– National Interest – On March 30 a destroyer from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force collided with a Chinese fishing boat on the high seas in the East China Sea. Details remain sketchy, but the collision came on the heels of a similar collision between a Taiwan Coast Guard vessel and a mainland fishing boat. What is Beijing thinking?
– War Zone – The blaze struck while the ship was tied up to the pier at Hudong–Zhonghua Shipbuilding in Shanghai.
– USNI News – Last week’s collision between a Chinese Coast Guard vessel and a Vietnamese fishing boat near the Paracel Islands exposes Beijing’s “charm” and “coercion” strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic, regional experts say.
– South China Morning Post – Chinese engineers have modified an old fighter jet to create a training aircraft for pilots who will serve on the country’s newest aircraft carrier – the Type 002 – which is currently in development.
– South China Morning Post – China is making up for time lost during the coronavirus outbreak by resuming preparations to test its largest amphibious aeroplane, which will be able to cover all of the South China Sea.
– National Interest – Regaining every inch of ground once ruled by imperial China is central to the dream President Xi Jinping exhorts Chinese to embrace. Miss an opportunity and China’s dream might never come true. And where would that leave Chinese Communist rulers, who already face a sullen populace? Is now the time Beijing may decide to strike—thanks to COVID-19?
– Global Times – Chinese military experts on Tuesday suggested the use of non-lethal electromagnetic weapons, including low-energy laser devices, in expelling US warships that have been repeatedly intruding into the South China Sea in the past week.
– Congressional Research Service – Latest report as of March 18, 2020.
– War on the Rocks – China’s Spratly Island outposts’ offer Beijing decisive information superiority against any challenger in the South China Sea. Their primary purpose is not military power projection and the deployment of weapons, but information power. The Chinese bases’ main contribution is to facilitate substantial command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities in the South China Sea.
– National Interest – The robot submarine (and unmanned surface ship) era is now nearly upon us. Chinese naval strategist have stated explicitly that they intend to circumvent their long-recognized weakness in submarine warfare by cultivating undersea AI and by developing highly capable UUVs. America should take notice.
– Global Times – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Tuesday expelled a US warship that trespassed into Chinese territorial waters in the Xisha Islands of the South China Sea, while experts said Wednesday that recent US naval activities in the South China Sea are a sign that the US is losing control in the region and wants to flex its muscles to gain influence in the region.
– Global Times – China is reportedly set to launch its second Type 075 amphibious assault ship soon following the launch of the first one in September, leading analysts to say that China has grasped related shipbuilding technologies. The development of aircraft to be used on the ships is also progressing smoothly, they said.
– National Defense – The United States has been the world’s leading maritime power for decades. However, the U.S. Navy could find itself in China’s wake if current trends continue, analysts say.
– National Interest – Moscow has transferred more than five hundred aircraft—large military transports, early warning aircraft, refueling aircraft, attack jets, and fighter interceptors—to Beijing since 1990.
– Global Times – A far sea joint training fleet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy returned to base after sailing 14,000 nautical miles and crossing the International Date Line deep into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, a move that challenges US hegemony in the open waters and will become increasingly frequent in the future.
– Global Times – Two recently commissioned warships of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy are now ready to do batte after passing an all-subject training examination, the Navy announced on Wednesday, as experts said the service has done well in its sailor training program while receiving more and more warships.
– CIMSEC – China is modernizing every element of its military…With this new capability, China constantly intimidates its neighbors through its increasingly aggressive maritime behavior.
– CIMSEC – In this decade, the United States Navy may be displaced as the most formidable maritime presence in the Pacific Ocean. China is determined to challenge America’s ability to project military power forward into the Western Pacific. It seeks to undermine the U.S. capability of standing with its allies and deterring China from using military force to coerce small nations into making concessions on their sovereignty and the enforcement of binding treaty commitments. Denying Beijing’s quest to become the region’s dominant land and sea power will require more than traditional naval strength. A comprehensive strategy that understands the unfolding fourth industrial revolution and the Chinese government’s problematic activities will be necessary to deny China’s bid for maritime primacy.
– Navy Times – A Chinese warship targeted a U.S. naval patrol aircraft with a laser in international airspace earlier this month, Pacific Fleet announced Thursday.
– National Interest – James Holmes writes that “Chinese and American strategists, past and present, delight in invoking sporting metaphors to explain how they intend to do business. Sports talk commonly conjures up the image of two boxers squaring off in the Western Pacific. Defensive-minded pugilists circle warily, but neither relishes being the first to throw a haymaker. The bout may never happen if the contenders deter each other or see little point in a fistfight.”
– From the Office of Naval Intelligence
– News.Com.Au – It’s supposed to be an international airport. It’s supposed to be part of a holiday resort on a pristine piece of coastline. But it’s not.
– Global Times – It has emerged that China’s most advanced destroyer, the 10,000-ton-class Type 055, is larger than previously reported as the Chinese Navy recently revealed it has an actual displacement of more than 12,000 tons. Experts said on Friday that the difference between 10,000 and 12,000 tons could be huge and indicate the warship is even more powerful than expected.
– War on the Rocks – What is the strategic value of China’s Spratly outposts in the South China Sea? Are they a military asset or liability for Beijing? While they allow China to monitor air and naval traffic in the South China Sea, an emerging consensus in American military circles argues that China’s artificial features are more of a headache for Beijing than for Washington. U.S. Navy and Air Force assets could neutralize the Chinese positions relatively quickly if required.
– China Maritime Studies Institute – China’s naval modernization, a process that has been underway in earnest for three decades, is now hitting its stride. The advent of the Type 055 cruiser firmly places the PLAN among the world’s very top naval services. This study, which draws upon a unique set of Chinese-language writings, offers the first comprehensive look at this new, large surface combatant.