I recently published an article in International Security on China's military strategy, entitled “Shifts in Warfare and Party Unity: Explaining China’s Changes in Military Strategy." The article contains three main points: China has adopted nine military strategies since 1949, or what the PLA calls “strategic guidelines.” The strategies adopted in 1956, 1980 and 1993 represented [...]
In response to the disengagement of Chinese and Indian forces announced on August 28th, I wrote a short essay for War on the Rocks. Specifically, I argue that it is misguided to view the disengagement is a "win" for India and a "loss" for China. Moreover, due to unique factors, Doklam does not provide a [...]
For the last several weeks, Indian and Chinese forces have confronted each other near the trijunction of the Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese borders. In the interview below, I answered some questions for the Indian website Rediff News about the origins of this episode and how it might be resolved. Read the interview here.
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 [...]
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 [...]