China Maritime Studies Institute

The U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island is home to the China Maritime Studies Institute. Situated at the crossroads of academia, policy and operational study, the Naval War College has pioneered strategic and operational thought about the maritime domain for more than 100 years. The U.S. Naval War College provides a rich academic environment based on the diverse activities of broad, multidimensional research, analysis, education, and wargaming that educates and informs naval leaders from the U.S. and other international partner nations.

Director, China Maritime Studies Institute

The Center for Naval Warfare Studies, as part of the U.S. Naval War College, provides a broad-based education as well as research and analysis to support several hundred students a year and inform the larger Department of the Navy senior leadership.  Our China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI)  combines significant linguistic and technological resources with a close proximity to many of the United States’ leading academic institutions, creating relationships with unrivaled intellectual synergies.

In seeking to more fully understand the complexities of China’s emerging role in Asia-Pacific, CMSI continues to seek expanded collaborative relationships with government research centers, civilian academic institutions and other relevant organizations.  These partnerships facilitate research on China’s development as a maritime power.

The issues of this naval development are more than the forces of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).  While China remains a large land power, the source of its economic sustenance for naval expansion is its commerce, carried primarily across the maritime commons.  The vital foundation of this economic success is the export juggernaut which China developed over the last two decades.  In parallel with this expanding trade, Chinese shipbuilding and related components of the maritime industrial base continue to grow at stunning rates to keep pace with this trading ethos and strategy.  Additionally, China’s economy requires access to natural resources, the most important of which is energy.  To support this, China continues to expand global economic relationships from Africa to Latin America.     

Part and parcel of these developments are the weighty issues of sovereignty and security.  The strategic issues of Taiwan and the South China Sea are prominent among these, and provide another strong impetus for China’s development of a vigorous naval development program, sustained with force modernization and increased days at sea for the PLAN.   Thus, both container ships and naval vessels, from small frigates to larger ships and submarines, continue to emerge from Chinese shipyards at a prolific rate of production.  

In assessing and researching these myriad developments, CMSI focuses on eight core sectors:

  • Energy - Access and Security
  • Global Commerce
  • Law of the Sea
  • Maritime Technologies
  • Merchant Marine
  • Naval Development
  • Naval Diplomacy
  • Shipbuilding

Careful research and analysis along these lines of inquiry, as well as others, will form the essential bedrock of U.S. - Chinese maritime relationships and security in the twenty-first century.  

China Maritime Studies - Red Book

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