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 [...]

Strategic Deterrence and China’s Military Parade

As the thoughtful discussion on ChinaFile notes, the upcoming military review is designed to serve several different purposes. The actual military purpose of the parade, however, should not be overlooked. Put simply, military reviews are one way in which China engages in what authoritative PLA sources describe as “strategic deterrence.” The concept of strategic deterrence [...]

China’s New Military Strategy

In a new article in the China Brief, I show that terminology in the 2015 defense white paper indicates that China has officially changed its national military strategy.  The goal of the new strategy is “winning informationized local wars,” with an emphasis on the maritime domain. This marks only the ninth military strategy that China [...]

Conflict and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region

Last week, the Carnegie Endowment issued a strategic net assessment of the Asia-Pacific region that I and many others contributed to writing. The report takes a long view, looking out over the next 5-25 years, and outlines five possible futures that range for more cooperative to more conflictual outcomes as well as recommendations for avoiding [...]

The Myth of China’s Counter-intervention Strategy

Chris Twomey and I have just published an article in The Washington Quarterly on Chinese military strategy. Increasingly, journalists, policy analysts and scholars as well as selected U.S. government documents describe China as pursuing a ''counter-intervention'' strategy to forestall the U.S. ability to operate in a regional conflict.  Moreover, the concept of counter-intervention (fan ganyu) is [...]

U.S. Policy in the South China Sea

I recently published a short policy brief for the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University that examines the evolution of U.S. policy toward the disputes in the South China Sea since 1995. Here's the executive summary: U.S. policy toward the disputes in the South China Sea has four features. First, [...]

China, Japan, and the U.S.—Will Cooler Heads Prevail?

I joined the conversation over the Asia Society's ChinaFile on tensions between the China, the United States and Japan. Specifically, I addressed a question “will China attempt to take the Senkakus by force?” Let me pick up on Isaac’s first question, “will China attempt to take the Senkakus by force?” Iain Johnston and I recently analyzed data on the frequency [...]