Dr. Sarah Kirchberger

Department Manager

Holstenbrücke 8-10, 24103 Kiel
Phone: +49 431 979998-67
Telefax: +49 431 979998-59

Center for Asia-Pacific Strategy and Security

Research focus

  • Transatlantic cooperation regarding China
  • Maritime security in the Asia-Pacific
  • China's military development
  • Cross-strait relations and other territorial conflicts in East and Southeast Asia
  • Transnational arms development in Asia




Publications (Selection)


  • Kirchberger, Sarah: Hu Yaobang, in: Brown, Kerry (Hrsg.), Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography Vol. IV, Great Barrington/Mass: Berkshire Publishing 2016, S. 191–198.
  • Kirchberger, Sarah: Russia – China – Ukraine: A military-industrial triangle, paper presented at the ISA Annual Convention 2016 at Atlanta, USA, 16.-19. March 2016.
  • Kirchberger, Sarah: Assessing China's Naval Power: Technological Change, Economic Constraints, and Strategic Implications. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer 2015. https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783662471265
  • Kirchberger, Sarah: Taiwan as Utopia? Mainland Chinese perceptions of Taiwan’s postwar transformation in the history monthly Yanhuang Chunqiu, in: Oriens Extremus 54, 2015, S.125–162. http://oriens-extremus.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/OE-54-6.pdf
  • Kirchberger, Sarah: Maritime Muscle in the South China Sea: What next after the Spratly islands sail-by?", Policyforum.net, 6 November 2015. http://www.policyforum.net/maritime-muscle-in-thesouth-china-sea/.
  • Kirchberger, Sarah: Sino-Pakistani Naval Shipbuilding Cooperation: India Concerned Over China – Pak Partnership, in: Indian Military Review, vol. 6(9), 2015, S. 42–43.
  • Kirchberger, Sarah: Evaluating Maritime Power: The Example of China, in: Fels, Enrico/Kremer, Jan-Frederik/Kronenberg, Katharina (Hrsg.), Power in the 21st century. International Security and International Political Economy in a Changing World, Series: Global Power Shift, Berlin et al.: Springer 2012, S. 151–175.
  • Kirchberger, Sarah: China's rising naval power and its impact on global power shift, paper presented at the ISA Annual Convention 2011, Montreal, Canada, 16.-19. March 2011.


In the Media (selection)


Lectures and Presentations (selection)


  • "Russian – Chinese Strategic Coordination in the Pacific – how far could it go?", presentation at the Maritime Monday #4: Russia's Naval Theatres: Pacific ambitions and their implications, The Russia Strategic Initiative & IISS, 29 July 2020.
  • "Military innovation in the maritime domain: whither China in the 2020s?", lecture at the TOChina Summer School 2020, Turin, 30 June 2020.
  • "Regional Interests: Taiwan", lecture at the CIOR Seminar 2020 "China: Future Threat or Partner?", Bonn, 24 February 2020.
  • "China's Rise - Assessing Economic and Strategic Challenges", presentation at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Loisach Group Meeting - DEU-USA Strategic Dialogue at the Munich Security Conference, Munich, 13 February 2020.


  • "Assessment of Challenges Posed by China's Rise", presentation at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Loisach Group Meeting, Berlin, 10-11 December 2019.
  • „The West under Pressure: the External Dimension“, presentation at the Weimar Transatlantic Forum „Images, Perceptions and the Future of the West“, Genshagener Schloss, 25.-26 November 2019.
  • „Extended Deterrence in Europe and Asia”, presentation at the conference „Extended Deterrence in Europe and Northeast Asia: A comparative approach“, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 18 November 2019.
  • „Weaponisation of AI in the Maritime Environment“, presentation at the RSIS, IFS & ISPK Workshop „Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and the Future of Defence: The Role of Ethics, Norms, and Governance“, Singapore, 11-12 November, 2019.


