China Policy Institute Blog

Comrades and Rivals: Vietnam-China relations and the legacies of the Vietnam War

By Edward Miller. In recent years, as disputes over power and sovereignty in the South China Sea have escalated, many commentators have invoked history to explain the growing tensions between China and Vietnam. For some, the contemporary crisis is merely the latest episode in an age-old pattern of enmity and distrust between the two countries. …

China’s M503: Salami slicing the status quo

Written by Michal Thim. China officially launched the new M503 commercial flight route on March 29 — right in the centre of the Taiwan Strait. Initial reactions in Taipei were of surprise and rejection, which suggests that relevant government agencies in Taiwan were left in the dark before Beijing made the announcement. Taiwan objected on the …

The inevitable dilemma of China’s Arctic adventure

Written by Jingchao Peng. The number of seats in the Arctic Council expanded in 2013, when China and five other states (Japan, India, Singapore, South Korea and Italy) were granted permanent observer status to the institution. Yet, it was China’s participation that generated the majority of media and scholarly attention cast on Arctic Council’s latest enlargement. …

PLA Operations against Precision Asymmetric Warfare

Written by Jeffrey Lin. China’s military modernization has been characterized by Western observers as being centered on “anti-access/area denial” (A2/AD), which is intended to deny access to sea and air expeditionary forces in the waters near China. But other Asian countries are building their own asymmetric warfare strategies to counter China’s regional power projection capabilities. …

Xi Jinping’s carrots and sticks approach to the PLA

Written by Michael Reilly. Among all the announcements during and surrounding last week’s meetings in Beijing of the National People’s Congress, referred to colloquially as the liang hui, two in particular had foreign policy analysts reaching for their tea cups to read the leaves. On the eve of the Congress, the Central Military Commission published …

U.S. in the Asia Pacific: Towards More Effective Asia Strategy

Written by Michael Mazza. Now in its fourth year, the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia remains beset by a problem of perception. Those countries in the region that the pivot, or rebalance, was intended to reassure remain unconvinced of American commitment to the region’s stability and of American staying power. China, which the pivot should …

South China Sea Arbitration: Vietnam Makes Submission to Court

Written by Alex Calvo. The South China Sea is once again in the news, following Hanoi’s decision to join forces with Manila and make a submission to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PAC), asking that it assert its jurisdiction, give “due regard” to Vietnam’s rights and interests in the Spratlys and Paracels, and in her …

China’s anti-satellite (ASAT) program: Art of War meets 21st Century technology

Written by Alex Calvo. It is often said that in warfare it is essential to command heights, an injunction one can find in the Art of War itself, which goes as far as saying that “he who is skilled in attack flashes forth from the topmost heights of heaven”. The advent of aviation soon resulted …

Vietnam’s ‘silent service’ challenge

Written by Brian Benedictus. On May 28th at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg, Russia, the last of six Kilo-class diesel electric submarines (SSK) purchased by the government of Vietnam, was laid to complete construction.  The vessels, for the People’s Army of Vietnam Navy (VPN) in 2009, are expected to become the capital ships of the PAVN upon their completion …

For China: Make Maps, not War in the South China Sea

Written by Harry J. Kazianis. With the United States once again preoccupied with events in the Middle East China has made another strategic adjustment to its claims in the South China Sea. It seems clear by now that Beijing has found a new way to bolster its position in what Stratfor analyst Robert D. Kaplan …