Which Way the Dragon? Sharpening Allied Perceptions of China’s Strategic Trajectory

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments – CSBA Nonresident Fellow Ross Babbage and colleagues argue for a new, scenario-based approach to defense and security planning in the Indo-Pacific. Drawing upon expert analysis of current conditions, three to four overarching scenarios for China should be considered as potential guideposts over the next 15 years.

China Exceeded Expectations in Speed of Naval Growth

USNI News – According to Toshi Yoshihara, China surpassed every American security planners’ expectations in its successful building and deploying of the world’s largest maritime fleet in just 20 years. The question now is what Beijing’s military and paramilitary forces will look like in the future.

China’s worrisome edge toward a ‘launch-on-warning’ nuclear posture

The Hill – James Holmes writes that the Pentagon’s latest annual report on Chinese military power serves a reminder that the world has embarked on a second nuclear age, following the first one that began at Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago.

What is China’s Strategy in the Senkaku Islands?

War on the Rocks – Chinese operational behavior in the waters around the small group of islands under Japanese administrative control known as Senkaku, and claimed by Beijing under the name Diaoyu, has entered a new, dangerous phase. In an unprecedented move, Chinese coast guard cutters in early July started to operate inside the islands’ territorial waters in a fashion that would suggest Beijing is there to exercise law-enforcement powers. It appears China no longer seeks to just showcase its “presence” in the waters around the islands. It is now starting to actively challenge Japanese control.

China’s Type 075 assault ship could be a decade from full operation

South China Morning Post – As the Chinese navy speeds ahead with completion of the final piece in its modernised warship portfolio, experts say it will be years before the Type 075 amphibious helicopter landing craft is operating at full capacity.

China’s new AWACS ready for South China Sea missions

Global Times – A latest variation of China’s KJ-500 airborne early warning and control system (AWACS), equipped with a probe that can allow the plane to receive aerial refueling and greatly extend its range and endurance, was recently spotted at a naval aviation regiment base under the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command.

China sends aircraft carriers on unprecedented dual missions in Bohai, Yellow seas

South China Morning Post – The Chinese navy has launched unprecedented double aircraft carrier missions as it seeks to improve combat readiness, and amid worsening tensions between Beijing and Washington.

China’s ‘Carrier-Killer’ Missiles: What Everyone Is Missing

National Interest – James Holmes writes that reports on the missile tests indicated that the DF-26 launch came out of Qinghai, deep in the backcountry of northwestern China. This is significant. It puts Washington and the region on notice that the PLA can target hostile shipping with rocket forces that are virtually invulnerable to counterattack. And, while important, that’s just for starters. 

Why China brought out the ‘aircraft-carrier killer’ to flex its military muscle

South China Morning Post – When China flexed its military muscle in the South China Sea on Wednesday, it put the PLA’s most advanced land-based anti-ship ballistic missile to the test: the “aircraft-carrier killer”.The DF-26B was fired into the northern area of the disputed waterway from Qinghai province in China’s northwest, a source close to the military said, in a move seen as a warning to the United States.

Reported PLA anti-ship ballistic missile launches ‘show saturated attack capability’

Global Times – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Wednesday launched multiple anti-ship ballistic missiles into the South China Sea in a military exercise, overseas media reported. The missile launches, if true, demonstrated the PLA’s ability to hit maritime targets with powerful ballistic missiles from multiple directions in coordinated, saturated attacks against which there is no defense.

PLA launches new Type 055, Type 052D destroyers after decommissioning all Type 051 destroyers

Global Times – China reportedly launched its eighth Type 055 and 25th Type 052D destroyers on Sunday, only two days after the decommissioning of two Type 051 destroyers attached to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, which marked the retirement of China’s all first generation of indigenous destroyers. 

China’s first carrier-based, fixed-wing early warning aircraft makes maiden flight

Global Times – China’s first aircraft carrier-based, fixed-wing early warning aircraft, reportedly called the KJ-600, successfully made its maiden flight in late August. This type of plane will become far-reaching eyes and significantly boost the comprehensive combat capability of Chinese aircraft carriers, which currently only have helicopters for early warning purposes.

Military and Security Events Involving the People’s Republic of China 2020

Office of the Secretary of Defense – China is bent on creating a world-class military that can conduct joint operations across the globe and already boasts the world’s largest navy, according to the Pentagon’s latest annual assessment of the Chinese military.

How to Prevent a War in Asia

Foreign Affairs – The resurgence of U.S.-Chinese competition poses a host of challenges for policymakers—related to trade and economics, technology, global influence, and more—but none is more consequential than reducing the risk of war. Unfortunately, thanks to today’s uniquely dangerous mix of growing Chinese assertiveness and military strength and eroding U.S. deterrence, that risk is higher than it has been for decades, and it is growing.

China’s navy goes back to work on big ambitions but long-term gaps remain

South China Morning Post – China’s efforts to modernize and expand its naval forces have once again kicked into high gear after disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, pressing on with efforts to have at least four carrier strike groups in the next decade. But military watchers and insiders said that even without the coronavirus disruptions, China still had a long way to go to train the personnel it needed to realise its ambitions.

China’s navy drills in 4 regions show ability to counter US, observers say

South China Morning Post – China is conducting military drills almost simultaneously in four sea regions, a rare move possibly designed to signal its readiness to handle confrontation with the United States and self-ruled Taiwan.

Chinese navy may launch eighth Type 055 stealth destroyer later this year

South China Morning Post – China is expected to launch an eighth guided-missile destroyer designed for the navy’s aircraft carrier strike groups llater this year.

China’s Type 075 amphibious assault ship completes trial, but needs aircraft

South China Morning Post – China’s first Type 075 landing helicopter assault dock completed its first test voyage on Sunday, and is expected to join the Chinese Navy’s marines next year, military analysts said. However, a military insider said the amphibious warship was still awaiting the launch of the aircraft it would carry: the naval versions of the Z-8J and Z-20J, which are modified based on the air force’s Z-8 and Z-20 armed helicopters.

Chinese military fires ‘aircraft-carrier killer’ missile into South China Sea in ‘warning to the United States’

South China Morning Post – China launched two missiles, including an “aircraft-carrier killer”, into the South China Sea on Wednesday morning, a source close to the Chinese military said, sending a clear warning to the United States.

China Freaks Out Over Supposed U-2 Spy Plane Flight Over Its Naval Exercise

War Zone – China is making a big deal out of a supposed overflight by a U.S. Air Force U-2 spy plane of one of its currently underway People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) exercises.

Surprise! The Chinese Navy Just Transformed This Cargo Ship Into An Instant Helicopter Carrier

Forbes – In a creative—some might say desperate—bid to bolster its amphibious fleet, the U.S. Navy in recent years has been building so-called “expeditionary sea-base ships” that are little more than commercial heavy-load carrier ships with a gray coat of paint and some military radios. Now the Chinese fleet has demonstrated the same creativity—or desperation. A commercial heavy-load carrier flying a Hong Kong flag recently supported a Chinese naval exercise, functioning as a base for at least two army helicopters.

(Thanks to Alain)

China-Japan relations: end of summer fishing ban risks further tensions over disputed islands

South China Morning Post – The Chinese authorities have reportedly warned crews to stay away from the Diaoyu Islands, also known as the Senkakus, to avoid further tension with Tokyo.

Image Shows Chinese Submarine Entering Mysterious Cave Facility At South China Sea Base

War Zone – The rare satellite image shows a Chinese nuclear submarine entering into the mysterious submarine cave system at Yulin Naval Base on Hainan Island.

China Deployed Bombers To One Of Its South China Sea Islands For The First Time

War Zone – The H-6J’s visit to Woody Island would be yet more evidence of China’s expanding military activities in a disputed and strategically vital region.