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Primer on Sociopolitical and Military Developments in China-Indo China-South China Sea

This compilation of works consists mainly of articles from Military Review, publications authored by the Combat Studies Institute, monographs from students at the Command and General Staff College, and selected works from other sources for which we have permission to reproduce.

The Army University Press invites readers to submit for publishing consideration articles to Military Review or longer works to the Combat Studies Institute on issues related to the China-Indo China-South China Sea. Guidelines for submission are on the Army University Press website at http://www.armyupress.army.mil/Publish-With-Us/.

   
 
 

Army U Press Content

(Photo by Natsuki Sakai, AFLO via Alamy Live News)

The Impact of Base Politics on Long-Range Precision Fires

A Closer Look at Japan

Maj. Richard M. Pazdzierski, U.S. Army

Japan’s political culture surrounding military bases and exercises have affected the security aspects of the U.S.-Japan alliance for many decades and will likely have a significant impact on the Army’s ability to train, fight, and win with long-range precision strike capabilities intended to deploy to Japan.

Published in the July-August 2021 Edition of Military Review, p 31

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A group of Basic Officer Leaders Course (BOLC-B) students collaborate

Understanding the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force

Strategy, Armament, and Disposition

Maj. Christopher J. Mihal, PMP

The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force is perhaps China’s most valuable current military asset as it provides China both offensive and defensive capabilities against a wide range of opponents as well as the inherent value of deterrence that nuclear weapons provide any nation.

Published in the July-August 2021 Edition of Military Review, p 16

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An aerial view of thousands of fishing boats as they berth near Shenjiamen Harbor 1 September 2020 due to Typhoon Maysak, the ninth typhoon of the year in Zhoushan City, east China’s Zhejiang Province. (Photo by Imaginechina via Associated Press)

The Strategic Significance of the Chinese Fishing Fleet

Lt. Cmdr. James M. Landreth, U.S. Navy

A naval officer discusses why China’s massive fishing fleet should be closely monitored by military planners because of its harmful activities below the threshold of conflict and its potential use as a paramilitary force.

Published in the May-June 2021 Edition of Military Review, p 32

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Taiwanese soldiers take part in a drill 19 January 2021

The Army in the Indo-Pacific

Relevant but Not a Tripwire

Maj. John Q. Bolton, U.S. Army

The author believes basing U.S. forces on Taiwan would inflame tensions with China without gaining advantage. He cautions against overestimating China’s capabilities, but he acknowledges the unique capabilities landpower brings to operations in the Indo-Pacific.

Published in the May-June 2021 Edition of Military Review, p 22

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USMC Seal

Preparing for the Future

Marine Corps Support to Joint Operations in Contested Littorals

Gen. David H. Berger, U.S. Marine Corps

A former U.S. diplomat examines how time horizons—taking a short-term or a long-term view toward goal achievement—have influenced the U.S.-China relationship and how they might affect both countries’ decision-making regarding potential actions to seize Taiwan.

Published in the May-June 2021 Edition of Military Review, p 6

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Chinese fishing boats head out to sea from Zhoushan in Zhejiang Province, China. (Photo courtesy of China Foto Press)

China’s Maritime Militia and Fishing Fleets

A Primer for Operational Staffs and Tactical Leaders

Shuxian Luo
Jonathan G. Panter

A former U.S. diplomat examines how time horizons—taking a short-term or a long-term view toward goal achievement—have influenced the U.S.-China relationship and how they might affect both countries’ decision-making regarding potential actions to seize Taiwan.

Published in the January-February 2021 Edition of Military Review, p 6

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BRICS leaders from left to right Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi, Dilma Rousseff, Xi Jinping, and Jacob Zuma holding hands in unity 15 November 2014 at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia. The BRICS acronym stands for the five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. (Photo by Roberto Stuckert Filho, Agência Brasil)

Chinese Soft Power

Creating Anti-Access Challenges in the Indo-Pacific

Maj. Robert F. Gold, U.S. Army

A former U.S. diplomat examines how time horizons—taking a short-term or a long-term view toward goal achievement—have influenced the U.S.-China relationship and how they might affect both countries’ decision-making regarding potential actions to seize Taiwan.

