Research explores evolution of Chinese anti-ship missiles

Dr James Johnson from our School of History, Politics and International Relations has published new research in the Comparative Strategy Journal outlining the evolution of Chinese anti-ship missiles (ASMs) and how these weapons have intensified U.S – China security-dilemma dynamics.

ASMs are a new generation of stealthier, supersonic, autonomous, and increasingly survivable anti-ship missiles with extended ranges, payloads and accuracy.

They are increasingly adept at evading U.S. defences and undermine the effectiveness of its surface fleets and carrier strike groups in the West Pacific.

The article suggests that the possibility that these asymmetric weapons could be used by China as part of multi-axis strikes has amplified U.S. threat perceptions and that the implications for U.S.-China crisis stability and escalation management could be exacerbated by these developments in China's weapons capability.

“To be sure, how the new Trump administration approaches the strategic challenges in this domain will have important implications for future arms control; escalation management; strategic stability; and, critically, the future credibility of U.S. treaty obligations and the effectiveness of its deterrence policies in the Western Pacific,” writes Dr Johnson.

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