China Maritime Report No. 14: Chinese Views of the Military Balance in the Western Pacific

China Maritime Studies Institute – This report examines Chinese views about the military balance of power between China and the United States in the Western Pacific. It argues that while there is no single “Chinese” view on this topic, Chinese analysts tend to agree that 1) the gap between the two militaries has narrowed significantly in recent years, 2) the Chinese military still lags in important ways, and 3) Chinese military inferiority vis-à-vis the U.S. increases the further away it operates from the Mainland. In terms of specific areas of relative strength, the Chinese military has shown the greatest improvements in military hardware, but has farther to go in the area of jointness, training, and other military “software.” Nevertheless, despite continued criticism from senior civilian leaders, training quality has likely improved due to a greater focus on realism, and recent military reforms have, to a degree, improved the prospects for jointness.

First Sighting Of New Stealth Fighter For Chinese Navy Aircraft Carrier

Naval News – The Chinese Navy is massively expanding its fleet, with at least three aircraft carriers at its vanguard. Yet these lack low-observable fighters. But that is expected to change. A new image offers the first look at the new stealthy fighter.

Close-Up Photo Shows China’s New Aircraft Carrier Rapidly Taking Shape

War Zone – Work is well underway on the next aircraft carrier due to join China’s fast-expanding navy. A leaked photo now brings us our closest view yet of the vessel, which is set to provide the People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, with a significant leap in capabilities, including catapults for launching aircraft, a major advantage over the service’s previous two, smaller aircraft carriers with their “ski jump” takeoff ramps.

China’s advanced lightweight tank Type 15 enters PLA Navy Marine Corps service

Global Times – China’s independently developed, most advanced lightweight tank, the Type 15, has been commissioned into the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Marine Corps.

16 Chinese Airlifters Made A Run Over The South China Sea At Malaysian Airspace

War Zone – The Royal Malaysian Air Force deemed the mission over the South China Sea a “threat to national sovereignty and aviation safety.”

Nightmare: A New Missile Arms Race with China Is a Recipe For Disaster

National Interest – As a new generation of “whiz-kids” takes up the challenge in the post-INF world of confronting Beijing in the Western Pacific, the Chinese are busy assessing possible countermeasures.

Why Does China Want A Naval Base In The Atlantic Ocean?

1945 – Now that the People’s Liberation Army has ensconced itself at Djibouti, in the western Indian Ocean, Xi Jinping & Co. are “casting their gaze to the Atlantic coast and wanting to get such a base there.”

The US Military in Competition: Supporting Effort One

CIMSEC – To help counter the gray zone strategy the Chinese Communist Party regularly uses, the U.S. military should consider non-traditional approaches to competition. 

How China’s Thinking About The Next War

Breaking Defense – Dean Cheng writes that the PLA Navy (PLAN) and PLA Air Force (PLAAF) are now the world’s largest, but China’s military modernization is not only focused on equipment. The PRC appears to be  developing new strategies and doctrines.

No Ordinary Boats: Cracking the Code on China’s Spratly Maritime Militias

CIMSEC – A Chinese fishing vessel appears in a sensitive location—near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, a South China Sea reef, or just offshore from a U.S. military base. Is it an “ordinary” fishing boat, or is it maritime militia? This straightforward question seldom yields straightforward answers.

Hawaii’s Fishermen Are Worried About China’s Fleet. So Is The Military

Honolulu Civil Beat – Hawaii’s commercial fishermen and the U.S. military have a potential threat in common — China’s fleet of government-subsidized ships that has been straying into more distant waters in search of seafood and more influence.

Chinese Nationalism and the “Gray Zone”: Case Analyses of Public Opinion and PRC Maritime Policy

China Maritime Studies Institute – This volume examines the role of popular nationalism in China’s maritime conduct. 

China’s Ballistic Missile Industry

China Aerospace Studies Institute – This report is the next in the series of studies by the China Aerospace Studies Institute that seeks to lay the foundation for better understanding the Aerospace Sector of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This report describes China’s ballistic missile capabilities and development. It reviews the history of the PRC’s research and development of ballistic missiles and traces the institutions that are key to these systems. It details the components and systems that are integral to these weapons and describes the companies, research academies, and production facilities, that form the core of the industry in the PRC.