Published in the November-December 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 101

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At a New Year’s Day flag-raising ceremony held 2 January 2016 in Washington, D.C., Taiwan representative Shen Luxun speaks to a crowd supportive of Taiwan’s independence, emphasizing the importance of Taiwan’s flag as a national emblem of the Republic of China. (Photo by Zhong Chenfang, Voice of America)

Taiwan and the U.S. Army

New Opportunities amid Increasing Threats

Eric Setzekorn, PhD

The author discusses how the evolving security situation in the Taiwan Strait offers the U.S. Army a chance to play an important role in deterring Chinese military action and strengthening American strategic connections in East Asia.

Published in the September-Octobe 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 44

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A woman walks past a television in New Taipei City 2 January 2019 that shows China’s President Xi Jinping making a speech commemorating the fortieth anniversary of a message sent to Taiwan in 1979 that asserted Taiwan’s unification with the mainland is “inevitable.” Xi warned against any efforts to promote the island’s independence, saying China would not renounce the option of using military force to annex it. Xi continued, “After peaceful reunification, Taiwan will have lasting peace and the people will enjoy good and prosperous lives. With the great motherland’s support, Taiwan compatriots’ welfare will be even better, their development space will be even greater.” (Photo by Sam Yeh, Agence France-Presse))

How to Counter China’s Disinformation Campaign in Taiwan

Linda Zhang

The author describes how the People’s Republic of China’s malign influence in Taiwan’s traditional media and its ability to spread propaganda and disinformation on social media threatens Taiwan’s press freedom and democratic process.

Published in the September-October 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 21

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An-Main-graphic-2B

Time Horizons Drive Potential Taiwan Cross-Strait Conflict

David An

A former U.S. diplomat examines how time horizons—taking a short-term or a long-term view toward goal achievement—have influenced the U.S.-China relationship and how they might affect both countries’ decision-making regarding potential actions to seize Taiwan.

Published in the September-October 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 10

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Graphic by Dale E. Cordes, Army University Press

Economic Warfare

China’s Financial Alternative to Military Reunification with Taiwan

1st Lt. Bethany G. Russell, U.S. Army

China is more likely to use economic means rather than military force to pressure Taiwan into reunification, according to this author. China can be expected to use its economic leverage to disrupt markets and implement sanctions to compel the island to agree to annexation for the sake of its economic survival.

Published in the September-October 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 33

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Graphic by Dale E. Cordes, Army University Press

Deterring the Dragon

Returning U.S. Forces to Taiwan

Capt. Walker D. Mills, U.S. Marine Corps

A U.S. marine opines that if the United States wants to maintain credible conventional deterrence against a People’s Liberation Army attack on Taiwan, it needs to consider basing troops in Taiwan.

Published in the September-October 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 55

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Graphic by Dale E. Cordes, Army University Press

Drive Them into the Sea

Brian J. Dunn

An Army corps will be indispensable and must be fully incorporated into U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Taiwan contingency plans. The author espouses an aggressive offensive military response to a potential Chinese attack into Taiwan.

Published in the September-October 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 68

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During The Long March of 1935, Red Army soldiers cross a mountain in Western China. (Photo by JT Vintage, Glasshouse Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

The Long March

A Generational Approach to Achieving the People’s Republic of China Strategic Objective to Annex Taiwan

Military Review Staff

Editor's commentary on the political dimension of the long-term generational approach the People's Republic of China has taken in its decades-old political effort to strip away all diplomatic recognition of Taiwan and support from the world community of nations as a preparatory phase for possible invasion and annexation of the island.

Published in the September-October 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 161

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Graphic by Dale Cordes, Army University Press

The People’s Bank of China’s Monetary Armament

Capabilities and Limitations of Evolving Institutional Power

Lt. Johnathan D. Falcone, U.S. Navy

The battlespace in modern warfare has expanded to the economic domain. According to the author, it is strategically necessary for the United States and the Federal Reserve to maintain influence over and leadership of the international financial system.

