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China's Future Nuclear Submarine Force [Kindle Edition]

Andew S. Erickson , Lyle J, Goldstein , William S. Murray , Andrew Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

The trajectory of Chinese nuclear propulsion for submarines may be one of the best single indicators of whether or not China intends to become a genuine global military power. Nuclear submarines, with their unparalleled survivability, remain ideal platforms for persistent operations in far-flung sea areas and offer an efficient means for China to strengthen deterrence and project power.

This collection of essays presents the latest thinking of leading experts on the emergence of a modern nuclear submarine fleet in China. Each contribution is packed with authoritative data and cogent analysis. The book has been compiled by four professors at the U.S. Naval War College who are co-founders of the college's China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI).

Given the opaque nature of China's undersea warfare development, readers will benefit from this penetrating investigation that considers the potential impact of revolutionary changes in Chinese nuclear submarine capabilities. This book is essential reading for everyone interested in China's foreign and defense policies; in the future of the U.S. Navy; and in the defense of the United States.

This is the first book in the series "Studies in Chinese Maritime Development" published jointly by the China Maritime Studies Institute and the Naval Institute Press.

Editorial Reviews


"shows how the Chinese nuclear navy has developed to date and possible future trajectories it could take. ... The texts are well sourced and provide readers with references to conduct more extensive research and reading if desired. In summary, any student of Chinese military developments should read this book."

-Capt. Giles Van Nederveen, USAF (Ret.), Strategic Studies Quarterly 4.1 (Spring 2010).

"captures important aspects of China's submarine force that explain the rationale for Beijing's large submarine investment, beginning by recounting its maritime goals and doctrine, then examining the applicability of a submarine force to these goals. ...raises many important issues that influence the future of China's nuclear submarine force...."

-Scott W. Bray (the U.S. Navy's Senior Intelligence Officer for China), Asia Policy 9 (January 2010): 167-72.

"features contributions by some of America's most prominent (and promising) analysts of PRC naval affairs."

-Alan Wachman, Naval War College Review 61.2 (Spring 2008): 134.

"offers the most comprehensive open-source analysis yet made public of the transformation of the PLAN and the central role that submarines are likely to play in the years ahead. ...has already become the benchmark unclassified study on the development of the PLAN's sub-surface combat capability."

-Richard Scott, Jane's Navy International, 1 January 2008.

From the Author


"offers a wide range of perspectives that provide readers with the opportunity to make their own judgments based on a meticulous analysis of data from Chinese sources. ... a great and useful effort to understand Chinese strategic planning for the near future."

- L. H. Xavier Demián Soto Zuppa, El Colegio de México, A.C., Centro de Estudios de Asia y África (CEAA), China Review International 16.4 (2009): 494-501.

"...provides both novices and experienced scholars an extensive primer on the context of the Chinese nuclear submarine fleet. It is quite readable, well organized, and extremely well documented in all chapters."

-Lt. Col. John D. Becker, USA, Joint Force Quarterly 52.1 (2009): 165-66.

"...creative use of Chinese sources has allowed [the authors] to penetrate the veil of secrecy drawn over China's submarine programme with surprising effectiveness."

-Colin Green, Pacific Affairs 81.1 (Spring 2008): 111-13.

"...if a book such as China's Future Nuclear Submarine Force had appeared in 1930 on the subject of Japanese developments in naval air power and force projection, the U.S. 'battleship admirals' may have been overruled by the carrier advocates in the critical period leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941. This new book... is that good."

-Gregory R. Copley, "The Pacific Turns a Pinker Hue," Maritime Studies 156 (September/October 2007): 24-25.

"Reading this excellent volume should waken many of us in the U.S. Navy to remain vigilant and always explore the totality of assets a potential adversary may have, even though they maybe technologically inferior to our own."

-LCDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, USN, Naval District Washington, DC, 10 May 2007.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2618 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1 edition (April 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008164QXW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #995,196 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good for entry level research November 17, 2013
By SFrate
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It looks deep into the history of hte chinese navy and where it is headed. if you are into the chinese nuclear arsenal, this is a good entry level book. it isn't too hard to understand.
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More About the Author

Dr. Andrew S. Erickson is an Associate Professor in the Strategic Research Department at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) and a core founding member of the department's China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI). He serves on the Naval War College Review's Editorial Board. Since 2008, he has been an Associate in Research at Harvard University's John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Erickson is also an expert contributor to the Wall Street Journal's China Real Time Report (中国实时报), for which he has authored or coauthored thirty-one articles.

