U.S. Will Oppose Chinese ‘Gangster Tactics’ in South China Sea; U.S. Warship Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation

USNI News – The U.S. will no longer remain on the sidelines when China uses “gangster tactics” to get its way in territorial disputes in the South China Sea, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday.

Chinese Military Shows Off ‘Rifle-Size Railguns’ In New Video

Forbes – While the U.S. Navy is reportedly struggling to build cannon-sized railguns for its ships, not only has China already put a railgun-armed ship to sea, it is now showing off rifle- and pistol-sized versions being fired at targets.

Hidden Harbors: China’s State-backed Shipping Industry

CSIS – Chinese companies are increasingly dominant across the maritime supply chain, aided by a complicated and opaque system of formal and informal state support that is unrivaled in size and scope.

Could China’s unwanted FC-31 Gyrfalcon stealth fighter finally land a role in the navy?

South China Morning Post – A Chinese aviation firm has said it hopes to start testing a new jet next year, prompting speculation that it may be working on a naval version of the FC-31. The fifth-generation fighter, also known as the Gyrfalcon, has so far failed to attract buyers from the Chinese air force or foreign militaries, but defence analysts said it may be possible to adapt it for the new generation of Chinese carriers.

China and Taiwan Could Be Headed Towards a Showdown. What Should America Do?

National Interest – Hand it to CCP strongman Xi Jinping: he is a uniter. His bluster and saber-rattling may well unite Taiwanese behind the cause of independence. Beijing could respond quite aggressively. What would America do in response?

Political Commissars on Chinese Warships Play Crucial Role in Interactions With Foreign Vessels

USNI News – Confrontational or irrational moves by Chinese warships and planes may not be actions of a “rogue commander” but rather decisions by a political commissar, a new report describes.

Was A VTOL UAV Spotted Aboard China’s Type 075 LHD ?

Naval News – A new type of vertical take off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was allegedly spotted last week aboard one of the two Type 075 LHD currently fitting out in China.

China’s former navy chief Wu Shengli to face audit

South China Morning Post – Assessment comes as Communist Party anti-corruption watchdog introduces rules for mandatory audits of all serving and retired top brass.

China Threatens In Paracels; Three US Carrier Groups Sail The Philippine Sea

Breaking Defense – The Chinese government warned ships away from the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea today as the PLA Navy prepares to conduct four days of military exercises there, making the announcement one day after the US Navy sent two aircraft carriers into the Philippine Sea, and regional governments criticized Beijing’s island grab.

Chinese Navy Submarines Could Become A Reality In Indian Ocean

Forbes – The Chinese Navy is rapidly pursuing global capabilities. A key area of future operations may be the Indian Ocean. Chinese submarines in particular could have a strategic impact if they were roaming those waters.

Could the U.S. Navy Replace Ships Fast Enough in a War with China?

National Interest – The United States could lose a Western Pacific naval war because Communist China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) can regenerate combat power more readily than the U.S. sea services can. Or, more precisely, China’s sprawling industrial base could replace hardware lost in action faster than could U.S. industry.

China releases report on US military presence in Asia-Pacific, warns of increased conflict risk

Global Times – China is set to release its 2020 research report on the US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region amid the US’ recent increased military activities near China, including repeated trespassing into China’s territorial waters in the South China Sea by warships this year. The possibility of a conflict could substantially increase, which must be managed and prevented, the report says.

The report can be read here: The US Military Presence in the Asia-Pacific 2020, the English version begins on page 99.

Beijing steps up presence in ‘military grey zones’ to pressure Taiwan

South China Morning Post – The mainland is using various indirect tactics to intimidate the island without engaging in conventional combat.

Chinese naval fleet wraps up far sea exercise deep in Pacific Ocean

China Military – A far sea joint training fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy returned to base after sailing 14,000 nautical miles and crossing the International Date Line deep into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, a move that challenges US hegemony in the open waters and will become increasingly frequent in the future.

Who Guards the ‘Maritime Silk Road’?

War on the Rocks – As China expands its global maritime interests, all eyes are on its navy. But Western policymakers concerned over China’s military capabilities and expanding geopolitical role are missing another security solution altogether: Chinese private maritime security companies. Little is known about them, though it appears that the few companies with a public web presence primarily operate across the Indo-Pacific, recruit Chinese military veterans and foreigners alike, and offer a range of armed and unarmed vessel protection services. The foreign companies traditionally dominating this industry, such as G4S, are reportedly losing some of their appeal, with Chinese companies that operate abroad in search of more affordable services and a better cultural fit. By offering services to protect what China calls the Maritime Silk Road, Chinese private maritime security companies stand to capitalize on business opportunities that are “on brand” with Chinese government interests.

How China Has Overtaken Japan in Naval Power and Why it Matters

CIMSEC – A major reversal of fortunes at sea has gone largely unnoticed. Over the past decade, the Chinese Navy sped past the Japanese maritime service across key measures of material prowess. The trendlines suggest that China will soon permanently displace Japan as the leading regional naval power in Asia. This historic power transition will have repercussions across the Indo-Pacific in the years to come. It behooves policymakers to pay attention to this overlooked but consequential shift in the naval balance between two great seafaring nations.

Exploring China’s Unmanned Ocean Network

Center for Strategic and International Studies – China has deployed a network of sensors and communications capabilities between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands in the northern South China Sea. These capabilities are part of a “Blue Ocean Information Network” (蓝海信息网络) developed by China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a state-owned company, to aid in the exploration and control of the maritime environment using information technology. The network constructed in the northern South China Sea between early 2016 and 2019 is referred to as a demonstration system. However, future plans for the Blue Ocean Information Network involve expanding the sensor and communications network to the rest of the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and other ocean areas far from Chinese territory. While the Blue Ocean Information Network is largely cast as an environmental monitoring and communications system, the military utility of its sensing and communications functions makes its development important to monitor.

Mission completed Chinese naval escort task group returns home

China Military Online – The 34th Chinese naval escort task group returned to a naval port in Sanya, south China’s Hainan Province, on the morning of June 10, after successfully completing its mission.

Xi Jinping Is China’s Teddy Roosevelt

USNI Proceedings – If Deng Xiaoping was China’s George Washington, Xi Jinping is China’s answer to Theodore Roosevelt. Investigating U.S. history could give a glimpse into Asia’s maritime future.

New Air Bases, Baby Cabbage Key to Chinese Long-Term Claims in South China Sea

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.

Thanks To Coronavirus, Tensions Are Rising In The South China Sea

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.

Why the U.S. Army (of the 1800s) Would Understand China’s South China Sea Strategy

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.”

PLA drill in South China Sea about combat readiness, not seizing Taiwanese islands, experts say

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.

Dragon Against the Sun: Chinese Views of Japanese Seapower

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.