– The Drive – Could this emerging weapon system become yet another effective threat layer in China’s ever-expanding anti-access/area-denial maritime bubble?
– Congressional Research Service – Ronald O’Rourke’s latest report on the Chinese Maritime Militia.
– CIMSEC – Part I and II of this conclusion to our series on Hainan’s maritime militia discussed the Hainan Provincial Military District (MD) leadership’s approach to constructing maritime militia forces in response to national militia guidelines and how they address challenges during construction efforts. This final installment in our series offers a glimpse into what the Hainan MD’s efforts have yielded in force scale. It also examines the incentivizes motivating the builders of this force, such as political drivers and pressures confronting local officials. The conclusion also outlines issues meriting further observation and analysis, such as the significance of the Sansha Maritime Militia force for China’s third sea force more broadly, and the degree to which Chinese officials frame related efforts as part of a “People’s War.”
– The Diplomat – After a six-century hiatus, sea power development may once again find its center of gravity in the Asia-Pacific. While the Trump Administration plans a naval buildup, China is already well into a buildup of its own.
– BBC – China has launched a new aircraft carrier in the latest sign of its growing military strength.
– Congressional Research Service – The newest edition of Ronald O’Rourke’s report to Congress.
– Defense News – China’s second aircraft carrier, but its first locally built, has been floated off its dry dock, and its formal launch appears imminent, even as the country continues development work on other aspects of its carrier program.
– CIMSEC – As it works to improve its maritime militia, Hainan Province is engaged in multiple lines of effort.
– BBC – Nineteen crew members have been freed by the Chinese Navy from a ship captured by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
– The Guardian – Chinese coastguard vessels maintain a near-constant presence around reefs claimed by Malaysia in the South China Sea, ship-tracking data shared with the Guardian has revealed.
– South China Morning Post – Ships will strengthen navy as Beijing makes more assertive claims to disputed waters in South China Sea and increases sea patrols amid strained ties with Taiwan.
– Economist – Bad news for giant clams and for the other littoral states in the South China Sea.
– Breaking Defense – For the first time, an important United States military base, one where a great deal of highly classified communications, intelligence and operations occur, sits within a few miles of a military competitor. Where? Djibouti.
– CIMSEC – The first of a three-part conclusion on the maritime militia of Hainan Province.
– China Brief – Part 1 of this series discussed Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong’s background, meteoric rise, and recent promotion to PLAN Commander. However, his appointment raises a number of questions about his role in the PLA Navy’s modernization, his promotion’s implication for China’s promotion system, and about his predecessor’s continued presence on the Central Military Commission. Part 2 will explore these important factors in depth and suggest possible conclusions and implications.
– China Brief – A new leader has just taken the helm of the world’s largest navy. Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong (沈金龙) reportedly replaced Admiral Wu Shengli (吴胜利) as PLAN Commander on January 17, 2017. Authoritative state media reports have offered few details on Shen, making it important to analyze a broad array of Chinese-language sources to distill what his elevation may mean for China as a maritime power.
– Reuters – China has started fresh construction work in the disputed South China Sea, new satellite images show, a sign that Beijing is continuing to strengthen its military reach across the vital trade waterway.
– AFP – Chinese survey ships have been entering waters recognised by the United Nations as Philippine territory, Manila’s defence secretary said Thursday, in a move he described as “very concerning”.
– CIMSEC – China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, had put on a display of its skills recently as the carrier group transited the Western Pacific. Liaoning’s excursion, marking Beijing’s core interests, is a political message to the United States and the world as uncertainty grips them. It also marks the beginning of a new episode in the military history of Western Pacific, which has been dominated by American aircraft carriers since the Cold War, especially during the Taiwan Strait crises. Taiwan also believes that Liaoning represents China’s military ability to break through the first island chain.
– National Interest – How does the unthinkable happen? As historians continue to contemplate the various historic anniversaries around World War I through next year, the question of unexpected wars looms large. What series of events could lead to war in East Asia, and how would that war play out?
– CIMSEC – A conversation with Asia-Pacific expert Bonnie Glaser to better understand freedom of navigation, U.S.-China relations under the Trump administration, and recent maritime operations in the region.
– The Economist – The archipelago of Heligoland has a modern parallel.
– RUSI – The People’s Liberation Army’s Navy is growing fast; expect it to grow even faster.
– The Economist – Should anyone be scared?
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.