Timothy R. Heath

Timothy Ray Heath, timothy heath
Senior International/Defense Researcher; Faculty Member, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office

Education

M.A. in Asian studies, George Washington University; B.A. in philosophy, College of William and Mary

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Timothy Heath is a senior international defense researcher at the RAND Corporation and member of the Pardee RAND Graduate School faculty. Prior to joining RAND in October 2014, he served as the senior analyst for the USPACOM China Strategic Focus Group for five years. He worked for more than 16 years on the strategic, operational, and tactical levels in the U.S. military and government, specializing on China, Asia, and security topics.

Heath has published numerous articles and one book. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, he has extensive experience analyzing China's national strategy, politics, ideology, and military, as well as of Asian regional security developments. He earned an M.A. in Asian studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in philosophy from the College of William and Mary. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science from George Mason University.

Selected Publications

Timothy R. Heath, "China's Evolving Approach to Economic Diplomacy," Asia Policy, 22(2):157-191, 2016

Timothy R. Heath "Towards Strategic Leadership: Chinese Communist Party-People's Liberation Army Relations in the Hu Era," in Roy Kamphausen, David Lai, Travis Tanner, Assessing the People's Liberation Army in the Hu Jintao Era, Strategic Studies Institute, 2014

Timothy R. Heath, China's New Governing Party Paradigm: Political Renewal and the Pursuit of National Rejuvenation, Ashgate, 2014

Timothy R. Heath, "What Does China Want? Discerning the PRC's National Strategy," Asian Security, 8(1):54-72, 2012

Commentary

  • The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, left, along with ships from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, transit the East China Sea, March 9, 2017

    U.S.-China Tensions Are Unlikely to Lead to War

    The U.S.-China relationship today may be trending towards greater tension, but the relative stability and overall low level of hostility make the prospect of an accidental escalation to war extremely unlikely.

    May 1, 2017 The National Interest

  • U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Lago estate after a bilateral meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017

    Rocky Road Ahead Likely for U.S.-China Relations

    The first summit with President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping downplayed contentious issues like Taiwan and the South China Sea. But the differences run deep, and frustration is palpable on both sides. Moreover, the competition for international leadership continues.

    Apr 11, 2017 The Cipher Brief

  • U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence attend a meeting with congressional leaders to discuss trade deals at the White House in Washington, February 2, 2017

    Strategic Consequences of U.S. Withdrawal from TPP

    America's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership has exacerbated doubts about U.S. international leadership and America's role in Asia. Future trade agreements could face similar fates until they do a better job outlining how domestic workers can prosper.

    Mar 27, 2017 The Cipher Brief

  • Soldiers drive a CM33 Clouded Leopard infantry fighting vehicle during the annual Han Kuang military drill simulating the PLA invading the island, in southern Taiwan, August 25, 2016

    Why China Will Not Unify with Taiwan by 2020 — and Beijing Lacks Compelling Military Options

    The prospects for peaceful unification of China and Taiwan continue to dim. Nothing Beijing has tried to woo or coerce Taiwan has worked. For those determined to compel Taiwan's unification, military subjugation remains a last option. But it would only worsen China's security environment.

    Mar 21, 2017 Lawfare

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 17, 2017

    China Stressed a Growing Interest in Global Trade and Governance at Davos

    President Xi Jinping became the first Chinese leader to appear at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum last week. He gave a keynote speech that defended global trade and criticized protectionism. His speech reflected, in part, the reality that China has profited enormously from decades of globalization.

    Jan 24, 2017 U.S. News & World Report

  • U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016

    Taking Stock of the U.S. Rebalance and the Contest for Influence in Asia

    Since 2011, the U.S. has carried out measures designed to bolster its influence in Asia, a region that is projected to play a central role in driving global economic growth. Despite steady progress, with increased diplomatic outreach to China and its neighbors, doubts about the U.S. pivot to Asia have persisted.

    Jan 19, 2017 World Politics Review

  • Man looking at chart of China's stock market

    Cracks in the Chinese Powerhouse

    Like most countries that have had rapid development, China is struggling to transition from a highly successful but unsustainable economic model. Beijing faces the additional challenge of executing difficult reforms in the face of an inhospitable global economy.

    Dec 19, 2016 The Cipher Brief

  • Japan's Self Defence Force holds an opening ceremony of a new military base on the island of Yonaguni in the Okinawa prefecture, March 28, 2016

    The Risks of an Accelerating Rivalry Between China and Japan

    China and Japan have a long history of antagonism but their competition for influence in Asia has recently expanded in the economic, diplomatic, and security domains. The U.S., although a staunch ally of Japan, has served as a mediator. Weakening the U.S. role could aggravate Sino-Japanese tensions to a destabilizing degree.

