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  • Backgrounder posted November 30, 2016 by Dean Cheng A U.S. Army Role in Countering China’s A2/AD Efforts: The Expeditionary Coastal Artillery Brigade

    It is a truism that the Asia–Pacific theater is an air and maritime theater. One need only look at a map to see the vast expanse of ocean that marks the region. The Pacific covers one-third of the Earth’s surface. But while air and naval forces undoubtedly play central roles in any regional defense calculations, ground forces are also essential. Air and naval forces need…

  • Issue Brief posted October 27, 2016 by Dean Cheng Countering Chinese Inroads into Micronesia

    As China’s economy has grown and China has assumed the role of foremost global trading power, Beijing has extended its influence to the South Pacific. The latest development has been reports of a new mega-resort on the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).[1] The United States, which has generally played the dominant role in this area that straddles…

  • Testimony posted September 27, 2016 by Dean Cheng China and Asian Maritime Security

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Committee on Foreign Affairs U.S. House of Representatives September 22, 2016 Chairman Salmon, Ranking Member Sherman, and Members of the Subommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify to you this morning. My name is Dean Cheng, and I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Asian Studies Center of the Kathryn…

  • Testimony posted September 27, 2016 by Dean Cheng U.S.-China Competition in Space

    Testimony before Subcommittee on Space Committee on Science, Space, and Technology U.S. House of Representatives September 27, 2016 Subcommittee Chairman Babin, Ranking Member Edwards, and Members of the House Subcommittee on Space. My name is Dean Cheng, and I am the Senior Research Fellow for Chinese political and security affairs with The Heritage Foundation. The…

  • Commentary posted July 20, 2016 by Dean Cheng South China Sea After the Tribunal Ruling: Where Do We Go From Here?

    On July 12, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague handed down perhaps the most long awaited finding in its history. After nearly four years of deliberation, the Court ruled on several South China Sea issues, based on a case filed by the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China (PRC). On issue after issue, the Court came down overwhelmingly in…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted March 28, 2016 by Justin T. Johnson, Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis, Michaela Dodge, David Inserra, Bruce Klingner, Walter Lohman, James Phillips, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Brian Slattery, Charles "Cully" Stimson, Dakota Wood, Rachel Zissimos The 2017 NDAA Should Begin Rebuilding America’s Military

    The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an annual bill that sets policies and budgets for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). This bill and the defense appropriations bill are Congress’s two annual major pieces of defense legislation. With the release of the Obama Administration’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request, Congress has begun working on the NDAA.…

  • 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 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 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…

  • Commentary posted March 10, 2016 by Dean Cheng The Hong Kong Countdown

    As thousands of protestors flood downtown Hong Kong in opposition to Beijing’s efforts to control the political future of one of its two “Special Administrative Regions,” there is growing concern about how this situation will be resolved. From the perspective of the demonstrators in Hong Kong, the issue is straightforward. They wish to be able to exercise their own choice…

  • 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.…