In a recently published edited volume, China's Evolving Military Strategy, I examine how Chinese thinking about military strategy is changing by comparing the 2013 edition of The Science of Military Strategy to the 2001 edition. I reach two general conclusions: The 2013 edition represents an evolution of China’s approach to thinking about military strategy. It does not [...]
In a recent article for a new journal, Global Summitry, I examine China’s behavior in the dispute with Japan over the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands. Before 2010, China adopted a low-key approach to the dispute. After 2010, however, China chose to escalate the dispute, first in response to Japan’s detention of a Chinese fishing vessel in [...]
Yesterday, I joined the conversation at ChinaFile, following President Trump's phone call with Xi Jinping and Trump's commitment to the "one China" policy: In his phone call with Xi, Trump stated he agreed “to honor our ‘one China’ policy.” During the transition before his inauguration, Trump conducted an unprecedented phone call with Taiwan President Tsai [...]
I participated in a Task Force on U.S.-China Policy, whose report was published in February 2017. The group met over the past year and a half to develop broad-based recommendations for the relationship, from the starting point of how to best uphold U.S. interests. Read the Executive Summary and the Full Report.
For the Maritime Awareness Project, I wrote a short piece analyzing the location of China's seizure of an underwater unmanned vehicle, a drone. Most importantly, the drone was seized outsized the nine-dashed line depicted on Chinese maps and widely believed to represent China's maritime claims in the region. Read the piece here.
For The National Interest, I assess the strategic implications of the tribunal's award. I stress three implications: The award greatly narrows the scope of maritime entitlements that China (and others) can claim in the Spratlys to a 12 nautical mile territorial sea from naturally formed land features. The award sets precedent for how to determine whether [...]
For The Washington Post, I examine why China cares so much about its territorial claims in the South China Sea. I do so by comparing briefly why China was able to settle so many of its land boundary disputes but so few of its offshore island disputes. The reasons are: Offshore islands are more strategically [...]
I wrote the following for ChinaFile: My initial reaction is that the tribunal’s award overwhelmingly favors the Philippines—a huge win for Manila. China’s only lawful claims in the South China Sea would be 12nm territorial seas from land features in the Spratly Islands deemed to be rocks above high tide. China cannot claim an Exclusive [...]
For the Maritime Awareness Project, I examine how three recent fishing disputes between China and Indonesia prompted China to clarify its claims to historic rights. The result is a dispute over maritime jurisdiction of more than 94,000 square kilometers, where Indonesia's EEZ overlaps with China's nine-dashed line. Read the full piece here [or view it [...]
I have written a short piece for the South China Morning Post, which outlines how China may react to the arbitral tribunal’s award next week. I make three points: 1. The role of the tribunal in the South China Sea disputes is limited. The tribunal cannot rule on questions of disputed sovereignty of the islands and [...]