hearing—"#China's Worldwide #Military Expansion" is a dramatic bellwether of growing concerns in Washington & beyond.

Now online—hard-hitting arguments + many data points, some deeply-analyzed yet hard to find elsewhere in public domain:
CAPT Jim Fanell, USN Ret, former @USPacificFleet N2:

"today, the PLA Navy consists of over 330 surface ships & 66 submarines, nearly 400 combatants. As of 4 May 2018, the @USNavy consists of 283 battle force ships: 211 surface ships and 72 submarines."
"By 2030, it is estimated [by Fanell & @SCheneyPeters in their chapter in @NavalWarCollege @ChinaMaritime Studies Institute's Chinese Naval Shipbuilding volume amazon.com/Chinese-Naval-… @USNIBooks that] the PLANavy will consist of some 550 ships: 450 surface ships & 99 submarines."
CAPT Jim Fanell, USN Ret., fmr. Director of Intelligence & Information Ops. @USPacificFleet :

"As currently debated in the halls of the Congress & Pentagon, it remains unclear if the @USNavy of 2030 will even reach a total of 355 ships and submarines."

"#s matter...PLA Navy ships & subs do not have to match US naval capabilities precisely: they just have to be good enough to be able to achieve more hits to win any given battle. That said, the quality of PRC warships already presents a credible threat across the Asia-Pac today."
"Consequently, we should be gravely concerned about America’s ability to #deter or #defeat the PRC’s #naval #spear. We do not have much time left... For reasons I will lay out shortly, the #window #of #vulnerability—the decade of #greatest #concern—begins in less than 24 months."
"Also of significant concern, Xi has placed authority over China’s Coast Guard under the Central Military Commission... Asia’s largest, [it] is no longer under the civilian St Oceanic Adm [but] now falls under Xi’s direct command through his control of the People’s Armed Police."
CAPT Jim Fanell, @USNavy (Ret.), fmr @USPacificFleet N2:

"The PLAN’s expansion from 2000 to 2018 far exceeds the buildup in any other nation’s #navy in the post–World War II era, save for the U.S. Navy during the Ronald W. Reagan years of the 1980s."

"The reason is simple: for China’s leaders to achieve their vision of a 'rejuvenated' and 'restored' China, they need a fleet that can expand China’s interior lines out into the maritime domain."
"Concurrent with the PLAN modernization has been the changing pattern of its operations. ... An examination of PLAN #blue #water #operations during the past 15 years reveals 'China’s #ambitious #naval #modernization has produced a more technologically advanced & flexible force.'"
"in addition to #China’s Maritime Law Enforcement (MLEF) and Peoples Armed Forces #MaritimeMilitia (#PAFMM) ships, and the largest civil fishing fleets on the planet, PLAN forces have also increased their operations in and around the #Senkaku Islands since 2012."
"the PRC has also been '#tightening #the #noose' #around #Taiwan over the last two years. ...PLAAF nuclear-capable aircraft circled the island repeatedly during the month in efforts to intimidate the Taiwan government and populace."

@"Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company in Shanghai..the new..Type 075 landing helicopter dock, is under construction..much larger than any other amphibious warship previously built for the PLA Navy, and is uniquely suited to an opposed island seizure campaign & global force projection."
"The focus of these influence operations will be to support China’s position and demonize, confuse, and demoralize the United States and its supporting friends and allies. Internally, this campaign will be important in mobilizing mass support for the 'righteous' action...."
"since 2013 the PLAN has conducted regular deployments of nuclear submarines into the Indian Ocean... suboptimal against pirates, they are a highly useful threat against India. ...In August 2017, China deployed at least 14 naval ships in the Indian Ocean.
"The PLAN has also conducted oceanographic research operations in the Indian Ocean, East & South China Seas & Atlantic, as well as commercial oceanographic expeditions in the Marianas Trench (w/in Guam’s EEZ), Micronesia & Benham Rise (w/in the Philippine EEZ) & in the WPacific."
"China’s naval oceanography is often conducted in tandem with, or under the guise of, scientific or commercial oceanography, but its real intent is to gain important data about the undersea domain, principally of benefit to the PLAN elite submarines force."
"In 2017, Chinese hydrographic survey vessels were caught mapping the ocean floor in the Philippines’ territorial waters of the Luzon & Surigao straits & in the Caroline Islands of Micronesia...has the objective of assisting the PLAN subsurface fleet in breaking out of" 1&2 I.C.s
"In furtherance of these goals, the PLAN has developed a network of sensors to include ships, submarines, buoys, satellites and unmanned underwater gliders.

