Standoff at the India-China-Bhutan border

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.

China’s Changing Approach to Military Strategy

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 [...]

China and Escalation over the Senkaku Islands

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 [...]

China’s Seizure of a U.S. Navy Drone

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.

The Strategic Implications of the Tribunal’s Award

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 [...]

My Take on the Tribunal’s Award

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 [...]

China’s Historic Rights Claims

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 [...]

How China Will Respond to the Tribunal

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 [...]

China’s Nuclear Strategy

In a new article in International Security, Fiona Cunningham and I examine whether China will abandon its long-standing nuclear strategy of assured retaliation for a first-use posture. We reach three conclusions: Chinese analysts worry that advances in U.S. strategic capabilities could undermine China's ability to retaliate against a U.S. nuclear attack. China is unlikely to increase [...]