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China Studies

Added September 03, 2014
Type: Monograph
A New Type of Great Power Relationship between the United States and China: The Military Dimension. Authored by Professor Geoffrey Till.
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President Xi Jinping's recent suggestion that a newly empowered China and the United States adopt a relationship that is new and different from previous relations between the great powers provides an ideal opportunity for the United States to consider its strategic options in the region.
Added June 24, 2014
Type: Monograph
The Paracel Islands and U.S. Interests and Approaches in the South China Sea. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
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Learn how the Paracel Islands disputes act as a primer about the South China Sea conflicts and U.S., Vietnamese, and Chinese relations in the region. This analysis may help the reader better understand these disputes, and how the United States may address them.
Added June 13, 2014
Type: Monograph
The Growing Complexity of Sino-Indian Ties. Authored by Dr. Harsh V. Pant.
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This monograph examines the evolution on Sino-India ties over the last few decades and the constraints that continue to inhibit this relationship from achieving its full potential before delineating the implications of this for the United States and the wider international system.
Added April 22, 2014
Type: Book
Assessing the People's Liberation Army in the Hu Jintao Era. Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Travis Tanner.
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How has President Hu Jintao contributed to China’s military modernization?
Added March 05, 2014
Type: Monograph
The Chinese People's Liberation Army and Information Warfare. Authored by Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
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The Chinese government plans to establish a new air defense intercept zone which will include the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands, sovereignty over which is disputed by Japan, China, and Taiwan. Due to complaints of cyber penetrations attributed to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State are devising new means to protect intellectual property and secrets from the PLA’s computer network operations.
Added December 27, 2013
Type: Monograph
Dangerous Ground: The Spratly Islands and U.S. Interests and Approaches. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
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The Spratly Islands disputes are the nexus of interests and clashes for U.S. partners and competitors that will draw in the United States as it involves itself more in Asia-Pacific issues. This analysis may help readers to better understand these disputes and how the United States may better address them.
Added November 03, 2013
Type: Monograph
Central Asia After 2014. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
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The papers collected here offer assessments of Sino-Russian rivalry, the U.S.-Russian rivalry, and a neglected but critical topic, Chinese military capability for action in Central Asia. All of these issues are essential for any informed analysis of the future of Central Asian security, as well as relations among the great powers in Central Asia.
Added May 28, 2013
Type: Monograph
Asia-Pacific: A Strategic Assessment. Authored by Dr. David Lai.
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The U.S.-China power transition has become a defining factor in the Asia-Pacific, conditioning the calculation of policy among the Asia-Pacific nations. A rising China brings mixed blessings—opportunities for development, but risks for conflict.
Added November 30, 2012
Type: Book
Learning by Doing: The PLA Trains at Home and Abroad. Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Travis Tanner.
The papers presented in this latest volume in a series on the PLA are a timely and critical look at an evolving and expanding Chinese military and provide context for the changes we may see as the PLA continues to modernize.
Added September 17, 2012
Type: Monograph
Hidden Dragon, Crouching Lion: How China's Advance in Africa is Underestimated and Africa's Potential Underappreciated. Authored by David E. Brown.
In 2010, China eclipsed the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner. Beijing has accomplished this by using a tied aid, trade, and development finance strategy to promote its commercial and political interests on the continent, and its status as a rising global power. This monograph examines the origins of China’s rapid economic advance in Africa; whether this advance will help or hurt Africa; and, the implications that this ecomomic advance will have for the United States.
Added December 19, 2011
Type: Book
The United States and China in Power Transition. Authored by Dr. David Lai.
Historically, systematic power transitions were settled in war. Can China and the United States avoid a deadly contest and spare the world another catastrophe? What can we expect from China and the United States with respect to the future of international relations?
Added November 17, 2011
Type: Book
Chinese Lessons from Other Peoples' Wars. Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. David Lai, Mr. Roy Kamphausen.
The 2010 People's Liberation Army (PLA) conference focused on the lessons learned by the PLA from the military actions and experiences of non-Chinese armed forces over the past 30 years, which the PLA can apply to its own strategic planning.
