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NEWPORT, R.I. - Members of the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) located within the U.S. Naval War College engaged with military commanders and their staffs in the Pacific region during December 2009.

CMSI, an institute within the Strategic Research Department of Naval War College, supports the research needs of the U.S. Navy with an open source academic approach dedicated to enhancing the understanding and of the complicated maritime dimensions of China's rise.
 
Four NWC faculty and three representatives from NWC's research-focused Center for Naval Warfare Studies, met with the Naval leadership of the Pacific area to discuss the rapid evolution of China's naval forces as well as recent developments in China's maritime policies.
 
Discussions centered on issues, such as the dynamics of the China-North Korea relationships, implication of Chinese civil-military relations, and the development of the Chinese Coast Guard. Additionally, CMSI provided information on regarding China's viewpoint on maritime law.
 
"The topics briefed represent years of work," said CMSI Director Lyle Goldstein.
 
CMSI gave about 20 briefings between Japan and Hawaii at U.S. Seventh Fleet, Pacific Command, and Pacific Fleet, and the faculty offered question-and-answer sessions to enhance discussion.
 
"The unique contribution CMSI faculty make is that they are able to read widely in Mandarin language academic sources and also exchange face-to-face with Chinese scholars in order to gain a deeper understanding China's maritime policies," said Goldstein. "The academic approach often yields insights into crucial debates on-going among Chinese strategists, for example regarding the best approach to energy security or whether or not to build aircraft carriers."
 
Goldstein said the trip represented CMSI's goal of supporting the Navy's research needs, and gave fleets a solid look at China's security policy from an academic perspective. The information was well-received, and CMSI plans on future similar engagements.     

By Tyler Will, NWC Public Affairs