Erickson is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2012, the National Bureau of Asian Research awarded him the inaugural Ellis Joffe Prize for PLA Studies. During academic year 2010-11, Erickson was a Fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program in residence at Harvard's Center for Government and International Studies. From 2008-11, he was a Fellow in the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations' Public Intellectuals Program, and served as a scholar escort on a five-Member Congressional trip to China. He has also helped escort the Commander of China's Navy and his delegation on a visit to Harvard, and worked to help establish a bilateral naval officer exchange program.

Erickson has taught courses at NWC and Yonsei University. He advises a wide range of student research and theses at NWC, Harvard, and other institutions; and provides curricular inputs to NWC and other schools. In 2013, while deployed in the Pacific as a Regional Security Education Program scholar aboard USS Nimitz, he delivered twenty-five hours of presentations. Erickson has lectured extensively at government, academic, and private sector institutions throughout the United States and Asia. He has briefed the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and his Executive Panel, as well as the Secretary of the Navy, other Executive Branch officials, and multiple Members of Congress; and testified before the House Armed Services Committee and U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He has provided inputs for, and reviews of, various government programs and reports.

Erickson received his Ph.D. and M.A. in international relations and comparative politics from Princeton University and graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a B.A. in history and political science. He has studied Mandarin in the Princeton in Beijing program at Beijing Normal University's College of Chinese Language and Culture; and Japanese language, politics, and economics in the year-long Associated Kyoto Program at Doshisha University. Erickson previously worked for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Chinese translator and technical analyst. He gained early experience working briefly at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong, the U.S. Senate, and the White House. Proficient in Mandarin Chinese and conversant in Japanese, he has traveled extensively in Asia and has lived in China, Japan, and Korea.

Erickson's research--which focuses on Asia-Pacific defense, international relations, technology, and resource issues--has been published widely in English- and Chinese-language edited volumes and in such peer-reviewed journals as China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China (forthcoming), Asian Security, Journal of Strategic Studies, Orbis, Asia Policy, Pacific Focus, China Security, and Acta Astronautica; as well as in Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, The American Interest, Foreign Policy, War on the Rocks, Joint Force Quarterly, IHS Jane's, China International Strategy Review (Chinese- and English-language editions), and International and Strategic Studies Report (Center for International and Strategic Studies, Peking University). Erickson has also published annotated translations of several Chinese articles on maritime strategy. His coauthored Foreign article, "Not-So-Empty Talk: The Danger of China's 'New Type of Great-Power Relations' Slogan," has been read widely in U.S. and Asian policy circles. Most recently, Erickson's RealClearDefense piece "What Sort of Navy America Needs" registered 60,000 page views in its first 24 hours online.

Erickson is the author of Chinese Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Development (2013). National Defense University Press recently published his coauthored book, Assessing China's Cruise Missile Ambitions (2014). He is coauthor of three additional volumes: China in the Gulf of Aden (Jamestown Foundation, forthcoming 30 April 2015), as well as of the CMSI monographs Chinese Antipiracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden (2013) and Chinese Mine Warfare (2009). Erickson is editor of Proceedings of the 47th History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics (held in Beijing, 2013). He is coeditor of, and a contributor to, eight volumes: Basing and Forward Presence in the Asia-Pacific (2014); the five-volume Naval Institute Press book series, "Studies in Chinese Maritime Development," comprising Chinese Aerospace Power (2011), China, the U.S., and 21st Century Sea Power (2010), China Goes to Sea (2009), China's Energy Strategy (2008), and China's Future Nuclear Submarine Force (2007); as well as the CMSI volume China's Near Seas Combat Capabilities (2014), and the Naval War College Newport Paper China's Nuclear Force Modernization (2005).

Erickson's work has been cited widely in scholarly publications and reports from the U.S. government and think tanks such as RAND and the Brookings Institution. He has been quoted extensively in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online sources, including Wired, Bloomberg, The BBC, The Economist, and The New York Times. Erickson's work is also featured in a broad range of television, radio, and Internet forums. He has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, and the John Batchelor Show.

Erickson is co-founder of China SignPost™ 洞察中国 (, a research newsletter and web portal that covers key developments in Greater China, with particular focus on natural resource, technology, industry, and trade issues. He has coauthored 80 China SignPost™ reports. Links to these, and his other publications, can be found at China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国 (, a website that posts and curates analyses, many based on Chinese-language sources not previously assessed by foreign observers, to offer insights into China and its impact on the world.


China's military and foreign policy
Japan/Asia-Pacific security and international relations
Chinese defense science, technology, and industry
Maritime and aerospace technology development, history and current status
Energy, resources, and geostrategy
Military basing and power projection
Sino-American relations and contemporary policy issues


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