  • „The Role of China and the PLAN in the Baltic Sea“, presentation at the Baltic Sea Strategy Forum, Kiel, 30 October 2019.
  • „Military-strategic drivers of China's assertiveness in the SCS: Space and naval development“, China Centre Seminar Series lecture, University of Oxford, 17 October 2019.
  • „Chinese and Russian reactions to 5th generation air power“, presentation at the Atlantic Council panel „Fifth Generation Air Power in the Transatlantic Battlespace“, Canadian Embassy, Berlin, 07 October 2019.
  • „The Greatest Geo-Economic Challenge of our Time? Europe and the Belt and Road Initiative“, presentation at the Cambridge Roundtable on European Order, Cambridge/UK, 06-07 September 2019.
  • „Global stakes: European perspectives“, presentation at the 8th Annual South China Sea Conference, CSIS, Washington DC, USA, 24 July 2019.
  • „Matching China's Geopolitical Strategy“, presentation at the Fourth Walther Leisler Kiep Symposium by Global Bridges „China as a Global Competitor: Implications for Europe“, Berlin, 25 June 2019.
  • „Cross-domain challenges in the maritime domain“, lecture (with Patrick O’Keeffe) at the Forum on Geopolitics, University of Cambridge, 21 May 2019.
  • „China’s military power and global security footprint“, presentation at the Franco-German closed-door workshop „Promoting a European China Policy“, MERICS/Institut Montaigne, Paris, 11-12 April 2019.
  • „Maritime Power and Future of Conflict in the 21st Century: The case of the subsurface domain“, presentation at the IFS & RSIS Military Transformations Programme Workshop “Defence Innovation and the 4th Industrial Revolution: Security Challenges, Technologies, and National Responses” Singapore, 19-20 February 2019.
  • „The Transformation of China’s People‘s Liberation Army“, guest lecture, Institute for Sinology, University of Würzburg, 16 January 2019.


  • „Geopolitics in East Asia: The Security Landscape“, presentation at the EIAS Conference „East Asian Geopolitics and Security“, Brussels, 18 December 2018.
  • „Security and Defence - Towards New Perspectives for Cooperation“, presentation at the CCI France-Japon's French-Japanese Centenary Business Summit „Investing for Our Future“, Tokyo, 19 November 2018.
  • „Limits of Power: China and Geography Constraints“, presentation at the 5th Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, Emirates Policy Center, Abu Dhabi, 10-12 November 2018.
  • „Modernizing the PLA: Developments in the Maritime & Space Domains“, guest lecture, Gonville & Caius College & Cambridge Association for Political Economy of China (CAPEC), University of Cambridge, UK, 31 Oct 2018.
  • „Maritime Security and Balance of Powers in East Asia“ and „China's Strife for Economic and Military Power“, presentations at the MS&D, Hamburg, 06 September 2018.
  • „The military logic behind China‘s assertiveness in the SCS: Space and naval development“, presentation at German/Australian expert exchange Workshop, Canberra, 31 August 2018.
  • „Hybrid warfare and Chinese fortifications in the SCS in light of harbour security considerations“, presentation at the EDA/Hybrid CoE workshop „Harbour Protection Under Hybrid Threat Conditions“, Brussels, 30 May 2018.
  • „Military-Strategic Factors Shaping China’s Interest in the South China Sea“, presentation at the workshop „Maritime Asia: The Securitization of the China Seas“, University of California at Berkeley, 13-15 May 2018.
  • „A Tangled Web: China, Russia, Ukraine“, lecture at the Third Columbia University/SIPA E-Workshop „Defense Industries in the 21st Century: A Comparative Analysis“, 02 May 2018.
  • „Murky Waters: Maritime Security in the East and South China Seas“, presentation at an Atlantic Council panel discussion, Washington D.C., USA, 30 March 2018.


Awards and scholarships


  • European Institute for Chinese Studies (EURICS) Fellowship (March.May 2020)
  • PhD scholarship, German National Academic Foundation (2000-2003)
  • Special scholarship for study abroad, German National Academic Foundation (1997/98)
  • Undergraduate scholarship, German National Academic Foundation (1994-1999)

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