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  • 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.…

  • Commentary posted May 12, 2014 by Dean Cheng The Odd Couple: China and North Korea

    Are Beijing and Pyongyang finally on the outs? Recent reports that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has not exported any crude oil to North Korea for the last three months certainly raise the possibility. But hopes of a rift have been dashed before. To assess the situation accurately, one must first understand Chinese security calculations about the Korean peninsula.…

  • 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…

  • Testimony posted April 9, 2014 by Dean Cheng Prospects for U.S.-China Space Cooperation

    Testimony before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation United States Senate My name is Dean Cheng. I am the Senior Research Fellow for Chinese political and security affairs 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. My comments…

  • Backgrounder posted March 19, 2014 by Dean Cheng Taiwan’s Maritime Security: A Critical American Interest

    Taiwan’s security is inextricably linked to the sea. Indeed, the island’s economic livelihood, as well as its national security, requires that Taipei secure the surrounding waters and have access to global sea-lanes. Consequently, Taiwan’s ability to field a modern navy is an essential element of its security strategy. The Taiwan Strait is a key international waterway,…

  • Issue Brief posted January 24, 2014 by Dean Cheng Meeting the Challenge of Chinese Expansionism on the East Asian Littoral

    Over the past several months, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has exploited more and more tools to reinforce its claims over much of the East Asian littoral. The intended Chinese message seems clear: Administratively, militarily, diplomatically, and economically, the East Asian littoral is under Chinese dominance. Ironically, even as the Chinese have been…

  • Commentary posted November 6, 2013 by Dean Cheng, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Five Myths About China

    The third plenum of Chinese Communist Party Congresses is often the time when the country’s rulers introduce major policy shifts. The Eighteenth Party Congress in November and, crucially, implementation over time of policies announced there offers the U.S. an opportunity to reassess China, to see whether top leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are interested in pursuing…

  • Commentary posted September 20, 2013 by Dean Cheng Countering China’s A2/AD Challenge

    U.S. defense planners are now focusing on Syria, but they have also been compelled to plan for countering Chinese efforts at what Western analysts term “anti-access/area denial” (A2/AD) capabilities. How successfully Washington deals with Beijing’s increasing capabilities in this area will go a long way toward determining how much faith our western Pacific allies place in…

  • Backgrounder posted September 12, 2013 by Dean Cheng, Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. How Washington Should Manage U.S.–Russia–China Relations

    As the Obama Administration focuses on the Middle East and Europe and the U.S. cuts its defense budget, the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are striving to deepen their relationship. The leaders of the two major Eurasian powers have conducted a series of high-priority, high-level official reciprocal diplomatic visits. In the aftermath of the…

  • Issue Brief posted September 6, 2013 by Dean Cheng How the U.S. Should Respond to the Chinese Naval Challenge

    Over the past year, China’s leadership has indicated that it is intent upon pushing maritime development. In a recent study session involving the top Chinese leadership, Chinese leader Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of the sea for China’s economic development and national security, and reiterated the need to make China a “strong maritime nation.”[1] This appears to…

  • Commentary posted July 19, 2013 by Dean Cheng Winning a War Without Fighting

    The ultimate proof of generalship, Sun-Tzu observed nearly two millennia ago, is the ability to defeat an opponent without fighting. How did one go about convincing opponents that their cause was hopeless and that they were doomed to defeat, in an era before nuclear weapons? By striking at the psychological will of opponents to resist — whether by displays of…

  • Backgrounder posted July 12, 2013 by Dean Cheng Winning Without Fighting: The Chinese Psychological Warfare Challenge

    One of the elements distinguishing the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from many of its counterparts is its continued role as a Party army. The PLA is, first and foremost, the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This distinction both obligates the PLA to help maintain the CCP’s grip on power and gives it an additional set of tools with which to defend…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2013 by Dean Cheng F-16C/D Fills Taiwan’s Fighter Need

    There has been a growing undercurrent of discussion in Taiwan over whether it should proceed with its long-standing request for purchase of F-16C/Ds or seek F-35s instead. Taiwan’s official position is that it needs new fighters that are more advanced than the upgraded F-16A/Bs currently in the pipeline. The Taiwan media’s focus on the F-35, however, belies political…

  • Issue Brief posted June 3, 2013 by Dean Cheng, Derek Scissors, Ph.D. Obama’s Meeting with China’s Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping

    President Obama and the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, will meet June 7–8 in California. The meeting has been characterized as a way for the two to establish a personal relationship and build trust. This would all be well if it were President Obama’s first year in office and Sino–American ties were on a sound footing. But it is not and they…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2013 by Dean Cheng Kerry’s First Visit to Asia: Where Is the Pivot?

    While testifying before Congress regarding his nomination to be Secretary of State, then-Senator John Kerry indicated that he was uncomfortable with the Administration’s “pivot to Asia” and indicated that, in his view, this was neither necessary nor wise. Whether then-Senator Kerry was enunciating a new position is unclear, as Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter…