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China

China’s economic, military, and diplomatic capabilities are growing quickly, helping it to emerge as a possible peer competitor to the United States in the Asia-Pacific. China’s economic opportunities offer areas for cooperation and discussion, yet its political and military ambitions still create uncertainty amongst its neighbors and the United States.

HIGHLIGHTS

Our Research & Offerings on China
  • Issue Brief posted June 17, 2016 by Michaela Dodge, John Venable Why the United States Needs an LRSO Capability

    The debate over the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) weapon continues to heat up both in Congress and within the nuclear weapons community. The LRSO is an essential component of a credible future U.S. nuclear and conventional deterrent force. Having it in the nation’s arsenal will increase the security of the United States and that of its allies. The Air-Launched Cruise…

  • Backgrounder posted May 5, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Prospects for Economic Transition in China Are Questionable

    During the financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, Beijing passed a $600 billion stimulus package (representing 13.4 percent of Chinese gross domestic product (GDP)) which allowed China to breeze through the worst global contraction since the Great Depression. With the U.S. mired in depression-like conditions, some believed that the “Beijing Consensus” of…

  • Commentary posted April 25, 2016 by Dean Cheng Never Say Never: China's Rise Is About the Art of the Possible

    Will China dominate the Pacific? Impossible. Or so we are told by M.L. Cavanaugh, a U.S. Army strategist and War on the Rocks contributor. In a unique article that uses Netflix shows such as “Daredevil” and “Sense8” to explain how we should view the rise of China, Cavanaugh tell us, “Even if China carves out some additional room for maneuver, it will never dominate the…

  • Testimony posted March 17, 2016 by Lisa Curtis China’s South Asia Strategy

    Testimony Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission March 10, 2016 My name is Lisa Curtis. I am Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Introduction China’s major interests in South Asia include…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2016 by Dean Cheng The People's Liberation Army on Wargaming

    China has a long history of engaging in wargaming and exercises as part of military planning. The Chinese biography of Sun-Tzu (545-470 BC) recounts the tale of Sun-Tzu employing the emperor’s consorts as troops to demonstrate military activities and maneuvers. In the Warring States period (475-221 BC), the philosopher Mozi is said to have dissuaded the state of Chu from…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2016 by Dean Cheng Taking China's Carrier Operations Seriously

    This past week, Sino-Vietnamese tensions rose as China moved a deep-sea drilling rig into disputed areas and began earnest exploration for oil. Coming in the wake of President Obama’s visit to Asia, this suggests that Chinese assertiveness has not been deterred by the American pivot, but, rather, has accelerated. Of particular note to the Chinese may have been President…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2016 by Dean Cheng The Danger of Historical Analogies: The South China Sea and the Maginot Line

    Does China’s island building in the South China Sea resemble the Maginot Line? This is not a quirky and unimportant debate, but rather one that has profound strategic implications. A recent War on the Rocks article advances this argument. The authors, Robbie Gramer and Rachel Rizzo, write:     "The Maginot Line became a ubiquitous symbol of failure in defense planning;…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2016 by Dean Cheng Admiral Xiao's Influence and Beyond

    Admiral Xiao Jinguang was the first commander of the PRC’s navy. He was in charge of the Navy from 1950 to 1980–a period even longer than Sergei Gorshkov (1956-1985). Xiao survived various purges, the machinations of Lin Biao (before Lin himself fell from power), and the Cultural Revolution. At one point, he was attacked, and Mao himself defended him, declaring that, so…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2016 by Dean Cheng China's "Blue Soil"

    Recent Chinese documents and statements on maritime issues reflects this growing interest and focus on naval power. It should also raise concerns . In the 2010 China’s Ocean Development Report from the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), the Chinese made their first official statement that they were building and developing a carrier fleet. That’s the part that got most…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2016 by Dean Cheng China: Ready to Assume a Leadership Role?

