About the main directions of transformation of the armed forces of China
Material posted: -Publication date: 05-08-2005

The article, based on Chinese official documents and evaluation experts of the Pentagon and of the leading analytical centers of the USA, is given a synthesis of the processes of transformation of the armed forces of China, the aims and objectives of the PLA in the conditions of globalization and the changed after the launch of the US global anti-terrorist operation of military-political situation in the world. Special attention is paid to Informatization of the armed forces of China and Chinese view of the concept of information warfare.

In December 2004, the Chinese military and political leadership, was presented to the next annual address to the world community, reflecting the main trends and ways of development of the system of national defense of China, known in the press as the "White book of the armed forces of China"/1/.

As previously, the main objective of the task was to inform the world community "first hand" about the main directions and ways of ensuring national security, the development of the armed forces of the PRC.

A key feature of the White paper 2004 is the increased attention of Chinese experts to the issues related to ensuring the transformation of the armed forces of China under the influence of the revolution in military Affairs initiated by the processes of Informatization of all spheres of life and activities of modern society.

The authors of "White book" noted that the processes of globalization and Informatization have led to the emergence of several new threats and challenges to the national security of the PRC, which require the appropriate response on the part of the military-political leadership of the PRC. Such an appropriate response can be implemented only with the most modern aspects of military science and security.

As one of the priority tasks of creating new armed forces of China, meets the requirements of time, determined by increasing the rate of transformation of the armed forces. It is assumed to take into account the characteristics and Chinese characteristics development. It is believed that the main focus will be the development of mechanized weapons systems, which will serve as the Foundation of a new and modern systems based on the achievements of Informatization, which in turn, will be the creation of new models of mechanized equipment. The military leadership of China will seek to increase firepower, maneuverability and informatsionnoi, and will accelerate the growth of the combat capabilities of the armed forces in General. The priority directions of development are determined: the Navy, air force and strategic nuclear forces (second artillery).

In addition, in order to ensure that the perception of threats and the successful transformation of the armed forces, China accelerates the development of military science, dual-use technologies and military industry, and also working on the creation of a new interconnected system of military science and industry, efficiently organized and optimized for the most successful implementation of the troops of the findings.

In the interests of a speedy reform of the armed forces, the Chinese government plans to carry out a thorough reform of the system of military-scientific organizations to improve its efficiency and make full use of achievements in military science to create modern systems of weapons and military equipment. The main task is a qualitative and not a quantitative increase in the combat capabilities of the armed forces.

However, it is in the area of research and development, China today is facing serious problems related to the lack of highly qualified personnel, able not only to create new weapons systems, but also to develop a new military doctrine, as efficiently as possible to take advantage of new weapons.

Chinese military experts point out that national defense of China is a guarantee of safety, survival and development of the nation in an ambiguous and highly dynamic environment of modern military-political situation in the world. The main tasks of national defense of China during the first twenty years of the twenty-first century will be to maximize the pace of modernization of all aspects of national defense and the armed forces to ensure national security and unity of the state and to guarantee stability of the process of building a moderately prosperous society by all means available /2/.

1. The Chinese expert military-political situation in the Asia Pacific region and the world at large

According to Chinese experts, /3/, the current international situation continues to undergo profound and multifaceted changes. Despite the fact that peaceful coexistence remains the dominant theme of global development and the international situation in General is stable, the influence of factors of uncertainty, instability and insecurity continues to increase. Against this background, the ongoing processes associated with the formation of a multipolar world and economic globalization. Significant changes occur in the balance of power and influence among the leading players of world politics. New, deep processes of transformation developed in relations among the leading countries of the world. Growing internal competition between these countries for influence in different regions and the world at large. Tendencies of hegemonism and unilateralism have gained new justification, as the struggle for dominance in strategically important areas for strategic resources and strategic dominance continues to determine the character of relations between States. In addition, according to Chinese experts, the Iraqi campaign has had far-reaching impact on the situation in the area of regional and global security. Instability in the world economic development, according to the authors of the White paper increased significantly. There is a growing gap in development between North and South, which implies the emergence of new challenges and threats.