Added August 25, 2011
Type: Monograph
China-Latin America Military Engagement: Good Will, Good Business, and Strategic Position. Authored by Dr. R Evan Ellis.
This monograph examines Chinese military engagement with Latin America, finding that the level of such activity is higher than is generally recognized, and has expanded in important ways, with high-level trips by Latin American defense and security personnel, officer exchange programs, growing arms sales, military-relevant space, aviation, and telecommunications collaboration, and a small but important physical presence in the region.
Added July 18, 2011
Type: Letort Papers
Understanding the North Korea Problem: Why It Has Become the "Land of Lousy Options". Authored by William A Boik.
The U.S. has made little effort to meaningfully engage North Korea over the last decade. What can be done to increase the U.S. understanding of the situation in North Korea and our ability to influence the actions of the North Korean leadership?
Added April 08, 2011
Type: Colloquium Brief
Other People's Wars: PLA Lessons from Foreign Conflicts. Authored by Mr. Daniel Alderman, Mr. Joe Narus.
The 2010 annual People's Liberation Army (PLA) Conference discussed ways to better understand how the PLA may seek to utilize its newly acquired capabilities by asking the question, “What lessons does the PLA appear to have drawn from the conflicts of others, and what might the focus and content of those lessons reveal about modern PLA tactics, doctrines, and intentions?”
Added October 13, 2010
Type: Op-Ed
The Coming of Chinese Hawks. Authored by Dr. David Lai.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the October 2010 newsletter.
Added August 17, 2010
Type: Letort Papers
Chinese Energy Security: The Myth of the PLAN's Frontline Status. Authored by Dr. Ryan Clarke.
As the Chinese economy continues to expand at impressive rates, energy security strategies have assumed center stage in Beijing. Given that China relies heavily on energy imports, many are predicting the emergence of a blue water navy that seeks to engage in global power projection and secure China’s energy supply. These assessments are incorrect.
Added July 09, 2010
Type: "Of Interest"
China's Role in the Stabilization of Afghanistan. Authored by Col Greg Kleponis.
Critics contend that China is getting a free-ride on the coat tails of U.S.-coalition stabilization efforts. However, the author argues that any economic stimulus should be seen as a boon.
Added July 06, 2010
Type: Book
The PLA at Home and Abroad: Assessing the Operational Capabilities of China's Military. Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Dr. Andrew Scobell.
In 2009, the People's Republic of China, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, and the PLA Air Force celebrated their 60th anniversaries. Behind China’s economic development, the PLA parades, and the spectacular celebration fireworks, the world clearly saw an ambitious China edging its way to the center stage of international economic, political, and military affairs. However, a few other major events in the last 2 years came just in time to remind the Chinese leaders, and the world as well, that China still faced a challenging future.
Added July 06, 2010
Type: "Of Interest"
Arms Sales to Taiwan: Enjoy the Business While It Lasts. Authored by Dr. David Lai.
From our "Of Interest" occasional paper series, the author examines recent threats from China over arms sales to Taiwan.
Added April 12, 2010
Type: Letort Papers
Criminal Sovereignty: Understanding North Korea's Illicit International Activities. Authored by Dr. Paul Rexton Kan, Dr. Bruce E. Bechtol, Jr., Mr. Robert M. Collins.
North Korea’s criminal conduct—smuggling, trafficking and counterfeiting—is well known, but the portion of the government, Office Number 39, which directs it, is understudied or overlooked. This shadowy part of an already opaque government is examined to reveal how it conducts its activities and supports the longevity of the regime.
Added March 18, 2010
Type: Letort Papers
Lashkar-I-Taiba: The Fallacy of Subservient Proxies and the Future of Islamist Terrorism in India. Authored by Dr. Ryan Clarke.
