Dr. Andrew S. Erickson is a Professor of Strategy (tenured full professor) in the U.S. Naval War College (NWC)’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI). As a core founding member, he helped to establish CMSI and to stand it up officially in 2006, and has subsequently played an integral role in its development. CMSI has inspired the creation of other research centers, to which he has provided advice and support. Since 2008 Erickson has been an Associate in Research at Harvard University’John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In 2017 Erickson received NWC’s inaugural Civilian Faculty Research Excellence Award. In 2012 the National Bureau of Asian Research awarded him the inaugural Ellis Joffe Prize for PLA Studies; he currently serves on the selection committee. His publications have won a variety of awards, including the NWC Foundation’s Capt. Hugh G. Nott Prize (first place) and repeated recognition by the Center for International Maritime Security. 

Erickson has taught courses at NWC and Yonsei University. He advises a wide range of student research and theses at NWC, Harvard, and other institutions; and provides curricular guidance and inputs to NWC and other schools. In 2013, while deployed in the Pacific as a Naval Postgraduate School Regional Security Education Program scholar aboard the flagship aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, he delivered twenty-five hours of lectures. He has also accompanied a military air patrol. For over a decade, Erickson has managed NWC’s scholarly research relationship with Japanese counterparts. In 2014 he helped to escort the Commander of China’s Navy and his delegation on a visit to Harvard. He subsequently helped to establish, and to escort the first iteration of, NWC’s first bilateral naval officer exchange program and field studies class in China, which he continues to support. Erickson was a scholar escort on a five-member congressional trip to China in 2011.

Since 2015, Erickson has served on the Naval War College Review’s Editorial Board. From 2012-17 he was an expert contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report (中国实时报), for which he authored or coauthored thirty-eight articles. During 2010-11 Erickson was aPrinceton-Harvard China and the World Program Fellow in residence at Harvard’s Center for Government and International Studies. From 2008-11 he was a Fellow in the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program.  

Erickson has presented extensively at academic, private sector, and government institutions throughout the United States and Asia. He has briefed a broad array of senior U.S. and foreign policy-makers and principals. Within the U.S. Navy: the Chief of Naval Operations, his Executive Panel, the Secretary of the Navy, and leaders throughout the Indo-Pacific. Elsewhere in government: the Secretary of Defense, other Executive Branch officials, and multiple Members of Congress. Erickson testifies periodically before such congressional bodies as the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees and U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He has provided inputs for, and reviews of, multifarious government programs, simulation exercises, and reports; including in support of the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends study. 

Erickson received his Ph.D. and M.A. in politics from Princeton University (concentration: China/comparative politics and international relations) and graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College (majors: history and political science; certificate in international relations). He studied Mandarin in the Princeton in Beijing program at Beijing Normal University’s College of Chinese Language and Culture; and Japanese language, politics, and economics in the year-long Associated Kyoto Program at Doshisha University. Erickson previously worked for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) as a Chinese translator and technical analyst. He gained early experience interning extensively at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Consulate in Hong Kong, Peace Corps Headquarters, Senate, and White House. Erickson has traveled across the Indo-Pacific, from key islands, waters, and airspace to China’s Zhongnanhai leadership compound and remote hinterlands of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Proficient in Mandarin Chinese and conversant in Japanese, he has lived and performed academic work in China, Japan, and Korea.

Erickson’s research focuses on Asia-Pacific defense, international relations, technology, and resource issues. He has envisioned, developed, and led a path-breaking four-plus-year project to uncover China’s critically important but insufficiently understood Maritime Militia; his recently coauthored China Maritime Report No. 1—China’s Third Sea Force inaugurated a new series of CMSI studies. Erickson’s work has been published widely in English- and Chinese-language edited volumes and in such peer-reviewed journals as International SecurityChina QuarterlyJournal of Contemporary ChinaAsian SecurityJournal of Strategic StudiesOrbisAsia Policy, and Acta Astronautica. It has also appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Washington QuarterlyThe National InterestForeign PolicyJoint Force Quarterly, IHS Jane’sGeopolitics ofEnergy, Global Health GovernanceRSIS Commentary, IISS Strategic Dossier, and Peking University’s China International Strategy Review and International & Strategic Studies Report. Erickson has published annotated translations of several Chinese articles on maritime strategy. His coauthored Foreign Affairs.com article, “The Danger of China’s ‘New Type of Great-Power Relations’ Slogan,” has been read widely in U.S. and Asian policy circles. Erickson’s National Interest article “China Reveals Two ‘Carrier-Killer’ Missiles” received more than 65,000 page views in its first 24 hours online. His RealClearDefense piece “What Sort of Navy America Needs” registered 60,000 page views in its first day online. 