    A recent Pew Survey on global attitudes shows that most people around the world believe that China will eclipse, or already has eclipsed, the United States as the dominant superpower. This is hardly surprising, given several decades of seemingly untrammeled growth that has allowed the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to become the nation with the world’s second largest…

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  • Commentary posted February 2, 2010 by Lee Edwards, Ph.D. The Legacy of Mao Zedong is Mass Murder

    Can you name the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century? No, it wasn’t Hitler or Stalin. It was Mao Zedong. According to the authoritative “Black Book of Communism,” an estimated 65 million Chinese died as a result of Mao’s repeated, merciless attempts to create a new “socialist” China. Anyone who got in his way was done away with -- by execution, imprisonment…

  • Backgrounder posted July 9, 2014 by Dean Cheng The U.S. Needs an Integrated Approach to Counter China’s Anti-Access/Area Denial Strategy

    Over the past decade, China’s neighbors, as well as the United States, have paid increasing attention to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and its developing anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. Much of the public discussion in the U.S. has been focused on such new weapons as anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs), which have been cited in the U.S.…

  • Backgrounder posted February 26, 2015 by Lisa Curtis, Olivia Enos Combating Human Trafficking in Asia Requires U.S. Leadership

    Despite increased U.S. foreign policy attention over the past decade, human trafficking remains widespread and deeply entrenched in many Asian countries. The precise number of people being trafficked is difficult to estimate, but new studies suggest nearly 36 million victims worldwide. Of those 36 million, nearly two-thirds are from Asia.[1] Total profits from worldwide…

  • Special Report posted October 11, 2012 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. The U.S. and China: Jobs, Trade, and More

    China has the second-largest economy in the world. It is the world’s second-biggest trader. It has trillions of dollars invested around the world. China matters. Every day we buy things made in China, though they may be made there by American or Dutch or Korean corporations. China buys a lot of our government’s debt and lately it has been buying small pieces of…

  • Lecture posted April 1, 2013 by Franklin L. Lavin Four Issues Facing China

    It’s a delight to be here. I enjoy coming by and seeing friends, making new friends, and sharing ideas and insight. I have a terrific job—not just the job itself, which is interesting, but the fact that it’s a China-oriented job, and that it allows me, every time I visit China, to learn and to see and to chat with people. It was certainly interesting to do that in a…

  • WebMemo posted June 26, 2008 by John J. Tkacik, Jr. Seismic Suppression: Chinese Censorship After the SichuanEarthquake

    Those who thought that the devastating Sichuan earthquake of May 12 brought out the best in the Chinese government should think again. Six weeks after the quake, it has become obvious that the local government's incompetence and venality was responsible for the collapse of schools while other buildings stood. But now that foreign reporters are covering the deaths…

  • Backgrounder posted April 24, 2014 by Steven Groves, Dean Cheng A National Strategy for the South China Sea

    On December 5, a Chinese warship nearly collided with the USS Cowpens, a guided-missile cruiser operating lawfully in the South China Sea (SCS). This was only the most recent incident highlighting the unsustainable situation in the SCS. In a throwback to the time of John Selden’s Mare Clausum,[1] China has claimed sovereign rights to the entirety of the SCS within a…

  • WebMemo posted March 9, 2011 by Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Australia–China Economic Relations: A Lesson for the U.S., Not a Threat

    China is rising in importance for Australia economically. What does this mean for security relations? Not what some people—including very influential, serious Australians—seem to think.[1] There is nothing about China’s economic rise that gives it effective leverage over Australian foreign and defense policy or that necessarily supplants American leadership in the…

  • Backgrounder posted February 2, 2010 by Mackenzie Eaglen, Jon Rodeback Submarine Arms Race in the Pacific: The Chinese Challenge to U.S. Undersea Supremacy

    Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, China has dramatically expanded its navy, especially its submarine fleet, adding dozens of attack submarines since 1995. During the same period, the U.S. attack submarine fleet has shrunk to 53, and it is projected to fall to 41 in 2028. The U.S. fleet is already stretched thin by the demands of ongoing operations. Australia,…

  • Issue Brief posted January 12, 2015 by Dean Cheng Why Taiwan Needs Submarines

    In 2001, President George W. Bush’s Administration agreed to a major arms sale to Taiwan. Approved for sale to Taipei were anti-submarine warfare aircraft, anti-ship missiles, self-propelled howitzers, minesweepers, and destroyers. The United States also agreed to help Taiwan obtain new diesel-electric submarines, to modernize the island’s underwater forces. At the time,…

