Andrew S. Erickson
Sources 以第一手资料研究中国, 25 May 2022.
Amid wave after wave of Coronavirus variants, fishy things have been happening across the South and East China Seas, home to virtually all of China’s unresolved maritime disputes. Since Beijing remains far from being fully forthcoming and transparent, I hope that governments whose nations’ ships have been involved with these bilateral incidents with PRC vessels—as well as any other knowledgeable parties—will release complete information on exactly what has happened. Meanwhile, however, ample information is already available concerning China’s People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) and the important role it has played in these waters for decades. And it’s all here, in keyword-searchable format!
This Bookshelf compilation is updated with the latest guidance from SECNAV Carlos Del Toro, entry in Wikipedia & music video from the PAFMM’s very own Sansha Garrison! It includes everything from the very newest sources… to some of my earliest findings with colleagues at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI), dating back to 2009—when we uncovered PRC Militia forces’ role in mine warfare (MIW). For an overview, you might watch my best single PAFMM presentation, now available on YouTube.
As I told the Defense Forum Foundation in 2009, “China holds exercises that involve the Maritime Militia—with civilian fishing vessels—training in the laying of mines; GPS could leverage that considerably.” Here I drew on extensive research with my CMSI colleagues, published in China Maritime Study #3 (June 2009). We included multiple sections on PRC operational concepts and training to employ Maritime Militia forces and fishing vessels in MIW. Having long noticed references to China’s Maritime Militia dating back to at least the early 2000s in the PLA Navy (PLAN)’s official newspaper, People’s Navy (人民海军), I read and cited key articles.
American & Allied knowledge of the PRC’s Third Sea Force has come a long way since my outstanding colleague Conor Kennedy & I began our focused research following his arrival in Newport in 2014—now top U.S. officials, including the Secretary of the Navy & the Vice President, have highlighted China’s Maritime Militia in their official statements… You can read their words, other data & analysis, and findings from specialists here!
Rarely is a topic so little recognized and so little understood (even now), yet so important and so amenable to research using Chinese-language open sources. To increase awareness and understanding of this important subject, I am maintaining this convenient compendium of major publications and other documents available on the matter thus far. If you know of others, please kindly bring them to my attention via <http://www.andrewerickson.com/contact/>.