When it comes to the analysis of Islamist terrorism, the vast majority of attention is given to the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan while the remainder goes towards Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, and “homegrown” terrorism in the West. This unbalanced approach has resulted in a critical deficit in knowledge regarding the growth of the phenomenon in India, a country which faces the challenge of having to tackle Islamist terrorists based in Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as in India itself. What is clear is that the Pakistan based Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT) has taken the leading role in spreading its terrorist infrastructure well outside of its original theater, Kashmir, and throughout the whole of India. Inadequate attention has especially been given to LeT’s connections with organized criminal syndicates in India, as well as Indian terrorists themselves. This paper aims to fill this gap and to enhance American understanding of this powerful and sophisticated organization that is set to pose a major challenge to stability and American interests in South Asia and elsewhere.
Added March 04, 2010
Type: Monograph
Transnational Insurgencies and the Escalation of Regional Conflict: Lessons for Iraq and Afghanistan. Authored by Dr Idean Salehyan.
Transnational insurgencies complicate traditional counterinsurgency operations in significant ways and can lead to conflict between states. This monograph examines several transnational militant groups, assesses the prospects for conflict and cooperation over cross-border violence, and discusses current issues facing Iraq and Afghanistan.
Added January 15, 2010
Type: Colloquium Brief
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Authored by Mr. Daniel Alderman.
Participants in this conference sought to understand the PLA's evolving view of its roles and responsibilities in a changing global security landscape.
Added June 01, 2009
Type: Op-Ed
China's Maritime Quest. Authored by Dr. David Lai.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the June 2009 newsletter.
Added April 30, 2009
Type: Book
Beyond the Strait: PLA Missions other than Taiwan. Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. David Lai, Dr. Andrew Scobell.
On September 26, 2008, over 70 leading experts from academia, government, the military and policy thinktanks assembled at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, to look beyond the Chinese People's Liberation Army's (PLA) primary focus on Taiwan and to the evolving new roles of the PLA. The conference could not have been timelier, given the PLA’s active involvement in events during 2008, including earthquake relief, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance, space activities, and blue water naval operations.
Added October 27, 2008
Type: Colloquium Brief
PLA Missions Beyond Taiwan. Authored by Marc Miller.
Analysis of China’s armed forces tends to focus on its role in a potential Taiwan scenario, given that the PLA retains a central mission in the reunification of Taiwan or prevention of its independence. However, it is also becoming clear that China’s interests and foreign policy objectives are growing with its increasing power and international stature. As a result, it is reasonable to expect the PLA to be asked to perform a wider variety of missions in support of Chinese interests and objectives, from disaster and humanitarian relief and United Nations peacekeeping operations; to counterterrorism and border defense; to outer space and cyber space security; and extending to the protection of ethnic Chinese abroad.
Added September 17, 2008
Type: Book
The "People" in the PLA: Recruitment, Training, and Education in China's Military. Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. Andrew Scobell, Mr. Travis Tanner.
On September 28, 2007, under the joint leadership of the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and NBR’s Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies, approximately 70 leading experts on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) convened at Carlisle Barracks, PA, for a 2-day discussion on the Chinese military’s human infrastructure. Presentations and discussions focused on identifying trends in PLA recruitment, education, training, personnel management, and demographics.
Added August 06, 2008
Type: Monograph
China-Russia Security Relations: Strategic Parallelism without Partnership or Passion? Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.
This report maintains that, although Chinese-Russian relations have improved along several important dimensions, security cooperation between Beijing and Moscow has remained limited, episodic, and tenuous. Nevertheless, U.S. national security planners should prepare for possible major discontinuities in Sino-Russian relations. American officials should pursue a mixture of “shaping and hedging” policies that aim to avert a hostile Chinese-Russian alignment while preparing the United States to better counter one, should it nevertheless arise.
Added March 21, 2008
Type: Monograph
Building for the Future: China's Progress in Space Technology during the Tenth 5-Year Plan and the U.S. Response. Authored by Mr. Kevin Pollpeter.
This report assesses the progress of China’s space program during the Tenth 5-year Plan (2001-05), examines the implications of this rise, and proposes a course of action for managing the effects of increased competition on the U.S. space program.
Added November 23, 2007
Type: Monograph
East Asian Security: Two Views. Authored by Dr. Gilbert Rozman, Dr. Chu Shulong.
