– 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.
– CIMSEC – We previously examined in depth the maritime militia forces of Sanya, Danzhou, and Tanmen (Parts One and Two). No examination of the maritime militia of Hainan Province would be complete, however, without scrutinizing the Sansha Maritime Militia.
– RAND – Premeditated war between the United States and China is very unlikely, but the danger that a mishandled crisis could trigger hostilities cannot be ignored. Thus, while neither state wants war, both states’ militaries have plans to fight one. As Chinese anti-access and area-denial (A2AD) capabilities improve, the United States can no longer be so certain that war would follow its plan and lead to decisive victory. This analysis illuminates various paths a war with China could take and their possible consequences.
– Jamestown Foundation – Beijing’s response to the unfavorable South China Sea arbitration outcome has highlighted an important aspect of its military strategy, the “three warfares” (三战). Consisting of public opinion warfare (舆论战), psychological warfare (心理战), and legal warfare (法律战), the three warfares have been critical components of China’s strategic approach in the South China Sea and beyond. In peacetime and wartime alike, the application of the three warfares is intended to control the prevailing discourse and influence perceptions in a way that advances China’s interests, while compromising the capability of opponents to respond.
– Breaking Defense – What are China’s intentions in the South China Sea? It’s a question intelligence analysts, diplomats and the senior leadership of the United States and its Pacific allies are all asking in the wake of a range of increasingly belligerent and threatening comments and actions by the rising global power. Perhaps most worrying is that the Kyodo News Agency and other Japanese outlets have reported variations of a story that China’s ambassador to Tokyo said in late June that the Japanese Self Defense Force would “cross a red line” if they took part of Freedom of Navigation operations in the South China Sea. “(China) will not concede on sovereignty issues and is not afraid of military provocations,” Cheng is reported to have told Japanese officials.
– CIMSEC – Observers of China’s September 2015 military parade witnessed the surprise introduction of a new road-mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), the DF-26, reported to feature nuclear, conventional, and antiship variants and a range of 3,000–4,000 kilometers (km) (1,800–2,500 miles [mi])1—greater than any of China’s current systems except the ICBMs in its nuclear arsenal. This range would cover U.S. military installations on Guam, roughly 3,000 km (1,800 mi) from the Chinese mainland, prompting some analysts and netizens to refer to the missile as the “Guam Express” or “Guam Killer” (derived from the term “carrier killer” used to refer to China’s shorter-range DF-21D antiship ballistic missile).2 Combined with improved air- and sea-launched cruise missiles and modernizing support systems, the DF-26 would allow China to bring a greater diversity and quality of assets to bear against Guam in a contingency than ever before.
– Wall Street Journal – Naval facility under construction in Djibouti shows Beijing’s ambitions to be a global maritime power and protect its expanding interests abroad.
– USNI News – When you look at the thousands and thousands of fishing boats operating out of China, you really should consider them a third arm of Beijing’s naval presence, an expert in maritime security said this week.
– FreeBeacon – China is building up maritime security forces around a key disputed island in the South China Sea that the Pentagon has warned China not to militarize. According to Pentagon officials, the number of Chinese maritime security vessels near Scarborough Shoal, in the Spratly Islands, has risen sharply over the past several weeks.
– US Naval War College Review – This article seeks to describe the range of sources available for helping to understand Chinese maritime strategy and to assess their relative value.
– US Naval War College Review – As Sino-American security competition increases, it is reasonable to expect that China will try to divide the United States from key NATO members through diplomatic and economic means. Members of the transatlantic community should anticipate this challenge and be prepared to meet it. In doing so, the normative aspect of the alliance can play a key role.
– CIMSEC – A discussion on the UN’s Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on territorial disputes in the South China Sea with one of the China-watching community’s best known, most respected, and outspoken voices, retired U.S. Navy Captain James Fanell.
– USNI News – Is China about to declare an Air-Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the South China Sea? And how effectively would it be able to enforce such a zone?
– USNI News – The head of the People’s Liberation Army Navy told his U.S. counterpart that China has no intention of stopping its island building campaign in the South China Sea Spratly Islands.
– Breaking Defense – “To a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape,” Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago. It’s a stratagem – often called the “golden bridge” – that the US and its allies would do well to remember tomorrow morning, when a UN tribunal ruling on disputes in the South China Sea will almost certainly deliver China a legal and political defeat. Chinese nationalists will stridently demand retaliation. We need to give Xi Jinping room to deescalate instead without losing face.
– Asia Times – The United States is stealing a page from China’s strategic playbook in using international law as a means to counter expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea.
– BBC – An international tribunal has ruled against Chinese claims to rights in the South China Sea, backing a case brought by the Philippines.
– BBC – A tribunal is about to rule on China’s territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. But Beijing’s desire for control is about much more than rocks above the water, argues analyst Alexander Neill. It is also central to China’s plans for a submarine nuclear force able to break out into the Pacific Ocean.
– CSIS – The entry of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, into service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) attracted considerable attention from both the Chinese press and military observers around the world. For some, the Liaoning was a symbol of China’s global power; for others, it represented a significant first step toward a more muscular and assertive Chinese navy.
– People’s Daily – When receiving an interview at a program of China’s CCTV, military expert Cao Weidong said that based on the construction progress reported by the media, China’s second aircraft carrier may enter the water at the end of this year or early next year.
– Asia Times – The US government is sending mixed signals to American allies in Asia by opposing Chinese territorial encroachment while allowing China to take part in a regional military exercise.
– USNI News – Five ships from the People’s Liberation Army Navy are training with a U.S. carrier strike group ahead of next month’s Rim of the Pacific 2016 exercises.
– Breaking Defense – A UN tribunal ruling could trigger the next round of brinksmanship in the South China Sea as early as next week. But don’t expect the ruling to end the dispute, especially since the Chinese have already vowed to ignore an adverse ruling.
– USNI News – An Arbitral Tribunal is expected to rule this month on a South China Sea territorial dispute between China and the Philippines, and the U.S. should be prepared to respond to any Chinese reaction, a think tank panel said today.
– USNI News – The strong economic ties the United States and India maintain with China inhibit Washington and New Delhi from taking “hard actions” when Beijing acts provocatively in the South China Sea or the Indian Ocean.