In a Fortnight


Manila’s Pivot Toward Beijing

In mid-October, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited China. His visit was marked by a recalibration in Philippine policy toward China and the announcement of economic and military “separation” from the United States. The reversal in relations is striking. Under the previous Aquino administration, the Philippines... MORE

Chinese Military Aviation in the East China Sea

On September 25, the Chinese Air Force performed a series of long-range patrols through the Miyako Strait and into the Western Pacific involving more than forty aircraft (Xinhua, September 25).  PLA Air Force spokesperson and Senior Colonel Shen Jinke (申进科) emphasized the routine nature of... MORE
Then- Secretary of Defense Hagel and PLA Gen. Chang Wanquan. Hagel proposed a "third offset" and "defense innovation initiative" which has been closely tracked by PLA scholars

Chinese Perceptions of the “Third Offset Strategy”

China is deeply committed to a series of military reforms involving reorganization, more realistic training, and advanced weapons—all interconnected by information technology and with the various services and branches working jointly. It set itself two milestones—2020 and 2049. The first of these is to complete... MORE
RADM Guan Youfei has visited Syria, promising that the Chinese military will provide aid and support to the Syrian government.

Chinese Military Promises Aid to Syria

China has announced a shift in its foreign policy toward Syria. During a visit to Damascus on August 14, People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Rear Admiral Guan Youfei (关友飞) noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of relations between the two countries. He further... MORE
Overview of the Southern Theater Command. Larger version available at the bottom of the page. Note that not all units are represented.

Snapshot: China’s Southern Theater Command

On December 31, 2015 China began a major overhaul of its structure military organizational structure. This included the abolition of the seven previous Military Regions (军区) and creation of five Theater Commands (战区) (See China Brief, February 4 and February 23). Many units previously under... MORE
See bottom of the page for a high definition version.

China’s Great Fishnet

With the announcement that the Permanent Court of Arbitration will rule on July 12 on its case between the Philippine and Chinese governments regarding China’s territorial claims in the South China Seas, tensions in the area are coming to a head (Court of Arbitration, June... MORE
As early as 1983, China was assessed to have the ability to take islands such as Vietnam’s Bach Long Vi via an amphibious assault. China conducted flights over Northeast Cay in 1980, and Malaysia’s Swallow Reef in 1983. Deficiencies in China's air-defenses and limited naval power-projection capabilities have been addressed by modern destroyers and amphibious warfare ships. Larger image available below.

Chinese Signaling in the South China Sea

The recent landing of a Y-8X maritime surveillance aircraft on Fiery Cross Reef (永暑礁) in the South China Sea in response to an emergency is further evidence that China has made its presence in this contentious region routine (People’s Daily Online, April 17). Earlier in... MORE