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.

Towards Breakout in the South China Sea: The PRC Shapes a Way Ahead

Second Line of Defense – The seizure of a USN Drone operating 50nm northwest of Subic Bay operating in International waters of South China Sea (SCS) highlights the evolution of PRC policy and reflects a way ahead. The drones and its tender USNS Bowditch were well away from any PRC claims and beyond the 9 dash line. This act could be viewed as piracy on the high seas by the PRC regime’s navy or alternatively, as the logical extension of PRC policy toward the SCS.

The PRC’s New Garrisons in the South China Sea: A US Perspective

CIMSEC – Some international observers minimize the importance of military facilities and operational capabilities on the People’s Republic of China’s various claimed features, rocks, and islands in the South China Sea. They should reconsider.

Passing a Chinese Maritime ‘Trump Test’

National Interest – If the past is any guide, China may test the new administration early on. Beijing’s “maritime militia” could play an important part.

A Conversation with Dr. Andrew Erickson on Chinese Naval Shipbuilding

CIMSEC – On the occasion of the publication of his newest book, Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course, the 6th volume in the USNI Press’ Studies in Chinese Maritime Development Series, CIMSEC spoke with editor and author Dr. Andrew Erickson, Professor of Strategy in, and a core founding member of, the U.S. Naval War College (NWC)’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI).

Catch of the Day: Reflections on the Chinese Seizure of a U.S. Ocean Glider

CIMSEC – As this incident evolves and more information will become available, it might be useful to start thinking about some of the more long-term consequences of this UUV seizure.

Underwater Great Wall’: Chinese firm proposes building network of submarine detectors to boost nation’s defence

South China Morning Post – One of China’s biggest shipping conglomerates has proposed building a network of ship and subsurface sensors to detect US and Russian submarines and to boost the nation’s control of the South China Sea.

China Returns U.S. Navy Unmanned Glider

USNI News – Chinese forces returned a U.S. Navy buoyancy glider to the service.

China ‘seizes US vessel’ in S China Sea

BBC – The US has issued a formal request to China to deliver an unmanned underwater drone that was seized in international waters, US officials say.

China live-fires aircraft carrier group amid Taiwan tensions with US

The Guardian – China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier battle group has conducted its first exercises with live ammunition, the country’s navy said, in a show of strength as tensions with the US and Taiwan escalate.

South China Sea: Satellite photos ‘show weapons’ built on islands

BBC – New photographic evidence has emerged of “significant” Chinese military defences on artificial islands in the South China Sea, a think tank reports.

Maritime Hybrid Warfare Is Coming

Proceedings – Much has been written about the emergence of “hybrid warfare” in a variety of global scenarios, notably in the Russian invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. To date, this largely has been confined to land warfare, in terms of both actual practice and theoretical discussion. That is about to change, and we will see the emergence of maritime hybrid warfare over the coming decades, perhaps sooner. Now is the time for the U.S. Navy to begin thinking about these scenarios and how to counter them, both for our own forces and on behalf of allies, partners, and friends in the global maritime coalition.

Japanese Intelligence Tells Pentagon China Engaged in Multi-Year Takeover Attempt of Senkaku Islands

Free Beacon – China is escalating a campaign of military maritime coercion against Japan’s Senkaku Islands, according to Japanese intelligence data disclosed as part of a joint Pentagon-Japan research program.

China’s Maritime Militia a Growing Concern

Defense News – Near the top of US Pacific Fleet commander Adm. Scott Swift’s concerns is China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), and close behind is the country’s burgeoning Coast Guard. But a third government-controlled seagoing force, the little-known and somewhat mysterious maritime militia, is drawing increased attention.

A Thousand Splendid Guns

US Naval War College Review – In Out of the Mountains, David Kilcullen provides a framework for his “theory of competitive control.” His work focuses on irregular warfare, and in general he addresses nonstate armed groups as one increment along a spectrum of actors competing to control a population. He theorizes that the competitor who can impose predictable norms through persuasive, administrative, and coercive means will succeed. The members of the target audience, for their part, need consistency, and will adhere to this normative system regardless of whether they inherently agree with it or with the competitor’s values.1 What do we learn when we apply Kilcullen’s core principles to China and its conduct in the wider western Pacific as a state-level competitor?

Countering Chinese Expansion Through Mass Enlightenment

CIMSEC – From Newport to New Delhi, a tremendous effort is currently underway to document and analyze China’s pursuit of maritime power. Led by experts in think tanks and academia, this enterprise has produced a rich body of scholarship in a very short period of time. However, even at its very best, this research is incomplete—for it rests on a gross ignorance of Chinese activities at sea.

Experts Advocate Harder Stance Against Illegal Claims In South China Sea

USNI News – Three South China Sea and maritime law experts advocated a tougher stance against illegal Chinese actions, calling for more freedom of navigation operations, possibly with regional allies, that are aimed at Chinese territorial claims that have not previously been challenged.

China Experimenting With Catapult Launched Carrier Aircraft

USNI News – China has stepped up development of Catapult-Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) operations for its carriers, with the appearance of a Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark carrier-borne fighter with CATOBAR apparatus and continued construction of supporting land-based infrastructure.

Counter-pivot: China, Russia hold massive South China Sea war games

Asia Times – China is attempting to counteract the near total isolation it has incurred from regional states as a result of its maritime claims by using a regional show of force together with the Russian military.

China launches two more ASW corvettes

Jane’s – The first of China’s 1,500-tonne Type 056 corvettes was launched in May 2012, so the rate of production over the last four years has averaged a new hull about every six weeks.

China’s Maritime Militia – Time to Call them Out?

Defense News – “China’s maritime militia is only as deniable for China as we allow it to be, and we don’t have to allow it to be deniable,” said Andrew Erickson, a professor of strategy at the US Naval War College, where he is a founding member of the China Maritime Studies Institute. The militia, Erickson said, are controlled directly by the Chinese military, adding another degree of complexity to at-sea confrontations below that of the navy and coast guard. The craft, he said, are “working in close coordination with the other two more powerful sea forces or at least with their backing and coordination added as necessary.”

Stennis CO Talks Deployment: Dual Carrier Ops, Chinese Interactions

USNI News – Last month the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) returned home from a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific – the first time in several years a carrier from the continental United States had deployed specifically to that region rather than simply passing through on the way to and from the Middle East. In addition to highlighting a shift in focus to the Pacific, the deployment featured an opportunity to practice high-end warfighting skills with another U.S. carrier strike group, several exercises with allies and partners in the region, and persistent but professional contact with Chinese ships sent to shadow Stennis.

China, Russia Kick Off Joint South China Sea Naval Exercise; Includes ‘Island Seizing’ Drill

USNI News – China and Russia kicked off more than a week of naval exercises in the South China Sea that will include an “island seizing” exercise.