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Monday, March 27, 2017

China's Naval Militia

Very interesting read from Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy for the U.S. Naval War College's Chinese Maritime Studies Institute on China’s Third Sea Force, The People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia: Tethered to the PLA (pdf):
Photo source: Tankler News
Amid growing awareness that China’s Maritime Militia acts as a Third Sea Force which has been involved in international sea incidents, it is necessary for decision-makers who may face such contingencies to understand the Maritime Militia’s role in China’s armed forces. Chinese-language open sources reveal a tremendous amount about Maritime Militia activities, both in coordination with and independent of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Using well-documented evidence from the authors’ extensive open source research, this report seeks to clarify the Maritime Militia’s exact identity, organization, and connection to the PLA as a reserve force that plays a parallel and supporting role to the PLA.
Like a tetherball, the PAFMM may be sent in many different directions when contacted by different players in the Chinese security space, but is often directed by the PLA and always remains tied to the PLA.
Read it, download it and think about it.

China is a power using asymmetric tools in a world they want to change to be more China-centric.

More good stuff from James Kraska on The Law of Naval Warfare and China’s Maritime Militia:
China operates a vast network of fishing vessels that form a maritime militia equipped and trained to conduct intelligence, communications, and targeting support for the People's Liberation Army Navy. Fishing vessels normally are exempt from capture or attack in the law of naval warfare unless they are integrated into the naval forces, but distinguishing between legitimate fishing vessels and maritime militia during naval warfare is virtually impossible.
You can download a copy at the link, but the key is that China continually is walking that narrow lawfare line.

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