– USNI News – China is tightening its grip on disputed claims in the South China Sea by beefing up its military capability and planting the seeds of long-term habitability on the artificial islands at the core of its regional economic influence strategy.
– National Interest – Isolating your opponent is a necessary precursor to waging limited war. It simplifies matters before a one-on-one fight, skews the balance of forces in your favor, and thus lifts your chances of a quick, clean triumph. The U.S.-Japan alliance has not fractured diplomatically, but Beijing might conclude that it has fractured militarily—albeit temporarily—as Japan’s ally battles the coronavirus and takes ships and aircraft offline.
– National Interest – James Holmes writes that “Southeast Asians—and lovers of freedom of the sea everywhere—must come to terms with China’s bid for sovereignty. They must act, making common cause with likeminded partners and fashioning counterstrategies to meet Beijing’s high-plains offensive. Otherwise the region courts an American Indian fate.”
– South China Morning Post – Aircraft carriers from the PLA Navy are set to take part in combat readiness exercises this summer in the South China Sea, and while the drills are likely to raise concerns in Taipei, their aim is not to seize Taiwan-controlled territory, military observers say.
– CSBA – Over the past decade, the Chinese navy overtook Japan’s maritime service in critical measures of power, including fleet size, aggregate tonnage, and firepower. China eclipsing Japan in naval power could introduce unwelcome strategic trends. It may well fuel an even more intense competition between Tokyo and Beijing, two seafaring rivals that already regard each other with deep suspicion. Japan’s displacement at sea could increase the probability of deterrence failure in the next crisis. It threatens to undercut U.S. confidence in Japan’s capacity to fulfill its allied responsibilities, sowing acrimony within the security partnership.
– National Interest – While the world focuses on the Coronavirus crisis, a new report lays out the rise of Chinese seapower and how it could impact Japan and the entire Indo-Pacific region.
– Bloomberg – James Stavridis writes that U.S.-China tensions over trade and the coronavirus epidemic are playing out dangerously on contested waters.
– The Diplomat – The U.S. Navy has chosen its next frigate; what will China’s look like?
– Radio Free Asia – On May 5, the PLANMC undertook an anti-piracy exercise near the Paracel Islands that showed off its capabilities to China’s neighbors at a time of rising tensions in the region. The exercise simulated covert, amphibious assaults by the PLANMC with fast-moving speedboats and naval aviation aircraft, integrating the corps’ operations with the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
– Defense News – In its Arctic policy published in 2018, China proclaimed itself as a “near-Arctic state,” a label that has since invited controversy.
– USNI News – A standoff between China and Malaysia over potential natural gas and oil reserves beneath the South China Sea appears to be ending as research vessels from both nations moved away from each other following stepped-up U.S. Navy presence in the last several weeks.
– Global Times – Japanese media on Tuesday claimed in a report that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will hold military drills for a “takeover of Dongsha Islands occupied by Taiwan” in August, resulting in heated discussions on the island of Taiwan. While the Taiwan defense authority claimed they could secure the Dongsha Islands, experts in Taiwan speculate the PLA is aiming to open a passage for aircraft carriers into the Pacific Ocean and prepare for the establishment of an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea.
– South China Morning Post – The head of China’s aircraft carrier programme is being investigated by the nation’s anti-corruption watchdog – months after the company was hit by a scandal over the leaking of confidential information.
– CSIS – The People’s Republic of China is in the process of building and deploying a sophisticated and modern missile arsenal, though one shrouded in secrecy due to intentional ambiguity and unwillingness to enter arms control or other transparency agreements.
– South China Morning Post – As the Covid-19 global health crisis continues to rage around the world, infecting more than 3 million people and causing more than 210,000 deaths, military manoeuvres are being analysed to see if the pandemic has changed the balance of force in the region.
– South China Morning Post – Chinese navy puts two new nuclear submarines into service.
– Global Times – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Tuesday expelled a US warship that trespassed into Chinese territorial waters off the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea as the US’ move could have easily caused an accident, a Chinese military spokesperson said on Tuesday, who also urged the US side to focus on COVID-19 prevention and control at home rather than destabilizing regional security and peace.
– Global Times – In addition to intensive training, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is boosting the aerial assault capabilities of its Marine Corps by systematically expanding it with combat-proven former Army units, a timely move to ready personnel in advance to maximize the power of the two recently launched Type 075 amphibious assault ships.
– China Daily – The 35th fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Tuesday left the port city of Zhoushan in East China’s Zhejiang province for the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to escort civilian ships.
– Naval News – China’s second amphibious assault ship, a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) known as Type 075, was launched in Shanghai today by Hudong Zhonghua shipyard.
– National Interest – Beijing’s strategists are well aware that the next maritime contest will likely be decided under the waves and sea mines will likely play a starring role. Once again, these strategists are looking to Russian doctrine for the answers.
– South China Morning Post – China and Vietnam have both been building up paramilitary forces and fishing fleets to stake claims in the disputed South China Sea, according to observers, who warn that the neighbours risk further clashes there after the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat last week.
– Global Times – A Chinese naval flotilla led by an aircraft carrier reportedly sailed through the Miyako Strait and headed toward the Pacific Ocean, prompting Chinese military experts to say on Sunday that the fleet demonstrated success in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic control work.
– Global Times – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reportedly held military drills featuring warplanes near the island of Taiwan on Friday, and such drills, having taken place at least four times since the traditional Spring Festival holiday in January, have become regular and are now a part of military struggle preparations against the island.