Sea Control 346 – China’s Gray Zone Tactics with Cristina Garafola

By Jared Samuelson

Cristina Garafola joins the program to discuss Chinese gray zone tactics, which countries they target with which tactics, and how the U.S. and its allies could counter these measures. Cristina Garafola is an associate policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on the ramifications of China’s rise for its global status, particularly with respect to defense issues, China’s influence on regional actors, and implications for the United States.

Sea Control 346 – China’s Gray Zone Tactics with Cristina Garafola


1. “A New Framework for Understanding Chinese Gray Zone Tactics,” by Bonny Lin, Cristina Garafola, et al. RAND Corporation, 2022. 
2. “Gaining Competitive Advantage in the Gray Zone,” by Lyle Morris, Michael Mazarr, et al. RAND Corporation, 2019.
3. “Competing in the Gray Zone: Russian Tactics and Western Responses,” by Stacie Pettyjohn and Becca Wasser, RAND Corporation, 2019. 
4. CMSI China Maritime Report #1: “China’s Third Sea Force, The People’s Armed Forces Militia: Tethered to the PLA,” by  Conor Kennedy and Andrew Erickson, U.S. Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute, March 24, 2017. 

Jared Samuelson is Co-Host and Executive Producer of the Sea Control podcast. Contact him at

This episode was edited and produced by David Suchyta.

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