    Dec 12, 2016 World Politics Review

  • People's Liberation Army naval soldiers stand on a military vessel at a naval base in Hong Kong, July 1, 2016

    Book Review: 'China's Military Transformation,' by You Ji

    China's military has undeniably made tremendous strides in recent years. You Ji's book provides a collection of interesting and often perceptive observations on political and intellectual aspects of a rapidly modernizing People's Liberation Army.

    Jul 5, 2016 H-Net

  • The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis approaches the fast combat support ship USNS Rainier during a replenishment at sea in the South China Sea, March 4, 2016

    South China Sea Spat a Symptom of U.S.-China Jockeying for Advantage

    A spate of high-profile diplomatic feuds and military actions related to the South China Sea has raised concern about the direction of U.S.-China relations. Neither country is well positioned politically or economically to engage in a long-term, antagonistic relationship, let alone a major conflict.

    Jun 27, 2016 World Politics Review

  • Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army Navy patrol at Woody Island, in the Paracel Archipelago, which is known in China as the Xisha Islands, January 29, 2016

    Beijing Ups the Ante in South China Sea Dispute with HQ-9 Deployment

    China's recent deployment of HQ-9 missiles to the Paracel Islands signals its determination to consolidate its gains in the South China Sea, regardless of criticism by the United States and its allies.

    Mar 29, 2016 Jamestown Foundation's China Brief

  • The Chinese Luyang II-class guided missile destroyer Jinan and other ships in formation during a passing exercise, November 7, 2015

    China's Naval Modernization: Where Is It Headed?

    The PLA Navy is expanding its capabilities and operations to reduce vulnerabilities in China’s near seas, but also to aggressively support its expanding global ambitions and challenge U.S. leadership in Asia.

    Feb 10, 2016 World Politics Review

  • S-400 Triumf SAMs during the rehearsal for 2009 Victory Day parade in Moscow

    How China's New Russian Air Defense System Could Change Asia

    The Russian S-400 TRIUMF surface to air missile entered the media spotlight when Moscow deployed the system after Turkey's shoot-down of a Russian plane near the Syria border on Thanksgiving Day. This episode demonstrated the S-400's potential as a weapon with strategic effects, a role that China may seek to exploit in future crises.

    Jan 21, 2016 War on the Rocks

  • An Armed Forces of the Philippines marine sentry stands watch as the guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon arrives in Puerto Princesa to participate in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training

    Book Review: 'Strategic Asia 2015–16, Foundations of National Power in the Asia-Pacific'

    Which nations have the resources and motivations to either cooperate with or frustrate Washington's designs? What liabilities and assets reside with each country? The book, Strategic Asia 2015–16, surveys some of the most powerful nations in Asia with such questions in mind.

    Nov 30, 2015 War on the Rocks

  • USS Lassen conducts exercises with Korean and Turkish navy ships

    How Will China Respond to Future U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations?

    On October 27, the USS Lassen carried out the first freedom of navigation patrol to challenge China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. In assessing China's potential response to follow-on operations, the extremes of either complete inaction or a military attack can be ruled out.

    Oct 29, 2015 Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, CSIS

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan arrive at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, September 22, 2015

    Xi's Visit Exposes Mismatch in U.S and Chinese Expectations

    Chinese President Xi Jinping's U.S. visit this week appears to face serious headwinds. Contrasting U.S. and Chinese priorities will likely lead to disappointment on both sides.

    Sep 23, 2015 World Politics Review

  • Senior Colonel Yang Yujun holds a copy of the annual white paper on China's military strategy, Beijing, China, May 26, 2015

    The 'Holistic Security Concept': The Securitization of Policy and Increasing Risk of Militarized Crisis

    Reflecting critical developments under the Xi administration, China's recent 'Military Strategy' white paper signals a turn toward a potentially more coercive phase of China's rise.

    Jun 27, 2015 China Brief

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a news conference in Beijing, November 12, 2014

    China's Emerging Vision for World Order

    China's mulling of the risks and benefits of assuming greater global responsibility reveals its judgment that it can't entrust the protection of its interests to U.S. goodwill.

    May 21, 2015 The National Interest

  • A Chinese Coast Guard vessel in the South China Sea maneuvers to block a Philippine supply ship with members of the media aboard, March 29, 2014

    China's Island-Building Stirs Fears, but Creates Openings for U.S.

    News of proposed Navy patrols nearby disputed islands claimed by China suggests that the United States is toughening its response to Beijing's assertive territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    May 18, 2015 World Politics Review

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, in Beijing, November 11, 2014

    A Thaw in Asia

    Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week raised hope for the near term that the leaders of both countries can ease tensions between Asia's two largest economies.

    Nov 17, 2014 U.S. News & World Report

  • U.S. and China flags

    Engagement and Assurance: Debating the U.S.-Chinese Relationship

    The risks of strategic rivalry with China deserve serious attention. But the best way to avoid the destabilizing effects of military competition is sustained U.S. engagement with China and the region -- precisely what U.S. policy has been seeking to achieve.

    Nov 6, 2014 The National Interest

Publications