Sarah Kirchberger

Dr Sarah Kirchberger is the Head of Asia-Pacific Strategy and Security at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK). She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and since 2020 serves as the Vice President of the German Maritime Institute (DMI). She holds a PhD and an MA in Sinology from the University of Hamburg. 

Kirchberger has previously been an Assistant Professor of Contemporary China at the University of Hamburg and a Senior Research Associate at the Ruhr University Bochum. During 2007-2010, she worked as a naval analyst in the surface vessel division of shipbuilder TKMS Blohm+Voss. 

She is the author of Assessing China’s Naval Power: Technological Innovation, Economic Constraints, and Strategic Implications (Springer, 2015) and co-author of The China Plan: A Transatlantic Blueprint for Strategic Competition(Atlantic Council, 2021). Other recent research focuses on Russia-China relations, in particular their defence-industrial cooperation; 4IR technologies in the maritime sphere; China’s military and defence-industrial development; and the strategic importance of the South China Sea for China’s naval and space strategy. Earlier published work includes analyses of the Chinese and Taiwanese political systems and political reform processes and on Mainland Chinese perceptions of Taiwan’s democratic transformation.