Why China Won’t Stop North Korea
As the conflict between the United States and North Korea escalates, more and more pundits and experts have called on China to intervene. Which makes sense. Beijing is Pyongyang’s biggest trading partner and closest ally. But just because China is North Korea’s best friend doesn’t mean China has control... Read more
China’s Military Has Greatly Benefited From Stolen Technology
As the People’s Republic of China emerged from war and revolution in 1949, it became apparent that the Chinese economy lacked the capacity to compete with the United States or the Soviet Union in the production of advanced military technology. Transfers from the Soviet Union helped remedy the gap... Read more
China Can Blast Almost Every U.S. Warship Docked in Japan With Ballistic Missiles
While U.S. defense strategists have been focused on China’s so-called “carrier-killer” ballistic missile, as well as Beijing’s aircraft carriers, a new report suggests China’s greatest threat to the United States may be something less eye-catching. “The greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that... Read more
Joint Russian-Chinese Naval War Games Grow More Sophisticated
Russia and China are in the midst of the operational phase of their first ever European joint naval exercises in the Baltic Sea. The exercise is an indication of the growing strategic partnership between the Kremlin and Beijing. For China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, the Maritime Cooperation-2017 exercise is an... Read more
How China Could Trick the U.S. Navy With Ultraquiet Submarines
Word has it that China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has staged a breakthrough in submarine propulsion. At any rate, that’s the word from marine engineer Rear Adm. Ma Weiming, a specialist in electromagnetic systems. Adm. Ma recently reported on state-run CCTV that shipwrights are installing shaftless rim-driven pumpjets in China’s “next-generation... Read more
Why China Built That Military Base in Africa
China’s military made international news in early July 2017 when it announced the opening of its first overseas base in Djibouti, a small country in the Horn of Africa. China asserts the base is simply a logistics hub, poised to protect the country’s interests in the Gulf of Aden... Read more
China’s Quest for Super-Quiet Submarines Is Still Just a Dream
If China’s rim-driven pumpjet propulsion technology works, it would be a significant advance for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s undersea force. In a recent article that appeared in the South China Morning Post, Beijing claims to have developed such a silent propulsion system—which some have compared to the so-called caterpillar-drive in Tom... Read more
That One Time the Nazis Helped China Fight Japan
This story originally appeared on Jan. 3, 2014. Most people who stayed awake for at least half of their high school history class knows that the Axis Powers in World War II consisted of Germany, Italy and Japan. But few know that German tactics and weapons—not to mention some... Read more
Goodbye Pacific Pivot, Hello Pacific Retreat
Asia has been the future for more than a generation. When Americans try to glimpse what’s to come, images of the Pacific Rim flood the imagination. For movie audiences in 1982, the rain-soaked Los Angeles of Blade Runner looked like downtown Tokyo. By 2014, the City of Angels in... Read more
America Has Turned a Blind Eye to China’s Growing Naval Power
Admirals say the darnedest things. Over at the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings magazine, retired U.S. Pacific Command Intelligence Chief Capt. Jim Fanell takes PACOM kahunas, past and present, to task for disparaging China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy. Respect for prospective foes, Fanell proclaims, constitutes the most prudent attitude. Such... Read more

James Holmes

Professor of Strategy at the U.S. Naval War College.

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