Published in the July-August 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 68

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An undated photo of an Su-30MKK in midair refueling with a Russian-made Il-78 Midas tanker. Chinese capability to conduct midair refueling lags significantly behind that of the United States. (Photo courtesy of the China Military Network)

Air Supremacy

Are the Chinese Ready?

Maj. Jonathan G. McPhilamy, U.S. Air Force

An Air Force officer explains that while China has invested heavily in its defensive air capabilities, it still lags significantly behind the West in three areas important for offensive airpower projection: air integration in the joint fight, aerial refueling, and aircraft production and sustainment.

Published in the January-February 2020 Edition of Military Review, p 56

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Chinese troops on parade 13 September 2018 during the Vostok 2018 military exercise on Tsugol training ground in Eastern Siberia, Russia. The exercise involved Russian, Chinese, and Mongolian service members.

Competing with China for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific

By Gen. Robert B. Brown, U.S. Army
Lt. Col. R. Blake Lackey, U.S. Army
Maj. Brian G. Forester, U.S. Army

The commander of U.S. Army Pacific discusses China and the role of the Army in dealing with Chinese activities in the Pacific theater.

Published in the September-October 2019 Edition of Military Review, p 35

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Chinese armored vehicles pass in review September 2018 at the end of the Vostok 2018 military exercise at the Tsugol training ground in Eastern Siberia, Russia.

Contemporary China

In Conflict, Not Competition

By Timothy L. Faulkner

We must not misunderstand the Chinese approach to warfare, according to this senior intelligence officer. The conflict China is waging with the United States has put it in a positional advantage that, if left unchecked, will allow it to dominate in terms of diplomatic, intelligence, military, and economic power by 2050.

Published in the September-October 2019 Edition of Military Review, p 42

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A Chinese Fox against an American Hedgehog in Cyberspace?

A Chinese Fox against an American Hedgehog in Cyberspace?

By Kimberly Orinx
Tanguy Struye de Swielande, PhD

Two scholars contrast the differences in the use of cyber power between the United States and China.

Published in the September-October 2019 Edition of Military Review, p 58

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Geoeconomics

Identifying Windows of Opportunity within China’s Rise

Problematizing China’s Hundred-Year Strategy toward Great-Power Status

By Axel Dessein

A critique of Michael Pillsbury’s thesis as developed in the book Hundred Year Marathon regarding the assertion that China is conducting a full-scale effort (across all elements of power to include the military) to assert dominance over the United States and Western powers and achieve the status of unipolar hegemonic power of the globe.

Published in the September-October 2019 Edition of Military Review, p 68

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Composite graphic by Arin Burgess, Military Review; graphic elements courtesy of Vecteezy, www.vecteezy.com

Pivot Out of the Pacific

Oil and the Creation of a Chinese Empire in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

By Capt. Philip Murray, U.S. Army

The author argues that in China’s rise to economic and political influence, it is behaving in a manner little different from any other historical example of a great power’s expansion of economic power and influence.

Published in the September-October 2019 Edition of Military Review, p 85

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Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left), Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, and Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Eduardo Ano (right) inspect Chinese-made CQ-A5b assault rifles 5 October 2017 during a turnover ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Philippines. The weapons and ammunition are part of China’s military donation to the Philippines’ fight against Muslim militants who laid siege to Marawi in southern Philippines. (Photo by Bullit Marquez, Associated Press)

China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative and Its International Arms Sales

An Overlooked Aspect of Connectivity and Cooperation?

By Capt. James Daniel, U.S. Army

The author discusses China’s efforts to rebuild international trade routes, establish a global network of ports, and proceed with other initiatives aimed at making China the centrifugal economic power of the world. He details the linkages between those activities and China’s parallel involvement in the international weapons trade.