Image May Reveal A New Type Of Submarine For The Chinese Navy

Naval News – China has a massive submarine building program. Yet new classes of submarine may only be revealed after they have been built. Right now Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) may give us our first glimpse of a completely new type.

Sea Transportation: South China Sea Scheduled Service

StrategyPage – The hardest working ships in the South China Sea are two Chinese two replenishment (“sustainment”) ships designed expressly tp support Chinese islands created or occupied in the South China Sea.

China Wants To Revive A Strategically Located Airfield Deep In The Pacific: Report

War Zone – The Chinese government reportedly has plans to refurbish and expand an airstrip on the island of Kanton, also spelled Canton, part of the archipelago nation of Kiribati in the central Pacific Ocean. If true, this could give Beijing an airbase in an incredibly strategical location, between North America and New Zealand, potentially giving China’s military much greater reach throughout a critical and increasingly tense region.

China’s new nuclear submarine missiles expand range in US

South China Morning Post – China’s newly commissioned nuclear-powered submarine is armed with the country’s most powerful submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) capable of hitting the US mainland.

China’s newly commissioned amphibious landing ship joins exercises, ‘to form powerful partnership with amphibious assault ship’

Global Times –  China’s eighth Type 071 amphibious landing ship recently made its first publicly known maritime exercise appearance, and it has gained operational capabilities in troops delivery, air defense, anti-ship and land attack after entering service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy late last year.

Investments in Global Maritime Infrastructure: Implications for Port Access

CIMSEC – The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has embarked on a massive investment spree and established a meaningful stake in the control of global maritime infrastructure. These investments include the construction of new ports, the expansion and modernization of cargo handling facilities, the purchase of port management rights, and the establishment of control over the operations of petroleum storage and transshipment depots. Much of the capital is formally sourced from the PRC’s One Belt One Road Initiative, but major investments are also being made directly by state-owned, PLA-linked, and other Chinese enterprises. The scope of control over global maritime infrastructure has become sufficiently large to be of concern. The U.S. Navy’s 2021 Chief of Navy Operations NAVPLAN warns that China is, “extending their infrastructure across the globe to control access to critical waterways.“

Chinese Navy to Help with Recovery of Indonesian Sub Wreck

USNI News – China has dispatched three ships to Indonesia to assist in the salvaging of the Indonesian attack submarine KRI Nanggala (402). Two ships – the People’s Liberation Army Navy Ocean Tug Nantuo-195and PLAN Ocean Salvage and Rescue Ship Yongxing Dao-863 – arrived on scene May 3 and the third ship, scientific research vessel Tan Suo 2, is expected to arrive today.

China’s Irregular Approach to War: The Myth of a Purely Conventional Future Fight

Modern War Institute – In a recent CNA study, we found that in a future, large-scale conflict, Chinese forces will likely employ a modern and unique irregular warfare concept, focused on information and influence, tightly integrated with conventional capabilities. A return to great power competition does not portend a shift away from irregular warfare to conventional warfare, but rather an amalgamation of the two.

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier group crosses Miyako Strait, patrols Diaoyu Islands, ‘warning to Japan’

Global Times – The Liaoning aircraft carrier task group of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy reportedly crossed the Miyako Strait again on Monday and sent an aircraft near the Diaoyu Islands on Tuesday, which Chinese experts said sends a warning to Japan amid the country’s recent, repeated wrong statements on China’s Diaoyu Islands. Similar PLA activities will likely become routine depending on China-Japan relations, experts said.

China’s coast guard continues patrolling waters surrounding Diaoyu, defying US reaffirming security commitment to Japan

Global Times – Although the US reaffirmed earlier in April that it is committed to the defense of Japan under their security treaty, which covers the Diaoyu Islands where China and Japan have a dispute, the China Coast Guard (CCG) continued to send its vessels to patrol the surrounding waters on Sunday, with analysts saying that China is making it clear to relevant countries that they are unable to challenge China’s determination to safeguard its territories.