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China's army changes tactics to prepare for war on a new battlefield

chinese army china soldier hong kong A Chinese People's Liberation Army soldier stands guard at the entrance to the PLA's Hong Kong Garrison headquarters in Hong Kong.
Credit: AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as the country embarks on military reform, state media said on Saturday.

Xi heads the Central Military Commission, which controls the 2.3-million-strong armed forces, the world's largest, and is stepping up efforts to modernize forces that are projecting power across disputed waters in the East and South China Seas.


During a meeting with the ruling Chinese Communist Party's Politburo, Xi said China "must vigorously promote military innovation" but warned it will be difficult.

"When you compare military innovation to other forms of innovation, the demands are greater and there will be a higher degree of difficulty," Xi was quoted as saying.

"Faced with the severe challenges to our national security and stability and the deep-seated contradictions and problems with reform, it is even more pressing that we greatly liberate our ideas and concepts, have the courage to change our fixed mindsets of mechanized warfare and establish the ideological concept of information warfare."

Recent Chinese computer attacks:

  • May: U.S. authorities charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets.

  • July: A hacking attempt on a sensitive Canadian government computer network was similar to attacks mounted by an elite unit of the Chinese army based in Shanghai, according to a cybersecurity expert.

  • China has denied those charges, saying it is also a victim of cyber attacks.

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