Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 05/2014

Understanding Military Innovation: Chinese Defense S&T in Historical and Theoretical Perspective

Thomas G. Mahnken

September 2010

Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California


Given the high stakes involved in China’s rise, both in Asia and globally, understanding the scope and pace of Chinese military modernization is an important undertaking. This brief applies insights from the theory and history of military innovation to the task of understanding China’s development of anti-access and area denial capabilities and provides recommendations on how the United States can improve its ability to detect and recognize Chinese military innovation.