Published in the September-October 2019 Edition of Military Review, p 96

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China badge

China’s One Belt, One Road The Man Who Removes a Mountain Begins by Carrying Away Small Stones” China Badge

Addressing Chinese Exploitation of U.S. Education Systems

By Amanda Goyeneche Theus
Master Sgt. Robert Theus, U.S. Army

Advancements spawned in U.S. academia are targeted by the Chinese, who see their procurement by any means as a shortcut to catching up with U.S. technology. The authors recommend U.S. academic institutions apply lessons learned by the military to safeguard intellectual property.

Publishedin Military Review Online Exclusive, August 2019

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Geoeconomics

Geoeconomics

Col. John F. Troxell, U.S. Army, Retired

The author offers a detailed discourse on the importance of geoeconomics, specifically as it applies to competition between China and the United States, based on a review of War by Other Means: Geoeconomics and Statecraft by Robert D. Blackwill and Jennifer M. Harris

Published in the January-February 2018 Edition of Military Review, p 4.

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Compelling Reasons for the Expansion of Chinese Military Forces

Compelling Reasons for the Expansion of Chinese Military Forces

Lt. Cmdr. Cindy Hurst, U.S. Navy, Retired

The changing international arena is forcing China to rethink its strategies. The author discusses why that country sees its increasing use of its military overseas as a necessity to protect its citizens and business interests.

Published in the Nov-Dec 2017 Edition of Military Review, p 28.

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Secretary of Defense Ash Carter (left) and Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin shake hand

The Danger of Delusions—and How to Prevent Them from Causing Conflict

Developments in the Hemisphere

Col. Michael J. Forsyth, U.S. Army

The author compares inaccurate perceptions of modern Chinese leaders to those of pre-World War I German leaders who thought their neighbors were trying to contain them. The delusions of German leaders led to war. U.S. policy toward China should demonstrate that the United States is not trying to contain China in order to avoid conflict.

Published in the July-August 2016 Edition of Military Review, p 95.

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China's Electronic Strategies

China’s Electronic Long-Range Reconnaissance

Lieutenant Colonel Timothy L. Thomas U.S. Army Retired

China’s ongoing use of “patriotic hackers” may represent electronic reconnaissance for putting cyber-war theory into practice.

Published in the November-December 2008 Edition of Military Review, p 47.

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China's Electronic Strategies

China's Pragmatic Rise and U.S. Interests in East Asia

Major Jin H. Pak, U.S. Army

China’s ongoing trade-and-aid charm offensive should be taken for what it is: not a disavowal of force, but a pragmatic ploy to help the nation attain its four strategic objectives.

Published in the November-December 2007 Edition of Military Review, p 66.

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China's Electronic Strategies

The Chinese Military's Strategic Mind-set

Lieutenant Colonel Timothy L. Thomas, U.S. Army, Retiredd

Based on readings of recent Chinese military literature, an expert offers an illuminating peek into the rising power’s strategic modus operandi.

Published in the November-December 2007 Edition of Military Review, p 47.

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China's Electronic Strategies

China's Electronic Strategies

Lt. Col. Timothy L. Thomas, U.S. Army, Retired

The Chinese believe that superior strategies can help overcome technological deficiencies. A comparable equivalent to this theoretical development in military art would be a Russian virtual operational maneuver group of electron forces, or a US air-land electron battle group.

Published in the May-June 2001 Edition of Military Review, p 47.

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Military Developments in the South China Sea Basin

Military Developments

in the South China Sea Basin

Colonel John B. Haseman, US Army

In this strategically important area, during a time of continued tensions, the countries of the region have mken advantage of relative stability and economic prosperity and development to improve the professional character of their own armed forces.

Published in the February 1993 Edition of Military Review, p 55.

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China’s “Total Strategy” A Soviet Critique

China’s “Total Strategy” A Soviet Critique

From The Reporter - Raymond L. Garthoff

This article was reprinted from the original, publiehed in THE REPORTER,19 May 1966, under the title, “A Soviet Critique of China’e ‘Total Strategy.’” Copyrighted © 1966 by The Reporter Magazine Company.

Published in the November 1966 Edition of Military Review, p 12.

