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A Low-Visibility Force Multiplier: China's Cruise Missile Ambitions

Jun 5, 2014
12:00pm to 1:30pm ET

CNAS Office
Washington, DC

CNAS hosted a public, on-the-record
book launch discussion with:


Dr. Andrew S. Erickson
Associate Professor, Strategic Research Department
U.S. Naval War College

Prof. Dennis M. Gormley
Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of
International and Public Affairs
University of Pittsburgh

Co-hosted by:

Dr. Phillip C. Saunders
Director, Center for Study of Chinese Military Affairs
Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University

Dr. Erickson and Mr. Gormley discussed China’s growing cruise missile capability, a key element of Beijing’s rapid military modernization, which they describe exhaustively in a new book, co-authored with Jingdong Yuan: A Low-Visibility Force Multiplier: China’s Cruise Missile Ambitions, the first comprehensive open source study on Chinese cruise missiles.

China’s military modernization is focused on building modern ground, naval, air, and missile forces capable of fighting and winning local wars under informationized conditions. A key element of the PLA’s investment in antiaccess/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities is the development and deployment of large numbers of highly accurate antiship cruise missiles (ASCMs) and land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs) on a range of ground, air, and naval platforms. China’s growing arsenal of cruise missiles and the delivery platforms and C4ISR systems necessary to employ them pose new defense and nonproliferation challenges for the United States and its regional partners. This study surveys People’s Republic of China (PRC) ASCM and LACM programs and their implications for broader PLA capabilities, especially in a Taiwan scenario. Dr. Erickson and Mr. Gormley will open with remarks on these trends, their future trajectories, and implications for U.S. military strategy and operations in the Western Pacific. We will then move to an open discussion of the issues at hand.

Note: The views presented in this book are those of the authors alone, and do not represent the policies or estimates of the United States Navy, the Department of Defense, or any other entity of the United States government.

Copies of the book were distributed free of charge.  The book can also be found here.