The February 13, 2007 Joint Agreement accelerates multilateralism to which all states of Northeast Asia must adjust. The United States needs a regional strategy to prepare for the high stakes in the end game of the nuclear crisis.
Added November 13, 2007
Type: Colloquium Brief
The “People” in the PLA: Recruitment, Training, and Education in China's 80-Year-Old Military. Authored by Justin B Liang, Sarah K Snyder.
On September 28, 2007, more than 60 leading experts on China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) convened at Carlisle Barracks, PA. The 2007 PLA Conference, conducted by The National Bureau of Asian Research and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, sought to investigate the 80-year-old military’s human infrastructure, identifying trends in PLA recruitment, education and training, demographics, and historical perspectives.
Added November 01, 2007
Type: Monograph
The United States and ASEAN-China Relations: All Quiet on the Southeast Asian Front. Authored by Dr. Ian Storey.
The development of relations between ASEAN and China poses few security challenges to the United States and even enhances regional stability, something that is clearly in America’s interests. However, while ASEAN-China relations are relatively benign today, several sources of potential friction in the region could lead to problems in Sino-U.S. relations.
Added September 13, 2007
Type: Monograph
China's Expansion into and U.S. Withdrawal from Argentina's Telecommunications and Space Industries and the Implications for U.S. National Security. Authored by Ms Janie Hulse.
China is increasing its presence in strategic industries in Latin America as U.S. engagement in the region wanes. Chinese involvement in Argentina’s telecommunications and space industries, in particular, creates security vulnerabilities for the United States and calls for enhanced U.S. commerce, aid, and diplomacy with Argentina and the region as a whole.
Added September 04, 2007
Type: Book
Right Sizing the People's Liberation Army: Exploring the Contours of China's Military. Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Mr. Roy Kamphausen.
This volume addresses how the leadership of China and the PLA view what size of PLA best meets China’s requirements. Among other things, this analytical process makes important new contributions on the question of PLA transparency, long an issue among PLA watchers.
Added May 11, 2007
Type: Monograph
China's Nuclear Forces: Operations, Training, Doctrine, Command, Control and Campaign Planning. Authored by Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
This monograph documents new thinking in China on how and when to use nuclear weapons. China’s nuclear forces are mainly retaliatory in nature, but there is a debate about using preemptive force among China’s strategic thinkers.
Added April 02, 2007
Type: Monograph
Chinese Perceptions of Traditional and Nontraditional Security Threats. Authored by Ms Susan L. Craig.
While “knowing your enemy” has long been a Chinese stratagem, cultural intelligence has only recently gained precedence in American military strategy. How does China perceive itself, the world and China’s place within it.
Added March 29, 2007
Type: Monograph
The Politics of Identity: History, Nationalism, and the Prospect for Peace in Post-Cold War East Asia. Authored by Dr. Sheila Miyoshi Jager.
The clash between the rise of increasingly divergent nationalisms in post-Cold War East Asia represent new challenges for U.S. policy there. How might the United States respond to the history disputes and rising nationalisms in the region to promote stability and peace?
Added March 01, 2007
Type: Colloquium Brief
Exploring the "Right Size" for China's Military: PLA Missions, Functions, and Organizations. Authored by Justin B Liang, Sarah K Snyder.
On October 6, 2006, more than 60 leading experts on China's People’s Liberation Army (PLA) convened at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, for a two-day discussion of the drivers of PLA force modernization.
Added October 26, 2006
Type: Monograph
China-ASEAN Relations: Perspectives, Prospects, and Implications for U.S. Interests. Authored by Dr. Jing-dong Yuan.
What explains China's successful diplomatic offensive and what implications do closer China-ASEAN ties have for the United States?
Added October 18, 2006
Type: Monograph
Shaping China's Security Environment: The Role of the People's Liberation Army. Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
This volume addresses the role of the Chinese military in shaping its country’s security environment.
Added July 25, 2006
Type: Student (Carlisle) Papers
String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China's Rising Power Across the Asian Littoral. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Christopher J Pehrson.
