China’s incursion into Vietnam’s EEZ and lessons from the past

The Haiyang Dizhi 8, a survey vessel belonging to a Chinese government-run corporation, began surveying a large swath of seabed on 3 July northeast of Vanguard Bank, which falls within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. The ship has been escorted by other vessels, including from the China Coast Guard and maritime militia. At the same time, China Coast Guard ships have been harassing Vietnamese drilling operations to the south. Chinese incursions into Vietnam’s EEZ are by no means a new phenomenon. The most serious recent incident occurred in 2014, when China deployed an oil…

China’s South China Sea Militarization Has Peaked – Foreign Policy

Following years of Russian noncompliance, the United States officially withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on Aug. 2. The Cold War-era arms control agreement had banned land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, and the next day the new U.S. defense secretary, Mark Esper, told reporters that he wanted to counter China’s massive missile inventory “sooner rather than later.” China responded furiously. Ironically, the threat comes as the most conspicuous flash point between the two countries, China’s military buildup on its artificial islands in the South China…

How China’s Military Is Becoming Stronger

Continued Evolution of PRC “Core” Interests The PRC claims that its policy for national defense is inherently defensive. However, the scope and scale of what the PLA may be called upon to defend is expanding, motivated by the “fundamental goal” of “resolutely safeguarding China’s “sovereignty, security, and development interests.” This phrasing has replaced, and is tantamount to, earlier assertions of China’s “core interests” (核心利益, hexin liyi). There have been changes and a degree of consistency in the framing of these interests over time. [2] However, the characterization of the tasks of the Chinese military…

China’s 3 Helicopter Carriers Are Here to Stay: Paper Tiger or Super Weapon?

Indeed, the People’s Liberation Army maintains significant amphibious warfare forces. Its Marine Corps recently tripled in size to 40,000 personnel, while the PLA Ground Forces also maintain tens of thousands of troops specialized in amphibious warfare, equipped with amphibious Type 63 and ZTD-5 tanks and ZBD-5 fighting vehicles. Measuring the length of two-and-half football fields and estimated to displace between 30,000-40,000 tons once in the water, the vessels appear to be the first of three Type 075 Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs), essentially moving naval bases that can carry dozens of…

Meet China’s New JH-7A ‘Flying Leopard’ Supersonic Fighter-Bomber

On August 8, Chinese media reported that the People’s Liberation Army Air Force had unveiled a new variant of its JH-7A maritime strike jet at the Russian Aviadarts aviation competition. The new model, called the JH-7AII, was not visibly different from the base model, but is believed to possess improved radar and cockpit avionics. The JH-7 “Flying Leopard”—codenamed “Flounder” by NATO—is an old-school design conceived before the advent of stealth technology. The bomber manufacturer Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation began working on a two-seat supersonic H-7 bomber in the early 1970s…

Decoding Australia’s Strange Silence Over China’s Transgressions in the South China Sea

Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper strongly advocates the geostrategic concept of the Indo-Pacific and the global rules-based order. In its first comprehensive guide-book for international engagement in 14 years, Canberra makes the case for an Indo-Pacific of openness, prosperity, and inclusiveness. Of note, the term Indo-Pacific appears more than 70 times in the document. The White Paper signals the country’s increased engagement with the Southeast Asian region in the context of China’s assertive pursuit of regional influence and territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. Australian policymakers have paid…

China’s Future Naval Base in Cambodia and the Implications for India

Introduction At the 2019 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, People’s Republic of China (PRC) Defense Minister Wei Fenghe dismissed a question on whether the PRC is seeking a future military presence in Cambodia (VOA Cambodia, June 3). This question arose following an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community that autocratic developments in Cambodia—particularly the single-party dominance of Cambodia’s legislature, which has extended Prime Minister Hu Sen’s tenure and made possible a constitutional amendment permitting a foreign military presence in the country—had increased the possibility of a Chinese military presence on Cambodian…

China’s growing threat to national security and the nation’s health

The existential threat that China has become to the United States is well documented in recent national security strategic documents. China’s occupation of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, their research and development of hypersonic weapons, and modernization of their military all clearly demonstrate the growing menace to America’s way of life. Less articulated, but no less important a threat to national security — especially given the current trade war with China — is China’s production of poor quality and tainted drugs. China has become the world’s…

Marianas Variety – China’s defensive posture could turn offensive, Philippine official says

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has warned that China’s claim of defensive posture in the South China Sea could easily turn to offensive operations. Lorenzana stressed that it must be known to everybody that any defensive capabilities in the military can readily transform into offensive capabilities. “You have to understand, in the military term, a defensive capability can be turned into offensive capability in an instant,” Lorenzana said in a live interview over ABS-CBN News Channel on Friday. Beijing has repeatedly denied accusations that it is…