Roger Cliff, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist


Roger Cliff is an expert in East Asian security affairs. His recent research topics include Chinese military modernization, China's aerospace industry, China's foreign policy, and US strategy towards Asia. He is the sole or lead author of seven books and monographs including "China's Military Power: Assessing Current and Future Capabilities" (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Prior to joining CNA, Cliff was a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Project 2049 Institute and a Senior Political Scientist at RAND Corporation. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Princeton University, an M.A. in Chinese studies from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd College. He is fluent in spoken and written Mandarin Chinese and has spent a total of four years living in China and Taiwan.


November 17, 2018

Roger Cliff says, “China’s redundant ASCM and UAV programs are under development not just by state-owned entities, such as AVIC, CASC, CASIC, and CETC, but also by a variety of start-ups and university-based companies.”

The National Interest: “Why Is China Building So Many Different Types of Weapons?”

August 10, 2018

Roger Cliff lists “four scenarios in which Beijing could ostensibly use force against Taiwan.”

ANI: “How Will China Conquer Taiwan?”

July 18, 2017

The National Interest publishes “North Korea’s Nukes Will Only Go If Kim Gets to Stay” by CNA analyst Roger Cliff, Ph.D.

July 13, 2017

Shephard Media quotes CNA analyst Roger Cliff, Ph.D. in “Analysis: PLA Navy Edges Towards Owning Asia-Pacific”

January 17, 2017

Eurasia Review posts "Chinese Military Reforms: A Pessimistic Take – Analysis" by CNA analyst Roger Cliff, Ph.D.

October 1, 2016

National Defense University Press publishes "Chinese Military Reforms: A Pessimistic Take" by CNA analyst Roger Cliff, Ph.D. in the Joint Force Quarterly 83 (4th Quarter, October 2016)