...a PLAN warship captured a U.S. underwater glider in 2016, in a brazenly open theft of U.S. military technology"
"The PLAN’s development of underwater listening arrays and passive sonar will erode (if not outrun) the current U.S. advantage over the next 5-10 years if more U.S. funding is not made available in this priority strategic area of naval warfare."
"In 1974, the PLA attacked & subsequently killed 64 South Vietnamese soldiers to capture Duncan Island in the Paracels. The US did nothing to assist its ally... despite having a carrier nearby. China subsequently occupied all of the Paracels, where it now has 20 naval outposts."
"In 1988, China captured Johnson Reef in the Spratly Islands from lightly-armed Vietnamese troops standing knee-deep on the shoal. The PLAN murdered all 64 troops by opening fire from naval ships with large-caliber deck guns."
"In 1995, China occupied Mischief Reef, an unoccupied low-tide elevation w/in the EEZ of the Philippines. Again, the US did nothing and over the next few years, China occupied an additional 6 [features] in the Spratlys. China has now dredged and added naval outposts to all" 7....
"In 2012, the presence of PRC commercial ships in Scarborough Shoal, within the Republic of Philippines Exclusive Economic (EEZ), instigated a standoff and ultimately intimidated the Philippine Coast Guard and fishermen away from their ancestral fishing grounds."
"The U.S. State Department...negotiated a mutual withdrawal of PLAN & Philippine Naval assets from Scarborough. ...was immediately reneged upon by the PRC as it refused to remove its vessels from the shoal, establishing the PRC as the sole naval power at the shoal."
"This single event has had the negative consequence of providing President Duterte a 'justification' for siding with the PRC after he came to office... failure to support a treaty ally has severely damaged US credibility... across the entire Asia-Pacific region."
"China’s naval outposts in the South China Sea include berthing [sufficiently extensive to allow] for aircraft carriers and submarines, runways sufficient for all its military planes, anti-aircraft guns, and starting in 2018, anti-ship cruise missiles."
"The militarization of these [features], which President Xi promised President Obama that China would not do, is an increasingly powerful inhibitor to U.S. Navy operations in the South China Sea."
"Counter-intuitively, over time China’s militarization of the South China Sea has increasingly had the impact of forcing U.S. military commanders to get higher and higher level approvals before being allowed to conduct routine operations in the South China Sea."
"This timidity escalated to the point that presidential approval was required for even simple Freedom of Navigation (FoN) transits, an approval authority protocol that had never been required since the inception of the program in 1979."
Thai "submarine sale has serious far-reaching implications, not the least which is the fact that the PLAN will likely control a submarine maintenance and training facility at Sattahip naval base, which could preclude @USNavy use of that important Southeast Asia naval facility."
"In 2017 a PLAN submarine docked in Malaysia’s naval base of Kota Kinabalu; coincidently this occurred simultaneously as a Russian submarines docked in the Philippines. Whether intentional or not, this sent a message about the strength of
China and Russia’s alliance...."
"As we focus on the PRC’s ability to break what we term the '#First #Island #Chain', we must also be watching its inroads into the Second and Third Island Chains. Across the vast expanse of #Oceania, China’s deepening economic and political relationships have paved the way...."
"China is making a large play for this resource rich, strategically crucial region [of #Oceania], from the continent of Australia to... islands and waters Americans defended, or liberated island by bloody island, from brutal oppression more than 70 years ago."
"this time the outcome will not just be determined by US naval & airpower, but by who wins over the hearts & minds of local island populations...at this moment, massive Chinese investment to boost island economies is winning the hearts & minds of island leaders & well-off elites"
"Australia, one of our closest allies, sold a 99-year lease of its strategic port in Darwin to a financially distressed Chinese company for $506 million AUD in 2015. This sale occurred despite Darwin’s long and continuing usage by Australian and U.S. military forces..."
"#China has already built a new wharf on...Espiritu Santo, making it one of the largest ports in the #SouthPacific as well as building sports stadiums, convention centers, roads, airport upgrades & office buildings for #Vanuatu’s Foreign Affairs & the Prime Minister’s new office"
"Vanuatu would be a logical location for China to establish a new satellite-tracking station and ground support facility for its #YuanWang space event support ships."


