Lyle J. Morris

Photo of Lyle Morris
Senior Project Associate
Washington Office

Education

M.A. in international affairs, Columbia University; B.A. in international business administration, Western Washington University

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

Lyle J. Morris is a senior project associate at the RAND Corporation, where he focuses on security developments in East and Southeast Asia. He has over ten years of experience researching and leading projects on Asia-Pacific security issues and has published recently on maritime security in the Asia-Pacific, U.S. maritime security capacity building in Southeast Asia, Chinese military modernization, and Chinese engagement in Africa. His articles have appeared in Asia Policy, The Diplomat, The National Interest, The China Brief, Aviation Week & Space Technology, Asia Pacific Bulletin, and U.S. News and World Report. Prior to joining RAND, Morris was the 2010-11 Next Generation Fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and a research intern with the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2004 to 2008, Morris lived in Beijing, China, where he studied Mandarin Chinese at Peking and Tsinghua Universities and later worked at Dentsu Advertising and the China Economist Journal. Morris received his master's degree in international affairs from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where he was the recipient of the George C. Marshall Prize in Strategic Studies for his paper on China's experience with confidence-building measures. He holds a certificate in East Asian Studies from Columbia's Weatherhead East Asian Institute. He recieved his bachelor's degree in international business from Western Washington University.

Selected Publications

Lyle J. Morris, "Obama Doubles-down on Maritime Capacity Building in Southeast Asia," Asia Pacific Bulletin, 2015

Heginbotham, Eric, et al., The U.S.-China Military Scorecard: Forces, Geography, and the Evolving Balance of Power, 1996-2017, RAND (RR-392), 2015

Hanauer, Larry.; Morris, Lyle J., China in Africa: Implications of a Deepening Relationship, RAND Corporation (RB-9760), 2014

Hanauer, Larry.; Morris, Lyle J., Chinese Engagement in Africa: Drivers, Reactions, and Implications for U.S. Policy, RAND Corporation (RR-521), 2014

Morris, Lyle J., "China's Foreign Policy Balancing Act," The Fletcher Forum, 2013

Morris, Lyle J., "Taming the Five Dragons? China Consolidates its Maritime Law Enforcement Agencies," China Brief, 13(7), 2013

Hanauer, Larry; Morris, Lyle J., "U.S. and China Aren't Playing Zero-Sum Game in Africa," U.S. News and World Report, 2013

Morris, Lyle J., "Incompatible Partners: The Role of Identity and Self-Image in the Sino-U.S. Relationship," Asia Policy, 13, 2012

Commentary

  • A Korea Coast Guard ship

    South Korea Cracks Down on Illegal Chinese Fishing, with Violent Results

    In the Yellow Sea and elsewhere, Chinese fishermen have shown an increasing willingness to challenge attempts by coast guards to enforce fishing laws. Earlier this week, after repeated warnings, the Korea Coast Guard opened fire on a Chinese vessel fishing illegally in Korean waters.

    Nov 4, 2016 The Diplomat

  • A PLAAF B-6K strategic bomber at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, October 25, 2016.

    China's PLAAF Pilot Training Program Undergoes Major Overhaul

    China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has made great strides in recent years to transform its pilot training program. PLAAF leaders understand many of the institutional and cultural weaknesses that impede effectiveness and are taking measures to address them.

    Oct 27, 2016 The National Interest

  • Pilots of China's J-10 fighter jet from a PLAAF Aerobatics Team prepare before a media demonstration at the Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, November 24, 2015

    China's Air Force Is Fixing Its Shortcomings

    The prevailing view among Western observers is that Chinese fighter pilots lack the tactical mindset to engage and prevail in a dynamic, unscripted combat environment. But the PLAAF appears to have undertaken major reform in how it trains its pilots.

    Oct 14, 2016 Aviation Week & Space Technology

  • A Chinese Coast Guard vessel is pictured on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, part of the Spratly Islands, in the South China Sea, March 29, 2014

    The Crucial South China Sea Ruling No One Is Talking About

    The PCA found in July that China's coast guard had breached several UNCLOS articles governing safety and navigation at sea. Hopefully, this will help build a legal case that abiding by basic maritime safety principles is in the interest of all countries, including China.

    Sep 16, 2016 The Diplomat

  • The Indonesian frigate KRI Karel Satsuit Tubin in an exercise with the USCG Cutter Sherman, July 15, 2006

    Indonesia-China Tensions in the Natuna Sea: Evidence of Naval Efficacy Over Coast Guards?

    The notion that Southeast Asian countries should employ coast guards instead of navies to enforce maritime laws had been gaining currency. But many of the coast guard fleets lack sufficient capacity to deal with the threats along their coast and in disputed waters in the South China Sea.

    Jul 5, 2016 The Diplomat

  • The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers JS Yamayuki (DD-129) and JS Yamagiri (DD-152) conduct formation drills during a passing exercise

    The Day After: The Fallout from the Philippines Arbitration Case Against China

    What compels compliance with rulings based on international law? Whether or not China will pay a political price for ignoring a U.N. Law of the Sea Convention ruling will to a large degree be determined by how forceful other states respond in the aftermath of court action.

    Jun 30, 2016 The National Interest

  • U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a meeting with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during a summit held at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, February 16, 2016

    The Importance of Sunnylands for U.S.-ASEAN Relations

    The first ever Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held on U.S. soil took place earlier this month. Its success should be measured by the fact that the U.S. prioritized relations with the region enough to host its first summit. It should be regarded as the beginning of a new era in U.S.-ASEAN relations.

    Feb 24, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. President Obama departs after his remarks and a tour of the Philippine Navy's BRP Gregorio Del Pilar at Manila Harbor, Philippines, November 17, 2015

    Obama Doubles Down on Maritime Capacity Building in Southeast Asia

    By contributing to coast guard capacity building by donating ships and funding, the United States has found an important and politically viable avenue to bolster maritme security to partners and allies in Southeast Asia.

    Dec 15, 2015 Asia Pacific Bulletin

  • A J-31 stealth fighter of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force landing

    RAND Conference Examines Chinese Aerospace Training and Leadership

    To help foster a better understanding of the aerospace component of China's military modernization efforts, participants from the U.S. Air Force, the DoD, and the public policy research and academic communities gathered for the inaugural China Aerospace Studies Institute conference.

    Jul 10, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) walk as they arrive to the site of previously burnt ivory, in Nairobi National Park May 10, 2014

    In Africa: U.S. Promotes Security, China Does Business

    Africans require both security and economic growth. Global powers like China and the United States do not need to choose between the two when focusing their foreign policy efforts.

    May 31, 2014 Reuters, The Great Debate blog

  • President Barack Obama and President Macky Sall of Senegal hold a bilateral meeting at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013

    To Help Africa, Do Business There

    Competition from American industry would help drive Chinese firms to be more socially responsible and generate greater benefits for African communities, write Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris.

    Jun 27, 2013 U.S. News & World Report

  • President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with Vice President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China and members of the Chinese delegation following their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, Feb. 14, 2012.

    Agreeing to Disagree About Africa

    The Obama-Xi dialogue offers an opportunity to clarify both countries' interests in Africa and remove a potential irritant to U.S.-Chinese bilateral relations, write Larry Hanauer and Lyle Morris.

    Jun 6, 2013 U.S. News & World Report

Publications