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On The Radar

China’s Active Defense Strategy and its Regional Impact

map south china seas - Spratley Islands

Statement by Stacy A. Pedrozo CAPT, JAGC, USN U.S. Navy Military Fellow

Council on Foreign Relations
Before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission
United States House of Representatives 2013

The views expressed in this testimony are the presenters personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Navy or the United States Department of Defense.

Introduction

There is no doubt that China is flexing its muscles throughout Asia, sometimes acting unreasonably – its guarded, and arguably inappropriate, reaction to North Korea’s sinking of the Cheonan; its demands for an apology after a Chinese fishing boat captain was arrested for ramming into two Japanese Coast Guard vessels in the East China Sea (ECS); and its declaration of the South China Sea (SCS) as a “core interest,” on par with Taiwan and Tibet. These actions, viewed in conjunction with its increasing maritime surveillance and military exercises in the SCS and ECS, have many Asian nations on edge. Rather than increasing stability throughout the region as it gains military capability, these incidents have created more strategic mistrust and led to suspicion of China’s self-proclaimed “peaceful rise.”

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Artic Operability

Beaufort Sea, March 10, 2018 - Navy Diver 2nd Class Christopher Corley, assigned to Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1, prepares to dive into a water hole during a mock torpedo recovery exercise in support of Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018.  During ICEX 2018, the Seawolf-class fast attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) from Bangor, Washington, the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) from Groton, Connecticut, and the Royal Navy Trafalgar-class submarine HMS Trenchant (S91) will conduct multiple arctic transits, a North Pole surfacing, scientific data collection and other training evolutions during their time in the region.

Beaufort Sea, March 10, 2018 - Navy Diver 2nd Class Christopher Corley, assigned to Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 1, prepares to dive into a water hole during a mock torpedo recovery exercise in support of Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018.  During ICEX 2018, the Seawolf-class fast attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) from Bangor, Washington, the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) from Groton, Connecticut, and the Royal Navy Trafalgar-class submarine HMS Trenchant (S91) will conduct multiple arctic transits, a North Pole surfacing, scientific data collection and other training evolutions during their time in the region.

Arctic Ice Exercise

Beaufort Sea, March 11, 2018 -  A field team from Ice Camp Skate prepares to attach a brow aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) in support of Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018.  The five-week biennial exercise allows the Navy to assess its operational readiness in the Arctic, increase experience there, advance understanding of the Arctic environment and continue to develop relationships with other services, allies and partner organizations.

Beaufort Sea, March 11, 2018 -  A field team from Ice Camp Skate prepares to attach a brow aboard the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Hartford (SSN 768) in support of Ice Exercise (ICEX) 2018.  The five-week biennial exercise allows the Navy to assess its operational readiness in the Arctic, increase experience there, advance understanding of the Arctic environment and continue to develop relationships with other services, allies and partner organizations.

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