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  • Author: Anne Marie Brady
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s military ambitions in the Arctic, and its growing strategic partnership with Russia, have rung alarm bells in many governments. In May 2019, for the first time, the U.S. Department of Defense annual report on China’s military capabilities had a section on China’s military interests in the Arctic and the possibility of Chinese submarines operating in the Arctic basin (Department of Defense, May 2019). In August 2019, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg raised concerns about what he diplomatically referred to as “China’s increased presence in the Arctic” (Reuters, August 7). From a nuclear security point of view, the Arctic is China’s vulnerable northern flank. The flight path of U.S. and Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) targeted at China transit the Arctic. Key components of the U.S. missile defense system are also located in the Arctic. Chinese submarine-based ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) operating in the Arctic could restore China’s nuclear deterrence capability (Huanqiu Ribao, October 28, 2013). China currently operates six nuclear-powered attack submarines, four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and fifty diesel attack submarines, with more under construction. If Chinese nuclear-armed submarines were able to access the Arctic basin undetected, this would be a game-changer for the United States, the NATO states and their partners, and the wider Asia-Pacific (Huanqiu Ribao, April 11, 2012). China would be able to target missiles at the United States and Europe with ease; such ability would strengthen China’s military dominance in Asia and bolster China’s emerging position as a global military power.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Elsa Kania, Wilson VornDick
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s national strategy of military-civil fusion (军民融合, junmin ronghe) has highlighted biology as a priority. [1] It is hardly surprising that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is looking to leverage synergies among defense, scientific, and commercial developments in biological interdisciplinary (生物交叉, shengwu jiaocha) technologies. Chinese military scientists and strategists have consistently emphasized that biotechnology could become a “new strategic commanding heights of the future Revolution in Military Affairs” (军事革命, junshi geming) (PLA Daily, October 2015). Certainly, the PRC is not alone in recognizing the potential of biotechnology on the future battlefield, but the ways in which Chinese research is seeking to integrate developments among industry, academic institutions, and military-oriented programs—including through research collaborations and the procurement of dual-purpose commercial technologies—may prove striking. In particular, China is at the forefront of today’s breakthroughs in CRISPR-Cas, a new technique for gene editing that has demonstrated unique potential and precision despite its current limitations.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: John Foulkes, Howard Wang
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Recent media reports have indicated that Cambodia signed a “secret agreement” giving the PRC use of Ream, where it may station military servicemen and warships, for 30 years (WSJ, July 22). Although Cambodian and Chinese officials vehemently deny the existence of this agreement, gaining access to Ream is broadly consistent with Chinese foreign policy. The PRC appears to be employing Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) funding to further strategic cooperation with Cambodia through the construction of potential dual-use infrastructure. Ream naval base is the latest in a network of regional security projects—including Cambodia’s Dara Sakor investment zone and Thailand’s Kra Canal—which, taken together, significantly improve Chinese power projection into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). News of the Ream agreement raises the specter of increasing Chinese maritime militarization at a time of intense unease in Southeast Asia. Conspicuously silent in this latest controversy is India, which has significant economic and military interests in Southeast Asia. This article will discuss the security infrastructure China is building in Cambodia and its implications for Indian interests in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, India, Asia, Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Peter Wood
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Violence along China’s border with Myanmar is threatening yet again to spill across into Yunnan Province. According to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 20,000 refugees have fled into Yunnan after renewed fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and Myanmar’s Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). These refugees are the second wave after more than 3,000 fled into China in late November 2016. In response, the prefectural government has begun setting up temporary shelters (Guanchazhe, November 22, 2016). It is unclear how it will cope with the much larger, second wave.
  • Topic: Refugee Issues, Military Affairs, Border Control, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Kevin McCauley
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: At the end of August, Chinese and Indian troops both pulled back from the Doklam region in Bhutan after weeks of tense posturing. The face off began in June when Chinese construction crews accompanied by soldiers began building a road. The area is sensitive to Indian national interests not only because of its ally Bhutan, but also due to area’s proximity to a narrow corridor connecting eastern India with the rest of the country. Beijing repeatedly ratcheted up the messaging to India, including the release of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs legal justification of China’s territorial claims against India (China Daily, August 3, 2017). If the two sides decide to face off again, forces on both sides will need to contend with the difficult mountain terrain and complex weather conditions. To prepare for such a contingency, both India and China have invested significantly in units capable of mountain and high-altitude warfare. An examination of the Chinese Military’s doctrine and training of such units provides important insights into how such a conflict would be conducted.
  • Topic: Environment, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia, Himalayas
  • Author: John Fei
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti is near the U.S.’ sole military base in Africa—Camp Lemonnier—and signals China’s interest in protecting its growing economic and security interests in Africa and the Indian Ocean. While the base reflects China’s growing economic and security ambitions, it is unclear at present whether the facility represents just an effort for China to enhance its peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities, or suggests greater ambitions. If, as some reports suggest, China does open more military bases in African and the Indian Ocean region, then the Djibouti base would mark the beginning of a sea-change in Chinese naval ambitions in the Indian Ocean region (Sina, December 19).
  • Topic: Development, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Economic growth, Maritime, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Djibouti, United States of America
  • Author: Dennis J. Blasko
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) has received considerable media attention for the past several years as Beijing’s international profile has expanded. To be sure, of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), China contributes the largest number of military and civilian personnel to these missions. According to UN statistics as of August 31, 2016, China provides 2,436 troops, 30 military experts, and 173 police for a total of 2,639 personnel out of just over 100,000 uniformed and civilian personnel from all countries performing PKO duties. But this is not a new development and when the details below these surface numbers are examined, it becomes clear that, with the help of the foreign media, Beijing has garnered maximum political and propaganda value from a minimal investment in personnel and money.
  • Topic: United Nations, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Sudha Ramachandran
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Himalayan region places tough logistic burdens on militaries operating there, making improvement of roads and rails a priority for China and India. While framing their infrastructure projects in economic terms, China’s progress has real strategic implications. Though the Indian government has often promised to prioritize its own building programs, these have yet to pan out.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Infrastructure, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia, Himalayas
  • Author: Peter Wood
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Although it is highly unlikely that China will deploy a large force or even, as one widely disseminated and erroneous report suggested, its aircraft carrier to fight in Syria, it is clear that China is increasing the visibility of its support for Bashar al-Assad’s government to improve its level of influence in whatever resulting post–civil war government emerges.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, Bilateral Relations, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia, Syria