FOR UPDATES: @rajfortyseven
PRC "officials said they have more aid projects in Vanuatu than any other Pacific country; in return, Vanuatu announced in late 2016 that it would be the first Pacific country to recognize China’s claims in the South & East China Seas. ... Nauru & Papua New Guinea have followed."
"At the same time Chinese investment and diplomacy is spiking in Vanuatu, so too is investment in New Caledonia, where some French are nervous about potential violence and the looming referendum on independence."
"PRC is also showing deep interest in the Federated States of Micronesia... Tonga, Samoa & French Polynesia. The interest in French Polynesia stems not just from these islands’ utility for support & monitoring [#YuanWang tracking ships]... but also as a refueling & transshipment"
"A Chinese company has agreed to invest close to a third of a billion U.S. dollars to set up an aquaculture project in French Polynesia's large & remote Hao atoll. That amount is more than all foreign direct investment received by French Polynesia between 2013 & 2016 combined."
"In CNMI, just north of #Guam, Chinese resort developers, serving PRC economic and political warfare interests, are stymying U.S. military efforts to further develop sorely needed training area for amphibious operations on Papan Island."
"By 2014, Sri Lanka was having difficulty paying [almost $7 billion in loans] back & in September not only opened 4 of 7 berths at the unprofitable Hambantota port to a Chinese company in a 35-year lease, but hosted PLAN warship Changxing Dao and nuclear submarine Changzheng-2."
"The #Maldives... lurched towards Beijing (and away from India) with the election of a pro-PRC president last year... the PRC has been granted exclusive trade and other access which... will likely lead to greatly enhanced PRC maritime surveillance and naval operational support."
"The #Maldives & #SriLanka are two of the several... #IndianOcean islands where Beijing is obtaining footholds that could prove decisive in its future maritime strategy in the region. #Mauritius, the #Seychelles & #Myanmar are also being lured into #China’s #Maritime #SilkRoad."
"facilities at Hambantota, Gwadar & Kyaukpyu are not yet being used by the PLA [but] Beijing’s militarization of its man-made SCS facilities [+] the sudden prospect of a base in Vanuatu, demonstrate how quickly dual-use infrastructure could be turned to mil. logistical support."
“Even as [the #Maldivian political crisis of 2018] was unfolding, Chinese ships sailed to the East Indian Ocean comprising a fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-ton amphibious transport dock and three support tankers."
"the same month they opened [Djibouti] base, they were conducting live-fire exercises utilizing armor, including wheeled tank destroyers & fighting vehicles, accompanied by infantry assault teams. These exercises had nothing to do w logistics, anti-piracy, or the United Nations."
"by early May 2018, there had been several incidents involving hi-power mil laser attacks against USAF pilots... 2 pilots suffered minor eye injuries that emanated from the Chinese base at Djibouti, or a Chinese naval vessel nearby. This is a tactic resurrected from the Cold War"
"Two of five terminals at Djibouti’s seaport are already controlled by [PRC entities] ... Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti is the only USN base in Africa. Half of the world’s containerized cargo, and four million barrels of oil [annually], pass Djibouti."
"China used World Bank funding to deepen and strengthen the port of Dar es Salaam in June 2017, which was a double win for China as the PLAN’s largest warships would then be able to berth there, and, a Chinese company won a $154 million contract for the rebuild."
"In 2014, China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) began developing a $344 million shipping terminal in Walvis Bay, #Namibia, on the south Atlantic Ocean. Slated for completion in mid-2019, the terminal will have an artificial peninsula the size of 40 baseball fields..."
"About 100 km northeast of Walvis Bay, is the Husab #Uranium Mine. It is the world’s second largest. #China General #Nuclear (CGN) owns 90% of the mine, into which it has invested $4.6 billion since construction started in 2013. The #Namibian government owns only 10%."
"In 2015, China & Russia held joint nav. ex..in the Med..Again in 2017, 2 PLAN flotillas cruised the Med..1 of the flotillas in 2017 conducted a live-fire drill, on its way to joint exercises w Russia in the Baltics..they continued..to the Baltic..for additional live-fire drills"
"Chinese companies conducted takeovers of terminals in Spain, Italy & Greece, utilizing subsidized loans from the Chi. gov't... justified in terms of support for BRI. The lack of normal profitability of these deals is illustrated by China’s COSCO, which in 2016 alone lost $1.6B."
"This ownership & control of Europe’s ports translates into political influence & PLAN access. The $1 billion that COSCO spent on Greece’s port of Piraeus, in which it now has a 67% stake, helped China obtain Greece’s support at the European Union on issues like the SChinaSea..."
"In 2016, China’s Ambassador to Greece went so far as to call Piraeus 'a dragon head' of the Maritime Silk Road. The influence of one country in the EU is particularly important as decisions are typically only taken through unanimous approval of all member states."
"In 2015, the PLAN made its first trip [to Alaska] with five ships, apparently seeking to intimidate President Obama... In 2017, the PLAN again sailed to Alaska, on an apparently uninvited intel-gathering mission to monitor US testing of the... THAAD... missile defense system."
"In both instances, PLAN warships operated well w/in the US EEZ & reportedly near or w/in US terr waters. Ironically, as Chinese ships have began to routinely operate inside the US & other nation’s EEZs, the PRC vociferously complains whenever US mil ships operate within the SCS"
"since October 2015, the PLAN has shadowed nearly every @USNavy warship that has entered & operated within the #SouthChinaSea, shifting from a 'zone' coverage to a 'man-to-man' strategy."

