Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress

Congressional Research Service – Ronald O’Rourke’s latest report on the Chinese Maritime Militia.

Hainan’s Maritime Militia: All Hands on Deck for Sovereignty Part 3

CIMSEC – Part I and II of this conclusion to our series on Hainan’s maritime militia discussed the Hainan Provincial Military District (MD) leadership’s approach to constructing maritime militia forces in response to national militia guidelines and how they address challenges during construction efforts. This final installment in our series offers a glimpse into what the Hainan MD’s efforts have yielded in force scale. It also examines the incentivizes motivating the builders of this force, such as political drivers and pressures confronting local officials. The conclusion also outlines issues meriting further observation and analysis, such as the significance of the Sansha Maritime Militia force for China’s third sea force more broadly, and the degree to which Chinese officials frame related efforts as part of a “People’s War.”

Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: Measuring the Waves

The Diplomat – After a six-century hiatus, sea power development may once again find its center of gravity in the Asia-Pacific. While the Trump Administration plans a naval buildup, China is already well into a buildup of its own.

China launches aircraft carrier, boosting military presence

BBC – China has launched a new aircraft carrier in the latest sign of its growing military strength.

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress

Congressional Research Service – The newest edition of Ronald O’Rourke’s report to Congress.

China set to launch second aircraft carrier

Defense News – China’s second aircraft carrier, but its first locally built, has been floated off its dry dock, and its formal launch appears imminent, even as the country continues development work on other aspects of its carrier program.

Hainan’s Maritime Militia: Development Challenges and Opportunities Part 2

CIMSEC – As it works to improve its maritime militia, Hainan Province is engaged in multiple lines of effort.

Hijacked ship’s crew rescued from pirates near Somalia

BBC – Nineteen crew members have been freed by the Chinese Navy from a ship captured by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Chinese patrol ships keep presence around Malaysian reefs

The Guardian – Chinese coastguard vessels maintain a near-constant presence around reefs claimed by Malaysia in the South China Sea, ship-tracking data shared with the Guardian has revealed.

China building navy’s biggest amphibious assault vessel

South China Morning Post – Ships will strengthen navy as Beijing makes more assertive claims to disputed waters in South China Sea and increases sea patrols amid strained ties with Taiwan.

How a Chinese fishing fleet creates facts on the water

Economist – Bad news for giant clams and for the other littoral states in the South China Sea.

China Base Sparks ‘Very Significant Security Concerns’

Breaking Defense – For the first time, an important United States military base, one where a great deal of highly classified communications, intelligence and operations occur, sits within a few miles of a military competitor. Where? Djibouti.

Hainan’s Maritime Militia: China Builds a Standing Vanguard Part 1.

CIMSEC – The first of a three-part conclusion on the maritime militia of Hainan Province.

China’s Navy Gets a New Helmsman (Part 2): Remaining Uncertainties

China Brief – Part 1 of this series discussed Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong’s background, meteoric rise, and recent promotion to PLAN Commander. However, his appointment raises a number of questions about his role in the PLA Navy’s modernization, his promotion’s implication for China’s promotion system, and about his predecessor’s continued presence on the Central Military Commission. Part 2 will explore these important factors in depth and suggest possible conclusions and implications.

China’s Navy Gets a New Helmsman (Part 1): Spotlight on Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong

China Brief – A new leader has just taken the helm of the world’s largest navy. Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong (沈金龙) reportedly replaced Admiral Wu Shengli (吴胜利) as PLAN Commander on January 17, 2017. Authoritative state media reports have offered few details on Shen, making it important to analyze a broad array of Chinese-language sources to distill what his elevation may mean for China as a maritime power.

China begins new work on disputed South China Sea island

Reuters – China has started fresh construction work in the disputed South China Sea, new satellite images show, a sign that Beijing is continuing to strengthen its military reach across the vital trade waterway.

Chinese survey ships entering Philippine territory

AFP – Chinese survey ships have been entering waters recognised by the United Nations as Philippine territory, Manila’s defence secretary said Thursday, in a move he described as “very concerning”.

Liaoning Raises More Questions for China

CIMSEC – China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, had put on a display of its skills recently as the carrier group transited the Western Pacific. Liaoning’s excursion, marking Beijing’s core interests, is a political message to the United States and the world as uncertainty grips them. It also marks the beginning of a new episode in the military history of Western Pacific, which has been dominated by American aircraft carriers since the Cold War, especially during the Taiwan Strait crises. Taiwan also believes that Liaoning represents China’s military ability to break through the first island chain.

A War Between the U.S. and China Would Be World War III (And Might Be Hard to Shut Off)

National Interest – How does the unthinkable happen? As historians continue to contemplate the various historic anniversaries around World War I through next year, the question of unexpected wars looms large. What series of events could lead to war in East Asia, and how would that war play out?

Bonnie Glaser on FONOPS and U.S. – China Relations Under Trump

CIMSEC – A conversation with Asia-Pacific expert Bonnie Glaser to better understand freedom of navigation, U.S.-China relations under the Trump administration, and recent maritime operations in the region.

The long story of a small German island in the North Sea

The Economist – The archipelago of Heligoland has a modern parallel.

China’s 500-Ship Navy Suddenly Appears on the Horizon

RUSI – The People’s Liberation Army’s Navy is growing fast; expect it to grow even faster.

How China wins the South China Sea war without firing a shot

Asia Times – China is engaged in a broad-ranging information warfare campaign as part of a covert effort to take control of the South China Sea — in the words of ancient strategist Sun Tzu, without firing a shot.

Beijing Confirms Chinese Carrier Launched Fighters in South China Sea

USNI News – A Chinese carrier strike group has conducted training drills and launched fighters in the South China Sea – a first for the People’s Liberation Army Navy.