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“This syllabus is organized to build understanding of the PLA in a step-by-step fashion based on one hour of reading five nights a week for four weeks. In total, the key readings add up to roughly 800 pages, rarely more than 40–50 pages for a night. We assume no prior knowledge of the PLA, only an interest in developing a clearer sense of Chinese military affairs. The objective is to help you read beyond the headlines. Our goal is to provide you with the needed tools and knowledge to assist others in researching Chinese military developments and begin developing your own thoughts.”
China’s Defense Budget:
“Each year the National People’s Congress announces China’s annual military budget for the coming fiscal year. You can expect this event to be followed by an outpouring of commentary on China’s “double-digit” growth on defense spending. The reality of China’s defense spending is more complex, and the budget from the 1980s to the present tells a significant story about the priority the PLA has claimed within the Chinese policymaking.”
- Adam P. Liff and Andrew S. Erickson, “Demystifying China’s Defence Spending: Less Mysterious in the Aggregate,” The China Quarterly, No. 216 (December 2013), 805–830.
- “Whenever a major new report, book, or article appears on the PLA and Chinese national security policy, U.S. Naval War College professor Andrew Erickson will post a link to it and occasionally comment on it on his personal website.”
- “Several specialists on the PLA regularly post related information on Twitter, ranging from new publications to breaking news. Most notable among the potential voices for following Chinese military developments are Andrew S. Erickson (@andrewserickson), M. Taylor Fravel (@fravel), and Elsa Kania (@EBKania).”
Chinese Military Power:
- Andrew S. Erickson and Lyle J. Goldstein, eds., Chinese Aerospace Power (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011).
- Ashley J. Tellis and Travis Tanner, eds., Strategic Asia 2012–13: China’s Military Challenge (Seattle, WA: The National Bureau of Asian Research, 2012).
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“Along with China’s rapid economic growth, increasing military power, and expanding influence, Chinese foreign policy is becoming a more salient concern for the United States, its allies and partners, and other countries in Asia and around the world. As China’s interests become increasingly global, China is transitioning from a foreign policy that was once concerned principally with dealing with the superpowers, protecting China’s regional interests, and positioning China as a champion of developing countries, to one with a more varied and global agenda. Chinese scholars and practitioners alike recognize that Chinese diplomacy must become more nuanced and sophisticated to keep pace with the new challenges that have accompanied China’s rise and to manage tensions between China’s traditional foreign policy principles and the need to protect Chinese interests not only close to home, but increasingly more globally. A the same time, China’s more active diplomacy under Xi Jinping, particularly its assertive handling of maritime territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with Vietnam, the Philippines and other rival claimants in the South China Sea, is reshaping how policymakers in Washington, Tokyo, Canberra and other capitals think about responding to the challenge of China’s rising power.”
“This syllabus is organized to build understanding of Chinese foreign policy in a step-by-step fashion based on one hour of reading five nights a week for four weeks. In total, the key readings add up to roughly 800 pages, rarely more than 40–50 pages for a night. We assume no prior knowledge of Chinese foreign policy, only an interest in developing a clearer sense of how China is using diplomacy to address the challenges associated with its rise. The objective is to help you read beyond the headlines. Our goal is to provide you with the needed tools and knowledge to assist others in researching Chinese foreign policy and begin developing your own thoughts.”
“Chinese foreign policy has become more varied, sophisticated, and global over the past few decades. Indeed, Chinese diplomacy has undergone a remarkable transformation along with China’s economic growth and the expansion of its regional and global interests. Not long ago, it would have been hard to imagine developments such as the scale and scope of China’s current involvement in Africa, China’s first overseas military facility in Djibouti, or Beijing’s establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). One of the challenges that this has created for observers of China’s foreign policy is that so much is going on every day it is no longer possible to find one book on Chinese foreign policy that will provide a clear-eyed assessment of everything that a China analyst should know.”
Maritime Security Issues:
“China’s more assertive approach to handling its maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea illustrates the tension between China’s attempts to defend its sovereignty claims and its desire to maintain constructive relations with its neighbors and a regional security environment conducive to economic growth and development.”
- Stirring Up the South China Sea, International Crisis Group, Asia Report No. 223 (April 23, 2012).
- Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy, “China’s Maritime Militia: What It Is and How to Deal with It,” Foreign Affairs, June 23, 2016.
- Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy, China’s Third Sea Force, People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia: Tether to the PLA, U.S. Naval War College – China Maritime Studies Institute, China Maritime Report No. 1 (March 2017).
- Andrew S. Erickson, “Numbers Matter: China’s Three ‘Navies’ Each Have the World’s Most Ships,” The National Interest, February 26, 2018.
- Isaac B. Kardon, “Maritime Rights and Interests,” CSIS, AMTI, July 26, 2015.
- Ryan D. Martinson, “China’s Great Balancing Act Unfolds: Enforcing Maritime Rights vs. Stability,” The National Interest, September 11, 2015. Be sure to follow the hyperlinks to a variety of Chinese-language speeches and articles.
“Beijing’s push for companies to “go out” internationally has led to increasing numbers of Chinese living, working, and traveling abroad. Chinese people have become targets for attacks and kidnappings, but Beijing has not developed an adequate framework within the traditional bounds of its foreign policy. That, however, is starting to change.”
- Mathieu Duchâtel, Oliver Bräuner, and Zhou Hang, “Protecting China’s Overseas Interests: The Slow Move Away from Non-Interference,” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI Policy Paper, No. 41 (June 2014).
- Andrew S. Erickson and Austin M. Strange, “Ripples of Change in Chinese Foreign Policy? Evidence from Recent Approaches to Nontraditional Waterborne Security,” Asia Policy, No. 17 (January 2014), 93–126.”
- Timothy R. Heath, China’s Pursuit of Overseas Security, Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2018.
- Jeff Becker, “What Does China Want in Djibouti?,” The National Interest, December 27, 2017.
For Further Reading:
- Ely Ratner, et. al., More Willing & Able: Charting China’s International Security Activism, Center for a New American Security, May 2015.
- Thomas J. Bickford with Heidi A. Holz and Frederic Vellucci Jr., “Uncertain Waters: Thinking about China’s Emergence as a Maritime Power,” Center for Naval Analyses, (September 2011), chapters 1-4.
- Andrew Scobell and Mark Cozad, “China’s North Korea Policy: Rethink or Recharge?” Parameters, Spring 2014.