Erickson is the author of the book Chinese Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile Development (Jamestown Foundation/Brookings Institution Press, 2013). He is coauthor of two other books: Gulf of Aden Anti-Piracy and China’s Maritime Commons Presence (Jamestown/Brookings, 2015) and Assessing China’s Cruise Missile Ambitions (National Defense University Press, 2014). He has coauthored three additional volumes: Charting China’s International Security Activism(Center for a New American Security, 2015) and the CMSI monographs Chinese Antipiracy Operations in the Gulf of Aden (2013) and Chinese Mine Warfare (2009). Erickson is the editor of, and a contributor to, two volumes: Chinese Naval Shipbuilding (Naval Institute Press/NIP, 2016) and Proceedings of the 47th History Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics (Univelt, 2015). He is coeditor of, and a contributor to, nine volumes. This includes six (in addition to Chinese Naval Shipbuilding) of NIP’s seven “Studies in Chinese Maritime Development” books, for which he is the series editor; comprising China’s Maritime Gray Zone Operations (forthcoming 2019), Chinese Aerospace Power (2011), China, the U.S., and 21st Century Sea Power (2010), China Goes to Sea (2009), China’s Energy Strategy (2008), and China’s Future Nuclear Submarine Force (2007); as well as Basing and Forward Presence in the Asia-Pacific (NIP, 2014), the CMSI volume China’s Near Seas Combat Capabilities (2014), and the NWC Newport Paper China’s Nuclear Force Modernization (2005). 

Erickson’s work has been cited widely in scholarly publications and reports from the U.S. government and think tanks such as CSIS and RAND. He has been quoted extensively in numerous newspapers, magazines, and online sources, including Science, WiredThe BBCThe Financial Times, Aviation Week & Space Technology, The Nelson Report, BloombergTheEconomist, Xinhua, China Daily, The New YorkerTimeDer Spiegel, The Washington PostFortune, The Times of India, El País, NewsweekThe Straits TimesDefense NewsLe MondeChina Radio InternationalAerospace America, and The New York Times. Erickson’s work is also featured in a broad range of print, wire service, television, radio, and Internet media. He has published op-eds with CBS and the Asahi Shimbun (Japanese- and English-language editions), and has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, CCTV, NHK, Al JazeeraVoice of AmericaABC News 24Bloomberg TV, National Public Radio, and The John Batchelor Show. He tweets via @AndrewSErickson and is listed among The China Studies Twitterati 50.

Erickson is co-founder of China SignPost™ 洞察中国 <www.chinasignpost.com>, a research newsletter and web portal that covers key developments in Greater China, with particular focus on natural resource, technology, industry, and trade issues. He has coauthored 91 China SignPost™ reports. Analyses have anticipated limitations in the implementation and efficacy of Xi-era reforms (#81), China’s 2015 stock market slump (#89), and a long-run S-curved slowdown in China’s economic growth rate and overall development trajectory (#44). Links to these, and Erickson’s other publications, can be found at China Analysis from Original Sources 以第一手资料研究中国 <www.andrewerickson.com>, a website that posts and curates analyses—many based on Chinese-language sources not previously assessed by foreign observers—to offer insights into China and its impact on the world.

(***Please note: unless otherwise specified, the views posted, reposted, or otherwise expressed on Dr. Andrew S. Erickson’s research websites, social media accounts, and other electronic and print sources are his alone and do not represent the official policies or estimates of the U.S. Navy or any other organization of the U.S. government. Additionally, retweets via Twitter do not imply endorsement in any way. Neither tweets nor retweets should be construed as political statements.***)

Click here for Chinese-language (中文) version of biography.

Click here for Japanese-language (日本語) version of biography.

(Disclaimer: the above English-language biography remains the only authoritative version.)


  • China’s armed forces 
  • Chinese national security and foreign policy
  • China’s maritime and aerospace activities
  • Chinese defense science, technology, and industry
  • Japan/Indo-Asia-Pacific security and international relations
  • Maritime and aerospace technology development, history and current status
  • Energy, resources, and geostrategy
  • Military basing and power projection
  • Sino-American relations and contemporary policy issues
  • Open source information acquisition, curation, analysis, and dissemination

Contact Information


Professor of Strategy 战略学教授
China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI)

Strategic and Operational Research Department 战略与战役研究系
U.S. Naval War College 美国海军军事学院
686 Cushing Road 库欣路686号
Newport, RI 02841-1207 美国罗德岛州, 新港

Associate in Research 研究员
John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Harvard University 哈佛大学
1730 Cambridge Street 剑桥街1730号
Cambridge, MA 02138 马萨诸塞州, 剑桥

Co-Founder, China SignPost™ “洞察中国” 联合创始人

Recent Publications

January 2015|Assessing China's Power|Andrew Erickson
September 2013|International and Strategic Studies Report, Center for International and Strategic Studies|Andrew Erickson, Austin M. Strange