In General, assessing the situation in the world as a stable, Chinese experts identify characteristic trends in the environment associated with the buildup of tension and instability, both in the world in General and in the Asia Pacific region. Highlighted activities of the United States for the reconfiguration of its own forces in the region as well as Japan's activities aimed at the implementation of constitutional reforms that facilitate the use of military force outside the Japanese Islands. In addition, a marked increase in the activity of the United States and Japan prepare to deploy elements of strategic missile defense system.

Separately, Chinese military experts the question associated with the issue of Taiwan. According to Chinese experts, separatist activities to maintain the "Taiwan independence" become the most significant immediate threat to China's sovereignty, territorial integrity as well as peace and stability in the region /4/.

The importance of the Taiwan problem, numerous Chinese military analysts estimated, on the basis of the perception of the Taiwan problem as the problem of the conquest of the most important geo-strategic area, control of which would allow the naval forces of the PLA to move the security perimeter further seaward and improve Beijing's ability to control regional sea route. Maintaining the status quo limits the ability of China projecting military power outside its territorial boundaries, and provides the United States a strategic foothold for the impact on coastal economic centers of mainland China.

Defining your own place in the modern world, China views the US as the country that provides the greatest opportunities for growth in the Chinese economy, especially in the field of Commerce, science and technology. However, this country is the most significant threat to the achievement of the development goals of China. Currently, according to the U.S. Department of defense /5/, China views the United States as the only country that can pose a real military threat to China and the only country that can impose effective economic sanctions against Beijing. Today, Beijing is looking for mechanisms to ensure that bilateral relations with Washington will remain steady and non-confrontational. However, China is actively expanding relations with other powers, especially with Russia, with the aim of creating strategic balances policy of the United States, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Assessing in this way policy and strategy of Washington in the region, Beijing believes that American military intervention in a possible conflict in the region is more and more likely. According to some Chinese experts, the actions of the United States over the past decade has strengthened fears in the Chinese leadership that the United States to eliminate its main geostrategic competitor can address the issue of human rights or humanitarian issues as a pretext for military intervention in the internal Affairs of China. And it could be done as openly and secretly in any internal conflict in China, but most likely to be a conflict in Tibet or Xinjiang-Uighur region.

Considering the United States as the main reference point for their own positioning in the world, Beijing is striving to develop relations with other countries, primarily with Russia (in the framework of the Shanghai cooperation organization), the European Union and Japan, as well as with international organizations (United Nations, etc.), with the aim to expand political and economic ties, but also have the opportunity to influence American policy in the region. Beijing assesses the balance of relations in the "triangle" (China-Russia-US, China-Japan-USA) and seeks to create favourable conditions and opportunities for the promotion of Chinese interests by initiating bilateral tensions between third countries and the United States /6/.

A similar assessment of the situation in the world gives the possibility of Chinese military experts to talk about new opportunities for China to use the volatility of the situation in their own interests. This allows them to qualify the situation in the world though as unstable, but meeting long-term goals of the Chinese leadership.

Anticipating its own development, China is committed to come only from their own capabilities and internal resources, and therefore is not, according to Chinese experts, any real threat to any other country in the world. China needs to maintain peace and stability in the region and the world at large to preserve and possibly increase the pace of development and improve the welfare of its citizens.

2. Assessment of the situation in Asia Pacific and Chinese military strategy of the American military experts

According to American experts, the strategy of balancing between growing China and its huge market, as part of the "American world order", and the appreciation of the Chinese political and strategic requirements in a short time has become impossible. This gives rise to some observers to say that in the coming years, the United States plans to start active work on the internal transformation of the regime in China with the purpose of its adaptation to conditions favorable to US interests in the region /7/.

