CHINA’S MILITARY MODERNIZATION
AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
Kathleen Walsh, Associate Professor of National Security Affairs, U.S. Naval War College
In January 2011, China conducted its first test of an advanced stealth fighter, just as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was visiting Beijing. Whether intentional or not, this demonstration of military and technological prowess was viewed by the world as yet another indication of China’s ascendant status. The event also raised questions about civil-military relations in the country, given the armed forces’ increasing prominence in foreign affairs, and the upcoming change in the Communist Party leadership. While some elements of U.S. power-projection capabilities seem to be shrinking, China’s are expanding, especially its blue-water navy. These developments highlight some of the new challenges to U.S. foreign policy in the region. Will the U.S. be able to maintain a strong presence in East Asia? What are the wider implications of China’s rapid military transformation? How will other regional powers – such as India or Japan – react? Please join us for a fresh assessment of the national and global political and security implications of China's science and technology development, defense innovation, and military modernization efforts.
Kathleen Walsh is associate professor of national security affairs in the National Security Affairs department at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC). Prior to joining NWC in 2006, she was a senior independent consultant to several Washington-area think tanks, a senior associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center, as well as senior associate at DFI International. While at DFI International, a defense consulting firm, she worked on issues related to China, Asian regional security, and security issues arising from globalization and their impact on U.S. national security. Walsh served as a member of several National Research Council study groups and committees, and she participated in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's Summer Hard Problem program. She is a member of the U.S. Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Walsh holds a B.A. from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and an M.A. from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.