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The Overseas Chinese Southeast Asia

The Overseas Chinese

Southeast Asia

By Niu Sien-Chong

Their political outlook will remain a key factor in the future development of Southeast Asia. Under proper handling, the problem presented by their presence can be solved smoothly and without great difficulty.

Published in the August 1965 Edition of Military Review, p 29.

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Red China’s Latin-American Policy

Red China’s Latin-American Policy

By Joseph J. Lee

The Cuban revolution was a great boon to Peking since—whatever its true relation with Chinese Communist tactics—it could be used to advance the general Maoist formula for Latin America and inaugurate the revolutionary era.

Published in the May 1965 Edition of Military Review, p 47.

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Red China's Economic War Potential

Red China's Economic War Potential

By Major Edgar O'Ballance, Territorial Army, Great Britain

This article was digested from the original, published in the Journal of the United Service Institution of India. April-June 1961, under the title, “The Economic War Potential of the Peoples’ Republic of China” All Rights Reserved by the Journal of the United Service Institution of India.

Published in the September 1962 Edition of Military Review, p 50.

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Additional Resources

Wikimedia Commons/United States Air Force // whitehouse.gov // Wikimedia Commons/Howard61313

Modernizing the Military: China’s Path to Hegemony?

By Alexia Frangopoulos

China’s cyber policy has become partly visible to foreign nations through observation, tracking, and inference. The policy appears to have three vectors... These three aspects—peace activist, espionage activist, and attack planner—dominate China’s cyber policy. Some are always hidden from view while others are demonstrated daily.

Published Semptember 22, 2019 by Harvard Political Review.


Three Faces of the Cyber Dragon: Cyber Peace Activist, Spook, Attacker

Three Faces of the Cyber Dragon:

Cyber Peace Activist, Spook, Attacker

By Timothy L. Thomas

China’s cyber policy has become partly visible to foreign nations through observation, tracking, and inference. The policy appears to have three vectors... These three aspects—peace activist, espionage activist, and attack planner—dominate China’s cyber policy. Some are always hidden from view while others are demonstrated daily.

Published in 2012 by Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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The Dragon's Quantum Leap: Transforming from a Mechanized to an Informatized Force

The Dragon's Quantum Leap:

Transforming from a Mechanized to an Informatized Force

By Timothy L. Thomas

Chinese observations of warfare in the information age have resulted in a widespread transformation and metamorphosis of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from a mechanized to an informatized force. This transformation has affected nearly every aspect of China’s military from strategy to logistics to educational development. The Dragon’s Quantum Leap intends to peel back the transformation process and uncover the impact of new modes of thought on several key segments of military development (culture, stratagems, crisis management, deception, and reconnaissance among other elements) that digital-age thought is affecting.

Published in 2009 by Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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Decoding the Virtual Dragon: Critical Evolutions in the Science and Philosophy of China's Information Operations and Military Strategy (Timothy L. Thomas)

Decoding the Virtual Dragon:

Critical Evolutions in the Science and Philosophy of China's Information Operations and Military Strategy

By Timothy L. Thomas

This book expands upon Dragon Bytes, the author’s earlier work on Chinese information warfare (IW) activities from 1999-2003. Decoding the Virtual Dragon explains how Chinese IW concepts since 2003 fit into the strategic outlook, practices, and activities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The book offers IW explanations directly from the pens of Chinese experts.

Published in 2007 by Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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Cyber Silhouettes: Shadows Over Information Operations (Timothy L. Thomas)

Cyber Silhouettes:

Critical Evolutions in the Science and Philosophy of China's Information Operations and Military Strategy

By Timothy L. Thomas

This book explores the impact of the Cyber Age on military thinking and operations worldwide. Four issues are examined: the contrast between the concept of “cyber operations” used by civilians, including criminals and terrorists, and the concept of “information operations” used by armed forces; the differences in information operations (IO) theory among the US, Russian, and Chinese militaries; the manner in which militaries use information operations in peace and in war; and the impact of cyber and information processes on the mind, the military machine, and their interface.

Published in 2005 by Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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