Journal of Political Risk, Vol. 7, No. 3, March 2019
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (Navy) (PLA(N) Luang II class guided-missile destroyer Xian (153) arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), 2016. Source: Picryl.
Anders Corr, Ph.D.
Publisher of the Journal of Political Risk
This article is a slight revision of a talk given on March 13, 2019, in New York City.
Thanks very much for the invitation to speak today, and to all the members of the audience. I want to thank my good friend US Navy Captain James Fanell, who was Director of Intelligence for the US Pacific Fleet. He is not here, but he has been a mentor on the issues I’m covering, and assisted with comments to this presentation.
The full presentation is a combination of material from a book I edited that was published last year by the U.S. Naval Institute Press with the title – Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the SCS, and my next book, on the strategy of brinkmanship. This presentation, however, will focus on how China is innovating in the South China Sea on technological and strategic levels.
In a short year since the book was published, the South China Sea conflict has heated up. On March 4 and March 7, 2019, USPACOM, which is the Asian equivalent of CENTCOM and for which I used to work, sent nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over the SCS, including one flight revealed today. USPACOM also recently revealed that China’s military activity in the SCS rose over the past year. China occupied a sand bar near the Philippines island of Pagasa, in the Philippine exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, and Chinese boats purposefully rammed and sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat in the Paracel Islands of the north west SCS, islands that both China and Vietnam claim.