"Last year, the PLAN used intelligence-gathering ships to shadow joint U.S.-Australia naval exercises off Guam. China has also utilized uninvited intelligence-gathering ships to spy on the U.S.-hosted Rim-of-the-Pacific (#RIMPAC) exercises off Hawaii in 2012 and 2014."
"The PLAN is operating hydrographic research ships in the south #Atlantic, a harbinger of future PLAN submarines operations in the north Atlantic, which I assess could begin by 2025. ... China made moves to scout berthing in the #Azores [in 2015]."
"Bottom line: Beijing has demonstrated it has the #shipbuilding capacity, capabilities, untapped productivity gains & global requirements to sustain the transformational growth in Chinese naval construction & combat capability through 2030."


CAPT Jim Fanell, @USNavy (Ret.):

There is "a belief among China’s leadership that the U.S. has a short attention span regarding the use of force. In short, Beijing believes the West can be counted on to forget even the most barbarous actions after a roughly 20-year time span."
CAPT Jim Fanell, @USNavy (Ret.), former head of Intelligence @USPacificFleet:

"With the #DecadeofConcern beginning in 2020, it is my estimation that there will be mounting pressure within China to use military force to achieve the 'China Dream' of national restoration by 2049."
"the U.S. must commit to conduct more robust and more public Maritime Intelligence Operations. ...much progress has been made in improving our Title 10 collection capabilities in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, as reflected by the introduction of the P-8 aircraft..."


HOWEVER, "...we have concurrently displayed a lack of will to expose the PRC’s aggressive actions in the maritime domain. This requires the U.S. to get serious about our Strategic Communications, in terms of mission, organization, policy, and doctrine."
"The sharing of facts about #Chinese activities at sea is not just good for #transparency in a democracy, it is also smart military strategy by imposing reputational costs on the PRC for its military adventurism."

MY SUGGESTION: START W/ #MARITIMEMILITIA: andrewerickson.com/2018/05/the-co…
"Moreover, making such information widely available would help counter spurious Chinese narratives of American actions as being the root cause of instability in the Western Pacific. Both outcomes are in our national interest."
"...to keep even a modicum of parity with the #Chinese, the @USNavy will require more than 355 ships.

Bottom line: America needs to get back to being a #maritime #power supported militarily by #strong #allies, something that has been sorely neglected since the fall of the USSR."

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Andrew Erickson 艾立信

Andrew Erickson 艾立信 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @AndrewSErickson

Dec 27, 2017
"NK is known to employ deceptive shipping practices, incl ship-to-ship transfers..prohibited by UNSCR 2375 of Sept 11...images below..taken on Oct 19...depict a recent attempt by Korea Kumbyol Trad Co's...RYE SONG GANG 1 to conduct a ship-to-ship transfer" treasury.gov/press-center/p…
"The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today sanctioned one individual, 13 entities & 20 vessels as the US continues to take action multilaterally and unilaterally to disrupt North Korea's illicit funding...."
"#OFAC designated Dandong Kehua Economy & Trade Co., Ltd., Dandong Xianghe Trading Co., Ltd., and Dandong Hongda Trade Co. Ltd.... Between Jan 1, 2013 & Aug 31, 2017, these 3 [#PRC] cos... exported ~650MM... of goods to #NorthKorea & ... imported >$100MM worth of goods from #NK."
Read 4 tweets
Dec 14, 2017
In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society


"It was as if Amazon had swallowed eBay, Apple News, Groupon, American Express, Citibank, and YouTube—and could siphon up data from all of them."
Preempting instability:

“That’s why social credit ideally requires both coercive aspects and nicer aspects, like providing social services and solving real problems. It’s all under the same Orwellian umbrella.”

Dystopian implications: #MinorityReport?
"Because of my middling score, however, I had to pay a $30 deposit before I could scan my first bike. Nor could I get deposit-free hotel stays or GoPro rentals, or free umbrella rentals. I belonged to the digital underclass."
Read 13 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!