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  • South China Sea

    Hagel’s Visit to China Showcases Hardening Chinese Line

    As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel returns from his visit to China, reporting on the visit has been mixed. Optimists have tended to focus on the visit to China’s new aircraft carrier as an example of a new openness on the part of Beijing. And it is important to recognize … More

    Japan: On-the-Ground Perspective of Volatile Disputes

    On a recent visit by 10 young Heritage Foundation researchers to Tokyo, Japan, the issue of torn relations between Japan and China dominated the majority of our meetings with Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials. There was little substantive talk, though, about how relations will actually be … More

    Chinese Military Plays Greater Role in South China Sea Disputes

    China appears increasingly willing to escalate tensions along its periphery as it asserts its claims over various disputed islands and shoals. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently compared Sino–Japanese relations to 1914, suggesting not only that tensions are on the rise but that there is a real potential for conflict. … More

    China’s Growing Navy

    China’s declaration of an air defense identification zone over Japanese-administered waters in the East China Sea and confrontation with an American guided missile cruiser is a useful reminder of China’s growing naval strength. In a recently released report, The Heritage Foundation noted that China’s navy is by far the largest … More

    Enhanced Military Cooperation: U.S. and Philippines Should Seize the Day

    According to press reports, the U.S. and the Philippines have floated the possibility of building joint storage facilities for U.S. humanitarian and disaster relief equipment on Filipino territory. Military cooperation between the two nations is already strong, but greater U.S. presence in the region would help the Philippines counter an … More

    China Escalating Territorial Disputes with Neighbors

    Amidst all the regional concerns about North Korea, the Senkaku dispute between China and Japan has continued to fester. This past week, the situation has escalated, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry specifically stating that the Senkakus are a “core interest.” General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of … More

    Chinese Defense White Paper Challenges American Leadership, Military Readiness

    On the eve of Secretary of State John Kerry’s testimony to Congress on securing American interests abroad, the release of the Chinese defense white paper is a reminder of the significant challenges confronting the U.S. in the Asia–Pacific region. Sequestration may have Washington in knots, but there is no comparable … More

    China Striving to Dominate the Nearby Seas

    A Chinese naval task force, including its most modern amphibious ship, a guided-missile destroyer, and two frigates, was recently sighted operating off James Shoal, 50 miles off the coast of Malaysia. James Shoal is claimed by Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as well as Taiwan. The appearance … More

    “China Dream”: Rejection or Revival?

    Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping has talked a great deal about the “China Dream.” It remains to be seen, however, whether this dream is a call for national renewal or for revanchism and Chinese nationalism at the expense of its neighbors. Soon after assuming … More

    China Streamlines Its Maritime Forces

    As the Chinese National People’s Congress reveals various governmental restructurings (not to be mistaken for reforms), an important one is the streamlining of Chinese maritime law enforcement forces. The various Chinese maritime law enforcement agencies, including the coast guard, fisheries enforcement, and anti-smuggling police forces, will be consolidated over the … More