RAND's China experts have examined a wide range of issues, including the country's military, political, and trade relations, especially with Taiwan and Japan; its environmental, economic, and health policies and prospects; and its international business and intellectual property (copyright) challenges.

  • U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice listens as Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi speaks during a meeting in Beijing, China, July 25, 2016, photo by Mark Schiefelbein/Reuters/Pool


    Exploring the Course and Consequences of a Sino-U.S. War

    Jul 28, 2016

    Premeditated war between the United States and China is very unlikely. But the danger that a mishandled crisis could trigger hostilities cannot be ignored. A new analysis illuminates various paths a war could take and their possible effects.

  • U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the start of the climate summit in Paris, November 30, 2015, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters


    Getting to Yes with China in Cyberspace

    Mar 22, 2016

    The tensions that divide the United States and China apply just as much to cyberspace as to relations in the physical world. Can the two countries achieve meaningful outcomes through formal negotiations over cyber norms and rules?

Explore China

  • U.S. President Barack Obama (center) poses for photo with numerous Asian leaders before the East Asia Summit in Vientiane, Laos, September 8, 2016


    The Legacy Obama Leaves His Successor in Asia

    The U.S. pivot to the Indo-Pacific has improved U.S. popularity and influence, and positioned it for gains in regional economic, diplomatic, and military cooperation. The incoming administration would be wise to embrace these gains and build on them to preserve and further develop U.S. interests and influence in the region.

    Oct 26, 2016

  • A U.S. Air Force B-52 carries the X-51 Hypersonic Vehicle for a launch test from Edwards AFB, California, May 1, 2013


    The Future of Hypersonic Weapons

    Russia and China appear to be developing hypersonic weapons. But the United States should make decisions about whether to develop its own hypersonic weapons in a vacuum.

    Oct 20, 2016

  • Report

    Assessing the Training and Operational Proficiency of China's Aerospace Forces: Selections from the Inaugural Conference of the China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI)

    This volume contains revised versions of three presentations on Chinese aerospace training and operational competence issues from a June 2015 China Aerospace Studies Institute (CASI) conference.

    Oct 20, 2016

  • Journal Article

    China's Medical Savings Accounts: An Analysis of the Price Elasticity of Demand for Health Care

    This study, based on data from a medical savings account pilot program in China, suggests that growth of MSAs in the US might contribute to cost control by reducing demand for medical care.

    Oct 18, 2016

  • 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

  • News Release

    U.S. Military Facing Challenges as Other Nations Improve Abilities to Deny Access to Territory

    A United States military strategy based primarily on an ability to deploy troops anywhere it feels necessary will face heightened costs and risks in critical regions by 2025, owing to other nations' improved abilities to deny the U.S. access.

    Oct 12, 2016

  • Supply sergeants for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment's field artillery troop defend a hilltop as a 16th Sustainment Brigade logistics supply column passes by during exercise Saber Junction 15


    As Anti-Access and Area Denial Capabilities Grow, U.S. Needs New Strategy

    A U.S. military strategy based primarily on an ability to deploy troops anywhere deemed necessary will face greater costs and risks in critical regions by 2025. Why? Other nations will get better at denying access. The United States should embrace a multipronged strategy to prevent aggression.

    Oct 12, 2016

  • Young Chinese faithful shelter from the sun as Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican, May 22, 2016


    Taiwan Should Not Worry About the Vatican

    Concerns are growing in Taipei over whether the Holy See intends to switch its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China. Beijing could be entertaining Vatican requests not out of genuine interest in reestablishing relations, but to put Taiwan on edge.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • World map graph with arrows pointing downward


    Conversations at RAND: Howard J. Shatz on the International Economy

    One of the contentious issues in this year's presidential election campaign is the U.S. role in the global economy. A RAND panel offers strategies for the next president, who will face a troubled landscape.

    Oct 5, 2016

  • An image of the China Scorecard, a ranking of U.S. and Chinese military capabilities


    America and China: Rivalry and Partnership

    Under President Xi Jinping, China is modernizing its military and growing more assertive both regionally and globally. But while Chinese leaders will not shy away from confrontation with the United States or its regional neighbors, they also believe that to maintain stability and prosperity, they have no choice but to get along with the United States. Thus, the United States faces an acute strategic dilemma: a U.S.-China relationship characterized by a complex mix of competition and cooperation & and plagued by mutual suspicion and distrust. For example, how should the nation react to Chinese maritime territorial claims? Over-reaction risks escalation while under-reaction risks emboldening China, which could mistake U.S. moderation for weakness or declining commitment to the Asia-Pacific.

    Sep 30, 2016

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    PLA Reforms and Their Ramifications

    The newest round of reforms to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is expected to improve the military's efficiency, warfighting capability, and political loyalty, but entrenched interests within the PLA could lead to reluctance within the military to adjust to new realities.

    Sep 23, 2016

  • Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen waves during her inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan, May 20, 2016


    A Bumpy Road Ahead for China-Taiwan Relations

    Taiwanese President Tsai has issued numerous political overtures to Beijing, yet Chinese President Xi has demonstrated a clear reluctance to accept her as a credible partner. Instead, he has turned up the heat on Tsai in an attempt to undermine her administration.

    Sep 22, 2016

  • Shenyang_J-31_(F60)_at_2014_Zhuhai_Air_Show


    From Theory to Practice: People's Liberation Army Air Force Aviation Training at the Operational Unit

    This report seeks to assess People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) pilot proficiency by examining training held at operational aviation units in the context of the larger PLAAF training system.

    Sep 20, 2016

  • 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

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un waves during a parade at Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang, July 27, 2013


    What to Look for in North Korea's Fifth Nuclear Test

    North Korea's fifth and biggest nuclear test could have implications for U.S. policy toward the North, China's role in the region, and the stability of the Kim regime.

    Sep 9, 2016

  • Chinese HQ-9 launcher during China's 60th anniversary parade in 2009


    How Do Chinese Surface-to-Air Missile Forces Train?

    Surface-to-air missile (SAM) forces play a crucial role in Chinese military planning. Recent training activity indicates that PLAAF SAM units' operational readiness and capabilities may vary depending on their location and the time of year.

    Sep 6, 2016

  • People's Liberation Army soldiers take part in a search and rescue exercise near Qilian Yu subgroup in the Paracel Islands, known in China as Xisha Islands, South China Sea, July 14, 2016


    China's Military Reorganization Aims to Tighten Party Control and Strengthen Warfighting Capabilities

    Xi Jinping's sweeping reforms could result in a leaner, more combat-effective PLA that presents a more potent challenge to China's neighbors and to U.S. interests in the region. But even successful reforms will not guarantee victory on the battlefield, and any hypothetical conflict involving the U.S. would carry tremendous risks.

    Sep 6, 2016

  • Report

    Training the People's Liberation Army Air Force Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) Forces

    This report analyzes key trends and themes in China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) surface-to-air missile (SAM) unit training.

    Aug 30, 2016

  • Report

    Overview of People's Liberation Army Air Force "Elite Pilots"

    This report draws on a wide variety of Chinese primary sources to provide an overview of how the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) selects and trains what it calls its elite fighter pilots.

    Aug 24, 2016

  • The U.S. and Japanese flags blend together


    Don't Weaken the U.S.-Japan Alliance, Strengthen It

    As long as the United States and Japan stick together, they should have the strength to deter or, if necessary, defeat the threats they face. But if Washington abandons its alliance commitments, the risk of war will rise and America will be less safe.

    Aug 14, 2016