Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga

Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga
Policy Researcher; Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office


M.Sc. in international affairs, London School of Economics and Political Science; M.A. in international affairs, Peking University; B.A. in International Affairs and Chinese Language and Culture, The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs


Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, where he focuses on Asian security issues. He is also a professor of policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research interests include Chinese foreign policy, Chinese military strategy, China-North Korea relations, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Korean Peninsula and INDOPACOM posture.

Prior to joining RAND, Beauchamp-Mustafaga was the editor of China Brief at The Jamestown Foundation, a biweekly publication focusing on strategic China-related issues utilizing indigenous language sources. He has also spent time with the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University (CISS), and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC).

Beauchamp-Mustafaga graduated from the dual-degree M.Sc. in International Affairs program at the London School of Economics and Peking University, and earned a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and Chinese language and literature from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University. He is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and a Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leader. In total, Beauchamp-Mustafaga lived in China for over three years and completed a year each of high school, university and master's education at seven schools in five cities throughout China.

Selected Publications

Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga and Scott Harold, Through the Looking Glass: Chinese Open Source Assessments of North Korea's Ballistic Missile Capabilities, Korea Economic Institute of America, 2020

Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga and Michael Chase, Borrowing a Boat Out to Sea: The Chinese Military's Use of Social Media for Influence Operations, John Hopkins SAIS Foreign Policy Institute, 2020

Watts, Stephen, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Benjamin N. Harris, and Clint Reach, Alternative Worldviews: Understanding Potential Trajectories of Great-Power Ideological Competition, RAND Corporation (RR-2982-NIC), 2020

Mazarr, Michael J., Abigail Casey, Alyssa Demus, Scott W. Harold, Luke J. Matthews, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, and James Sladden, Hostile Social Manipulation: Present Realities and Emerging Trends, RAND Corporation (RR-2713-OSD), 2019

Derek Grossman, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Logan Ma and Michael S. Chase, China's Long-Range Bomber Flights: Drivers and Implications, RAND Corporation (RR-2567), 2018

Cozad, Mark, Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, People's Liberation Army Air Force Operations over Water: Maintaining Relevance in China's Changing Security Environment, RAND Corporation (RR-2057-AF), 2017

Michael S. Chase, Cristina L. Garafola, and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, "Chinese Perceptions of and Responses to U.S. Conventional Military Power," Asian Security, 2017

Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Deciphering PLA Media Commentaries on North Korea: Going Rogue or Staying on Script, Korea Economic Institute of America, 2015

Honors & Awards

  • Bronze Medal Award, ​2021, RAND Corporation
  • Spotlight Award, 2018, Arroyo Center, RAND Corporation


Mandarin Chinese


  • Geopolitical Strategic Competition

    China's Military Aid Is Probably Less Than You Think

    The first comprehensive assessment of Chinese military aid shows that China's $560 million total during 2013-2018 pales in comparison to the U.S. total of over $35 billion in the same period. This should offer advantages in the intensifying U.S.-China strategic competition.

    Jul 26, 2022

    The Diplomat

  • China

    The Signal and the Noise: Understanding China's Military Threats

    Although China's capabilities and communication channels have changed, its fundamental approach to military deterrence signaling as a form of political coercion has not. As Australia-China relations enter a new, more confrontational era, Canberra is likely to be an increasingly frequent target of Chinese deterrence signaling.

    Jun 29, 2021

    The Diplomat

  • Military Aircraft

    Chinese Bomber Flights Around Taiwan: For What Purpose?

    Recent bomber flights near Taiwan represent the most concerted training regimen yet aimed at improving Chinese airpower. China seeks to enhance the PLA Air Force's capabilities and signal Beijing's will to defend its territorial claims against the U.S. and its regional allies and partners, especially Taiwan and Japan.

    Sep 13, 2017

    War on the Rocks

  • China

    China Signals Resolve with Bomber Flights Over the South China Sea

    Since the PCA tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines' case on July 12, invalidating many of China's claims in the South China Sea, Beijing has sought to demonstrate its military strength in the region. The PLAAF's H-6K has played a key role.

    Aug 2, 2016

    War on the Rocks