3 new world-class warships commissioned together, shoring up ‘nuke retaliation, S.China Sea security, island seizing’

Global Times – President Xi Jinping commissioned three main battle warships into the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy on Friday, the service’s 72nd founding anniversary, with analysts saying on Saturday that the unprecedented, concentrated warship commissioning represents the rapid development of the PLA Navy and Chinese shipbuilding industry amid the grave military struggle pressure China is facing.

Xi Likes Big Boats (Coming Soon to a Reef Near You)

War on the Rocks – When General Secretary Xi Jinping visited Tanmen village in April 2013, he famously urged China’s South China Sea fishers to “build big boats, charge forth on the deep sea, and catch big fish.” As recent scenes from Whitsun Reef reveal, however, very little “charging” is taking place, which means very few “big fish.” But, in one respect, Chinese fishers have clearly obeyed Xi’s command: They have built some very large boats.

Chinese Naval Base in Africa Set to Support Aircraft Carriers

USNI News – A recently completed pier at the Chinese naval base near the entrance to the Red Sea is large enough to support an aircraft carrier.

China’s New Aircraft Carrier Is In Same League As US Navy’s Ford Class

Naval News – The Chinese Navy is radically modernizing its capabilities. Chief among these are a fleet of aircraft carriers. A new satellite image clearly shows the Type-003 aircraft carrier taking shape in Shanghai, and it is the largest so far.

Beijing has a navy it doesn’t even admit exists, experts say. And it’s swarming parts of the South China Sea

CNN – They’ve been dubbed China’s “Little Blue Men,” an allegedly Beijing-controlled maritime militia that analysts say could be hundreds of boats and thousands of crew members strong. China doesn’t acknowledge their existence and when questioned, refers to them as a “so-called maritime militia.”

China’s Desert Storm Education

USNI Proceedings – China took lessons from Operation Desert Storm and remade itself with foreign technology to build a formidable joint military force with expeditionary ambitions.

Now China Has Cruise Missile Carrying Catamarans Chasing Away Ships In The South China Sea

War Zone – The appearance of the Chinese catamaran fast-attack missile craft adds a significant new player to these disputed waters.

China’s New Aircraft Carriers: Should We Be Impressed?

1945 – A common refrain in these pixels is that strategic competition is an armed debate in which debaters—great powers, usually—flourish implements of war in an impressive way to mold opinion among audiences that matter. Positioning oneself as the stronger contender in the minds of influential observers helps cow opponents give heart to allies and partners, win new allies to the cause, and rally the faithful back home.

PLA carrier, warplanes surround Taiwan in drills, in show of capability to cut off foreign intervention

Global Times – A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft carrier task group was training in the east of Taiwan island as at least 10 PLA warplanes appeared in the west of the island in a routine exercise on Monday, indicating that the island is surrounded from the east with an aircraft carrier task group and by land-based PLA forces on the west.  

China’s Maritime Militia and Fishing Fleets: A Primer For Operational Staffs and Tactical Leaders, Part 2

CIMSEC – The surge of propaganda notwithstanding, several issues confront Beijing before the maritime militia can effectively function as the third arm in collaboration with the PLAN and Chinese Coast Guard.

China’s Liaoning Carrier Strike Group Passes Through Japan’s Miyako Strait

War Zone – China’s ability to integrate its carriers with an increasingly advanced strike group continues to evolve, as does its blue water operations ambitions.

Pier Competitor: Testimony on China’s Global Ports

US Naval War College Review – The United States–China Economic and Security Review Commission convened a daylong hearing on the global power-projection capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on 20 February 2020. What follows is a version of the testimony with which the author responded to the commission’s questions on Chinese bases and access points, drawing on an original data set of the ninety-five overseas port terminals that Chinese firms—primarily three entities, two of which are central state–owned enterprises—own, operate, or both.

PLA’s largest near-Taiwan exercise features bombers to island’s east, ‘blocks foreign interventions’

Global Times – The warplane exercise by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) near the island of Taiwan on Friday is not only the largest since the PLA started routine exercises in the region last year, but also a rare one that saw bombers flying to the eastern side of the island. 

Beijing has extended another Spratly Islands reef, photos show

South China Morning Post – China has reclaimed land to extend a reef in the Spratly Islands, in the disputed South China Sea, satellite images show.

Chinese Navy Sailors Depressed

StrategyPage – In early 2021, five military medical researchers working for the Chinese Institute of Military Health Management published a report in the journal Military Medicine revealing that 108 of 511 submarine crewmen who took a standard mental health assessment survey which revealed they were suffering from mental stress symptoms because of their busy training schedule on Chinese diesel-electric submarines operating in and near the South China Sea.

Two Chinese Survey Ships are Probing a Strategic Section of the Indian Ocean

USNI News – China is gathering data on the undersea environment in the Indian Ocean as evidenced by two government survey ships seen operating in the region via open source satellite photos.

South China Sea: alarm in Philippines as 200 Chinese vessels gather at disputed reef

The Guardian – The Philippines’ defence chief has demanded more than 200 Chinese vessels he said were manned by militias leave a South China Sea reef claimed by Manila, saying their presence was a “provocative action of militarising the area.”

PLA’s Type 055 destroyer enters Sea of Japan for 1st time

Global Times – A Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy flotilla led by the country’s first 10,000 ton-class Type 055 large destroyer sailed through the Tsushima Strait on Thursday and headed toward the Sea of Japan, a few days after US and Japanese foreign and defense ministers hyped the “China threat” in bilateral “2+2” talks in Tokyo.

2nd Type 055 destroyer enters service

China Daily – The People’s Liberation Army Navy has recently commissioned its second Type 055 guided-missile destroyer and named it Lhasa, after the capital of the Tibet autonomous region.

China’s Maritime Militia and Fishing Fleets: A Primer for Operational Staffs and Tactical Leaders, Part 1

CIMSEC – The article proceeds in three parts. It begins by analyzing the domestic sources of Chinese grand strategy that influence the PRC’s maritime policies and activities. The next section describes China’s maritime militia and fishing fleets, their strategic purposes, and their strengths and limitations. The final section addresses the challenges these actors pose to U.S. forces, with particular emphasis on the links between force protection and unintended escalation.