Experts believe that American military strategy in the coming years will seek to limit the military ambitions of China, to prevent any attempt by Beijing to force or threat of force what he cannot obtain by peaceful means. The major problem remains the threat of Chinese invasion on Taiwan. However, the American strategy will be to consider also other possibilities of China to have a negative impact on American interests in any other region of the world. In this context, the American experts suggest to regard Beijing not just as a regional player, but as a factor of global geopolitics.

In addition, the number of analytical materials notes /8/ that the current goal of Beijing is to maintain a favorable "strategic configuration of power" in the world, in other words, the balance of forces, not the domination of one power of the United States. It is noted that the ATR situation is the result as its own economic and military rise of China and new facts, such as the beginning of a global anti-terrorist campaign the United States after the attacks of September 11, 2001, China considers, according to American experts, the global war on terrorism as providing "strategic moment" to advance their foreign policy goals in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. Such a development entailed a change in strategic assessments of China. In the current environment, Beijing in addition to internal regions of Eurasia and the coastal strip included in its "greater periphery" Central Asia and the middle East, which raises serious concerns among military analysts in the USA. Today, the goals of Beijing include the provision of sustainable access to natural resources and markets, as well as the implementation of the "strategy protivostoianie" by expanding the regional presence and influence, aimed at preserving the balance and continue the competition with the United States /9/.

The most important feature of this new turn in Chinese strategy the us experts point to the interest of Beijing and the strengthening of its presence in the middle East. American experts stress that Beijing pays special attention to the region and the country, which traced the loss of interest and attention from the United States. Energy security is becoming for Beijing one of the most urgent priorities. China's economy is increasingly dependent on sources of energy supplies and this dependence has more influence on energy policy and national security policy of China. However, the Chinese leadership's growing sense of potential threats to national interests because of the rising dependence on seaborne shipments by tankers of middle East oil through the Straits, including the Malacca and Hormuz, controlled currently the naval forces of the United States /10/.

Experts stress that lack of energy is the main challenge for Beijing in the coming years. China is now forced to introduce rationing of energy consumption, slowing economic growth, which the ruling Chinese Communist party sees as key to maintaining power and ensuring internal stability of the country. In these circumstances, Beijing is already planning to create a strategic oil reserve, he also wants to expand the network of pipelines for energy imports, strengthen cooperation with Central Asian States and Iran and Sudan that are of particular concern from the administration of US /11/.

Experts note that, in accordance with political and strategic view, Beijing has focused on retention in the sphere of influence of sources of oil and gas which are most valuable for maintaining the stability of energy imports into the country. This approach entails the prospect of a strategic partnership between China and those States that supply it with oil and gas, primarily the countries of Central Asia and the Middle East. Given that the United States also seeks to cooperate with the oil States of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, in the opinion of American experts, the further development of this conflict of interest may soon lead to a conflict of interests between China and the US /12/.

3. The main threats and challenges to China's national security. The goals and objectives of the national defense of the PRC

Steady preservation of separatist sentiment on Taiwan, the rise of the technological gap with the leading countries of the West, as a consequence of the activation of the processes of transformation of the armed forces under the impact of revolution in military Affairs and the emergence of new challenges and threats related to the continuation of economic globalization and the US desire to maintain a unipolar world – all these trends will have, according to Chinese analysts, a significant impact on the security of China in the coming decades.

The main objectives of China and tasks in maintaining national security are defined by the authors of "White book" in accordance with their importance as follows:

  1. To prevent possible aggression, to stop the trends of separatism and to achieve the reunification of the country, China will take all measures to defend national sovereignty, territorial integrity and Maritime rights.
  2. With the aim of ensuring conditions for national development, China will seek to continue its comprehensive economic and social development to achieve a sustainable increase in the aggregate power of the state.
  3. To ensure the sustainable modernization of national defense in accordance with global trends in military science, China will strive to improve the ability of national defence to the increasing pace of the revolution in military Affairs.
  4. With the aim of preserving political, economic and cultural rights and interests of Chinese citizens, China's armed forces will tend to eliminate the country of crime of all kinds and the maintenance of public order and social stability in the country.
  5. To maintain an independent foreign policy in the new conditions in international relations China will strive for mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination in order to ensure long-term and favourable international environment.