The author describes the "String of Pearls" as the manifestation of China's rising geopolitical influence through efforts to increase access to ports and airfields, develop special diplomatic relationships, and modernize military forces that extend from the South China Sea through the Strait of Malacca, across the Indian Ocean, and on to the Arabian Gulf. The monograph examines the "String of Pearls" as an evolving maritime component of China's national strategy, implications for the U.S.-China relationship, and broader U.S. policy implications for the entire region.
Added October 01, 2005
Type: Book
Chinese National Security: Decisionmaking Under Stress. Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
If there is one constant in expert analyses of the history of modern China, it is the characterization of a country perpetually in the throes of crises. While China at the mid-point of the Twenty-first Century's first decade is arguably the most secure and stable it has been in more than a century, crises continue to emerge with apparent frequency. Consequently, the study of China's behavior in conditions of tension and stress is of considerable importance to policy makers and analysts around the world.
Added September 01, 2004
Type: Book
Civil-Military Change in China: Elites, Institutes, and Ideas After the 16th Party Congress. Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
In November 2002, the Chinese Communist Party held its 16th Congress and formally initiated a sweeping turnover of senior leaders in both the Party and the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The meeting heralded not merely a new set of personalities in positions of political and military power, but also the emergence of a new generation of leaders. Who are these individuals, and what does their rise mean for the future of China and its military?
Added May 01, 2004
Type: Monograph
Strategic Consequences of the Iraq War: U.S. Security Interests in Central Asia Reassessed. Authored by Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick.
The U.S.-led war in Iraq complicates security cooperation between the United States and Central Asia at a time when other regional powers—especially Russia, China, and India—are competing for influence in the region more overtly. The author argues that the United States should do more to address the underlying human security problems in Central Asia, which increase its vulnerability to terrorist movements.
Added March 01, 2004
Type: Monograph
China and North Korea: From Comrades-In-Arms to Allies at Arm's Length. Authored by Dr. Andrew Scobell.
Since the ongoing nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, which emerged in October 2002, the United States and other countries have pinned high hopes on Chinese efforts to moderate and reason with North Korea. Yet, as the author points out, it would be unrealistic to raise one's expectations over what China might accomplish vis-à-vis North Korea.
Added July 01, 2003
Type: Book
The Lessons of History: The Chinese people's Liberation Army at 75. Edited by Ms. Laurie Burkitt, Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
With the armed forces of the People's Republic of China (PLA) celebrating its 75th anniversary on August 1, 2002, it only seemed appropriate and timely to take stock of the world's largest military. The PLA has officially been in existence for three-quarters of a century, and its history is one filled with turmoil and warfare.
Added October 01, 2002
Type: Monograph
Dragon on Terrorism: Assessing China's Tactical Gains and Strategic Losses Post-September 11. Authored by Dr. Mohan Malik.
The U.S. relationship with China and the global war on terrorism are the two most significant strategic challenges faced by the Bush administration. The author assesses how the war on terrorism has affected China. He concludes that the war on terrorism radically altered the Asian strategic environment in ways that negated China's foreign policy gains of the last decade.
Added September 01, 2002
Type: Book
China's Growing Military Power: Perspectives on Security, Ballistic Missiles, and Conventional Capabilities. Edited by Dr. Andrew Scobell, Dr. Larry M. Wortzel.
The nine chapters in this volume, all written by leading experts, cover a diverse set of important topics: East Asian perspectives on China's security ambitions, the status of the Chinese ballistic missile program and regional reactions to U.S. missile defense initiatives, and China's ever-improving conventional military capabilities.
Added May 01, 2002
Type: Monograph
China and Strategic Culture. Authored by Dr. Andrew Scobell.
The author examines the impact of strategic culture on 21st century China. He contends that the People's Republic of China's security policies and its tendency to use military force are influenced by their understandings of the strategic cultures of other states. Gaining a fuller appreciation for how Chinese strategists view the U.S. and Japan will better enable us to assess regional and global security issues.