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  • Backgrounder posted May 5, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. The Prospects for Economic Transition in China Are Questionable

    During the financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, Beijing passed a $600 billion stimulus package (representing 13.4 percent of Chinese gross domestic product (GDP)) which allowed China to breeze through the worst global contraction since the Great Depression. With the U.S. mired in depression-like conditions, some believed that the “Beijing Consensus” of…

  • Lecture posted January 21, 2016 by Dean Cheng Prospects for Extended Deterrence in Space and Cyber: The Case of the PRC

    While there has been discussion about whether today’s security environment constitutes a “neo-Cold War,” the reality is that it is actually more complex than the Cold War. For most of the period between 1947 and 1992, the situation was largely marked by a bipolar balance, where the two major players created somewhat symmetrical blocs of allies, friends, and client states.…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2016 by Joshua Meservey Four U.S. Policy Priorities for Africa in 2016

    There were some positive developments for U.S. interests in Africa in 2015. Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and boasting its largest economy, peacefully elected a new president. Congress reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to Tunisia, a fledgling democratic ally in the crosshairs of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The African Growth and Opportunity…

  • Special Report posted December 31, 2015 by Walter Lohman, John Fleming, Olivia Enos 2015 Asia Update: The Trends and What They Mean for America

    The Asian Studies Center America's Commitment to the Pacific Previous editions of this product have illustrated America’s resident power status in Asia and the continuing, critical importance of its commitment to leadership there. They have sought to demonstrate in graphic fashion what is at stake for the U.S. from the economy to security to human liberty. This year’s…

  • Lecture posted December 21, 2015 by Mark B. Schneider Nuclear Deterrence in the Context of the European Security Crisis and Beyond

    Legacy Soviet attitudes toward the West have always shaped Russian foreign and defense policy. Vladimir Putin replaced Boris Yeltsin’s stance that Russia had no enemies with the rather paranoid view that the U.S., NATO, and Japan are Russia’s enemies and that the U.S. is seeking the destruction of Russia.[1] Putin has characterized the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the…

  • Special Report posted August 17, 2015 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Washington, China, and the Rise of the Renminbi: Are the Dollar’s Days as the Global Reserve Currency Numbered?

    The U.S. dollar has dominated the international monetary system for approximately 70 years. While the U.S. economy has generated weak growth over the past six years and accumulated a large sovereign debt, the dollar’s status as an international medium of exchange and reserve currency (currency held by foreign central banks) has defied the odds and has not diminished. On…

  • Lecture posted August 11, 2015 by James Talent U.S. National Security and Rising China

    The 2014 B. C. Lee Lecture Delivered Monday, December 8, 2014 THE HONORABLE JIM DEMINT: This is a special event at Heritage, the annual B.C. Lee Lecture. The B.C. Lee Lecture is named for the founder of Samsung, a man of real vision for the U.S.–Korean alliance and South Korea’s role in the world. He was a remarkable entrepreneur and leader. I had the pleasure of meeting…

  • Issue Brief posted August 10, 2015 by Olivia Enos A Call to Review Evaluation Methods in the Trafficking in Persons Report

    The 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report has recently come under fire for upgrading the rankings of Malaysia and Cuba. Speculation about the political motives behind these seemingly unwarranted upgrades has highlighted broader challenges plaguing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, namely the difficulty of defending the objectivity of the…

  • Backgrounder posted July 23, 2015 by Lisa Curtis U.S. Engagement Required: Afghanistan Must Avoid an Iraq-Style Breakdown

    This past year’s surprise success of the Islamic State (ISIS), which has put the future of Iraq in jeopardy, has prompted concern among U.S. policymakers that, as U.S. and coalition forces depart, Afghan forces could face a similar threat from the Taliban. While Afghanistan does not face the same Sunni–Shia sectarian divisions that have fueled the fighting in Iraq, the…

  • Issue Brief posted July 6, 2015 by Dean Cheng China’s Newest Defense White Paper Suggests Fundamental Change in Perspective

    In 1998, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) released its first defense white paper. Since then, every other year the PRC has released a new white paper discussing various aspects of Chinese defense issues. These papers provide an opportunity for the PRC to explain various aspects of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Chinese security concepts and perspectives. In…

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Find more work on China