China Seminar | 12 November 2015

China’s New Defense White Paper in Today’s Context of Change and Transition

James R. Corcoran James R. Corcoran

China’s Ministry of National Defense “White Paper” (authoritative report) is exceptional in its bold and authoritative presentation of China’s Military Strategy for both national defense and defense activities in the Asia-Indo-Pacific region and beyond. The May, 2015, White Paper’s Chapter V “Preparation for Military Struggle” draws focused attention in light of China’s ongoing military initiatives in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, the Taiwan Straits, and further afield. With the landmark September 3 military parade commemorating the end of WW II, President Xi Jinping’s State visit to Washington D.C., recent military exercises with Russia, and in the midst of China’s economic readjustment and the Tianjin disaster, what does this “White Paper” mean? Dr. Corcoran’s recent trip in July to present a paper at a conference sponsored by Beijing’s Capital Normal University (首都师范大学) and consultation with academic, military, and government colleagues there, helps to place this topic into perspective. Jim Corcoran received his Ph.D. in Modern Chinese History and an MA in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a retired U.S. Army Colonel, Dr. Corcoran is a history professor in the Military Campus Programs and also teaches International (Asian) Studies at Hawai’i Pacific University. He has lived, studied, and served in China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Bangladesh, and Indonesia; and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Defense Language Institute, Monterey, California (Mandarin Chinese and Bahasa Indonesia). Over the years, he has researched and written on Asian security issues, papers on China, Asia, and military history, and on issues involving security, strategy, and history of Asia relating to war, conflict resolution and diplomacy.