Revolutionary advances in unmanned technologies and the prospects offered by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in surveillance, targeting and attack appear to have captured the attention of senior civilian and defense officials in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Given the PRC’s expanding strategic interests, and the associated requirement for an improved command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) infrastructure, UAVs represent a transformational capability for the Chinese military.
Chinese cyber espionage poses an advanced persistent threat to U.S. national and economic security. Groups operating from PRC territory are believed to be waging a coordinated cyber espionage campaign targeting U.S. government, industrial, and think tank computer networks. A dozen of these groups have been identified and linked with the PLA, and others connected with universities and information security enterprises. The largest and most active of these groups may operate from Beijing and Shanghai.
This report on the U.S.-Japan alliance comes at a time of drift in the relationship. As leaders in both the United States and Japan face a myriad of other challenges, the health and welfare of one of the world’s most important alliances is endangered. Although the arduous efforts of Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and his colleagues in both governments have largely kept the alliance stable, today’s challenges and opportunities in the region and beyond demand more. Together, we face the re-rise of China and its attendant uncertainties, North Korea with its nuclear capabilities and hostile intentions, and the promise of Asia’s dynamism. Elsewhere, there are the many challenges of a globalized world and an increasingly complex security environment. A stronger and more equal alliance is required to adequately address these and other great issues of the day.
Over the next 10-15 years, China is likely to develop more advanced precision strike assets, integrated with persistent space-based surveillance, a single integrated air and space picture, and survivable communications architecture, which could enable greater confidence in contesting a broader range of sovereignty and territorial claims around China’s periphery. Such capabilities enable the PLA to conduct military operations at increasingly greater distances from Chinese shores, which may complicate U.S. freedom of action in the Asia-Pacific region.
In the aftermath of 11 March 2011, Japan’s frequent political turnovers, and the country’s soaring government debt, the conventional wisdom is that the nation is turning inward. This mapping study seeks to highlight Japan’s continued international contributions in international organizations and official development assistance as well as Japan’s efforts in multiple simultaneous peace-keeping operations and anti-piracy missions. It presents a literature review on Japan’s evolving foreign policy from the Arc of Freedom and Prosperity to present-day and offers recommendations for Japan’s continued global role.
See our Publications page for more reports from the Project 2049 Institute