China Brief has collected a number of databases, important documents, speeches and other media for China analysts.


Chinese Military Aviation in the East China Sea – Database and Sources


Defense White Papers

Every two years, the State Council Information Office releases a white paper on China’s national defense. Although the papers are published anonymously, the authors most often are researchers at the Academy of Military Sciences. We have compiled the English and Chinese versions in linked PDFs to provide side-by-side translations for easier use. (Big thank you to Matt G. Brazil for helping with this project).

• 国务院新闻办公室 [State Council Information Office], 《中国的军事战略》白皮书 [ China’s Military Strategy, White Paper], May 26, 2015

The Diversified Employment of China’s Armed Forces (2013)

China’s National Defense in 2010

China’s National Defense in 2008 

China’s National Defense in 2006

China’s National Defense in 2004

China’s National Defense in 2002

• China’s National Defense in 2000

• China’s National Defense in 1998

Other Sources of Doctrine

军事科学院军事战略研究部 [Academy of Military Science’s Military Strategy Research Department], 《战略学2013年版》 [The Science of Military Strategy 2013] (Beijing: Academy of Military Science, 2013), pp. 198–200; 209–212; 221–222; 230–232 <>.

• 胡锦涛 [Hu Jintao], “认清新世纪新阶段我军历史使命 [See Clearly Our Military’s Historic Missions in the New Century of the New Period],” December 24, 2004 <>.

SUGGESTED READING: For in-depth analysis of the “New Historic Missions” and how the PLA explained their importance, see, Daniel Hartnett, “The ‘New Historic Missions’: Reflections on Hu Jintao’s Military Legacy,” in Roy Kamphausen, David Lai, and Travis Tanner, eds., Assessing the People’s Liberation Army in the Hu Jintao Era (Carlisle, PA: Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, 2014), pp. 31–80 <>.


Party Congress Reports

In the post-Mao Zedong era, the Chinese Communist Party has held its party congress much more regularly, settling into five-year cycles. At each congress, the party’s general secretary presents a work report that outlines China’s policy directions and objectives, including their domestic and foreign aspects. These are foundational documents that get coordinated broadly across the Chinese party-state and should be a starting point for any broad-based assessment of Beijing’s policy.

• “Full Text of Hu Jintao’s Report at 18th Party Congress,” Xinhua, November 17, 2012 <>.

• “Full Text of Hu Jintao’s Report at 17th Party Congress,” Xinhua, October 24, 2007 <>.

• “Full Text of Jiang Zemin’s Report at 16th Party Congress,” Xinhua, November 18, 2002


Other White Papers

The State Council Information Office also publishes other white papers describing various aspects of Chinese policy. These are published irregularly and focus on a specific topic.

China’s Energy Policy in 2012 <>.

China’s Peaceful Development (2011) <>.

China’s Space Activities in 2011 <>.

China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation (2010) <>.

The Internet in China (2010) <>.

China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change (2008) <>.

China’s Space Activities in 2006 <>.

China’s Peaceful Development Road (2005) <>.

China’s Non-Proliferation Policy and Measures (2003) <>.

China’s Policy on Mineral Resources (2003) <>.

The One-China Principle and the Taiwan Issue (2000)


Further Study

Reading the PLA: Those who have spent time learning the Chinese language hardly need to be told that forms of expression differ between English and Mandarin. You might not know, however, that Beijing also has specific linguistic formulations for military policy and guidelines. These readings will help you familiarize yourself with the terminology used in military policy. In addition, they will layout the hierarchy of sourcing often used by serious analysts, helping you sort the wheat from the chaff. The third reading selection highlights the importance of applying these lessons, because propaganda, messaging, and misinformation are key components of Chinese media reports on the PLA.

• David Finkelstein, “China’s National Military Strategy: An Overview of the ‘Military Strategic Guidelines’,” in Roy Kamphausen and Andrew Scobell, eds., Right Sizing the People’s Liberation Army: Exploring the Contours of China’s Military (Carlisle, PA: Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, 2007), pp. 81–95 <>.

• Paul H.B. Godwin and Alice L. Miller, China’s Forbearance Has Limits: Chinese Threat and Retaliation Signaling and Its Implications for a Sino-American Military Confrontation, China Strategic Perspectives No. 6 (Washington, DC: National Defense University Institute for National Strategic Studies, 2013), pp. 29–37 <>.

• Andrew Chubb, “Propaganda, Not Policy: Explaining the PLA’s ‘Hawkish Faction’ (Part One),” Jamestown Foundation China Brief, July 25, 2013 <[tt_news]=41175&no_cache=1#.VYsEOkbCuUk>; “Propaganda as Policy? Explaining the PLA’s ‘Hawkish Faction (Part Two),” Jamestown Foundation China Brief, August 9, 2013 <>.

Naval Modernization and Military Modernization Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports

Naval Modernization:

Military Modernization:

Other relevant CRS reports:

• Ronald O’Rourke, Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress, R42784, August 5, 2014 <>.

• Shirley A. Kan, Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990, RL30957, June 13, 2014 <>.

• Shirley A. Kan and Wayne M. Morrison, U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues, R41952, April 22, 2014 <>.

• Susan V. Lawrence, China’s Political Institutions and Leaders in Charts, R43303, November 12, 2013 <>.

• Susan V. Lawrence, U.S.-China Relations: An Overview of Policy Issues, R41108, August 1, 2013 <>.

• Susan V. Lawrence and Michael F. Martin, Understanding China’s Political System, R41007, March 20, 2013 <>.

• Shirley A. Kan, U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress, RL32496, March 19, 2013 <>.