Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
China Initiative

Lyle Goldstein ─ The Hard School: China Prepares for Amphibious Warfare in the Taiwan Strait

Thursday, March 23, 2023

12:00pm – 1:30pm

McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street

Increasing tensions across the Taiwan Strait have prompted many strategists to debate the nature of China’s amphibious warfare capabilities. While it is often noted that Beijing’s armed forces lack major, recent experience in that domain, this research reveals that Chinese strategists have undertaken intensive and systematic investigation of foreign experiences, including with respect to the most classic cases, such as the Normandy invasion. This study represents a first attempt to survey such Chinese strategic writings. The presentation will also review relevant revelations from the Nov 2022 Pentagon report on Chinese military power.

Read Goldstein's recent Asian Security article, "The hard school of amphibious warfare: examining the lessons of the 20th century’s major amphibious campaigns for contemporary Chinese strategy."

Lyle J. Goldstein is Visiting Professor at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. At Brown, he is investigating the costs of great power competition with both China and Russia in association with the Costs of War Project at Watson. He is also assisting in the further development of Watson’s China Initiative.

Goldstein serves concurrently as Director of Asia Engagement at the Washington think-tank Defense Priorities, which advocates for realism and restraint in U.S. defense policy. In this role, he is overseeing a range of studies that evaluate U.S. foreign policy and defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, including with respect to such key flashpoints as the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, the Sino-Indian border, and also the status of Taiwan. He maintains expertise in both Chinese and Russian military strategic development, and also has expertise on particular issues in the China-Russia relationship, including especially the Arctic and also Central Asia.

In Oct 2021, Goldstein retired after 20 years of service on the faculty at the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) after being promoted by his peers to the rank of Full Professor. During his career at NWC, he founded the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) and has been awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal for this achievement. He has written or edited seven books on Chinese strategy and continues to work on a book length project that examines the nature of China-Russia relations in the 21st century.

Goldstein has his PhD from Princeton, an MA from Johns Hopkins SAIS, and his BA from Harvard. He is fluent in both Chinese and Russian languages, and is now studying Korean. He tweets regularly on both Chinese and Russian strategic matters at @lylegoldstein.