical interest.
– War on the Rocks – The United States needs new ideas to generate regional balancing against Chinese behavior while simultaneously deterring future actions like the consolidation of control at disputed features like Scarborough Shoal.
– Reuters – Shrouded in Chinese military secrecy and hidden from the eyes of journalists, Beijing’s build-up of man-made islands on reefs deep in the maritime heart of Southeast Asia is a vexing story to report.
– CIMSEC – Beijing’s strategic actions and activities are unwisely and dangerously undermining the current global order that it itself has benefited from. Hence, Washington has a moral and global obligation of leadership to further encourage and challenge China to become a more responsible global stakeholder that contributes positively to the international system. Otherwise, Beijing will continue to view U.S. acquiescence and accommodation as tacit acknowledgement and consent to execute its strategic ambitions and strategies unhindered and unchallenged.
– Washington Free Beacon – In response to China’s militarization of disputed islands in the South China Sea, the Pentagon announced Wednesday that China would not be allowed to take part in the large international naval exercise known as Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC.
– USNI News – China’s first domestically built carrier has returned from its first set of sea trials last week.
– BBC – China has for the first time landed bombers on disputed territory in the South China Sea, its air force said, prompting fresh US warnings that it is destabilising the region.
– National Interest – Chinese military scientists are working on an unusual project: a single hybrid aerial-underwater drone.
– Reuters – China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier left its northeastern port to begin sea trials on Sunday, state media said, the latest milestone in the country’s efforts to modernize its military.
– War on the Rocks – According to none other than Xi Jinping, if Beijing hopes to achieve “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by the middle of the 21st century, it is necessary that it become a “maritime great power” (海洋强国).
– Defense News – China’s deployment of long-range missiles to its artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea will further consolidate and enhance the country’s physical control over the region and further complicate the movement of American military assets through the area.
– Sydney Morning Herald – Australia has joined the United States in expressing concern that Beijing has put missiles on artificial islands in the South China Sea, while defence analysts expressed scepticism at Chinese claims the moves were purely defensive.
– BBC – The US has formally complained to China over several incidents of its pilots being irritated by lasers it says are coming from a Chinese base in Djibouti.
– War Zone – New deployments would present a serious threat during any potential conflict and help China further assert its de facto claims in the region.
– CIMSEC – Two years ago, President Xi Jinping announced the reorganization of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the implementation is gaining momentum. The changes, which go far beyond administrative restructuring and equipment modernization, will make the world’s most massive fighting force more modern and flexible. The reorganization gives Xi and his team an opportunity to purge political opponents within the military and address many of the problems that have plagued the military for decades.
– Stratfor – As Beijing continues to build up its capabilities across the South China Sea, tools like electronic warfare equipment will make the country better positioned to continue asserting its territorial claims in the region.
– National Interest – Why has American Sinophobia intensified to such a degree?
– National Interest – China could be on the cusp of a deploying a new frigate design altogether—ironically one that draws substantially on a key naval architecture innovation of the American Littoral Combat Ship.
– National Interest – Back to the 1950s?
– National Interest – Great powers have a habit of intervening to shield weak allies from rival great powers and advance their own purposes. Last week it was Russia vowing to shoot down American missiles bound for Syrian chemical-weapon sites. Judging from recent Chinese words and deeds, next week could see the U.S. Navy attempting to repulse a Chinese assault on nearby Taiwan.
– Washington Free Beacon – Admiral urges rapid U.S. buildup of hypersonic and medium-range missiles to counter China threat.