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’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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

China Has Not (Yet) Changed Its Position on Nuclear Weapons

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, nuclear expert James Actonsuggests that China may be changing its nuclear doctrine.  The principal basis for his argument is the absence of a specific repetition of China’s “no first-use” policy in the latest edition of Beijing’s bi-annual white paper on defense.  Acton, however, misreads the recent white paper and draws the [...]

Xi Jinping and the PLA

In recent weeks, Western media has characterized Xi Jinping as a more assertive and forceful leader of China’s armed forces, including the People’s Liberation Army and People’s Armed Police.  The Wall Street Journal, for example, described Xi as “as a strong military leader at home and embracing a more hawkish worldview.” Similarly, the New York Times described Xi [...]

The PLA in the South China Sea

In early June, an article in the New York Times quoted a TV interview with Gen.Ma Xiaotian, a Deputy Chief of the General Staff in the People’s Liberation Army.  The Times, however, did not discuss the most interesting part of what he said.  The rest of the interview illuminated China’s strategy in the South China Sea, especially an [...]