The characteristic feature reflecting the Chinese characteristics in military strategy, is that the military-political leadership of China continues to consider the stability of the internal situation in the country is one of the strategic tasks of the armed forces of China. The Chinese leadership believes that internal instability can contribute to intervention from the outside, threaten national unity and economic development of the country.

Since 2001, Chinese analysts identify the main threats to internal security as the "three evil forces — international terrorism, national separatism and religious extremism. Beijing is aware of the significance of the threat posed by ethnic and separatist unrest in Western China and in Tibet, celebrated, and involvement in the unrest of foreign intelligence services. In addition, Beijing is facing internal challenges to the stability associated primarily with a large number of migrants within countries in the number of hired workers, demobilized soldiers, as well as the political dissident movement and widespread rural unemployment and underemployment.

In addition to traditional security concerns, Chinese analysts in recent years have begun to pay more attention to the negative impact on the economic development of China and its internal stability from the global and transnational threats: the AIDS epidemic; international crime and drug trafficking; the rapid spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their delivery systems; environmental degradation and terrorism. China's leadership increasingly aware of the threat of economic and information security, and erosion of national independence as a consequence of globalization. In the short term, according to Chinese experts, these problems will only increase, which is associated with the entry of China into the world trade organization. Although non-traditional security issues have rather weak influence on the priorities of the modernization of the armed forces the next time, Chinese experts recognize that if you leave these problems today without sufficient attention, in the long term they can contribute to internal and regional instability and perhaps lead to new and even more acute contradictions and conflicts.

At the same time, despite the abundance of threats that China, according to the authors of "White book" is configured to maintain the national sovereignty and security no matter what scenario will develop, the international situation and what the difficulties and losses this can lead to China.


4. The transformation of the armed forces of the PRC as a reaction to changing military and political situation in the world

Chinese military experts noted a characteristic feature of the present stage of development of the revolution in military Affairs in most developed countries: deepening contradictions in the field of weapons and military equipment, and in the field of martial arts associated with the transformation of modern society with the rapid development of Informatization and the loss of significance of the process of industrialization of the society. The forms of war are subject to a change that is directly related to the transition of society from industrial society to the information /13/.

It is noted that in recent years the role of information in warfare, and the role of modern information weapons systems, and decision support dramatically increased. Computerization has become a key factor in strengthening the combat capabilities of the armed forces. The confrontation between the information systems has become a major modern military conflict. Asymmetric and non-linear operations have become important patterns of operations in modern warfare.

As stated by Chinese experts /14/ today all major world powers are actively pursuing the reorganization of the security and military concepts, accelerate the pace of transformation of the armed forces through the full development of weapons systems based on high technologies, as well as by creating new methods of warfare.

Noting that although the position of China in this multi-faceted, diverse and interdependent world as a whole has improved, experts point to the continuing trend of increasing the total number of new threats, and significantly reduced the time they can predict: often, such threats arise unexpectedly.

Experts say that adaptation to changes in the international strategic situation and an adequate response to new challenges related to the results of the revolution in military Affairs around the world, forcing China to adhere to the strategy of active defense and work to accelerate the revolution in military Affairs with the Chinese characteristics.

Chinese military experts admit that in the foreseeable future China will be unable to stand in direct military confrontation with the United States /15/. This assessment puts the focus in the transformation of the armed forces of the PRC, primarily on measures to prevent effective intervention by the USA, as well as preventing access to possible theater of war to their superior air and naval forces. This includes the use of Chinese military asymmetric solutions instead of direct military confrontation with the United States. In the literature mentions some possible methods of asymmetric actions, including the development of the concepts of the so-called "assassin's Mace" weapons and "Kozyrna Karta" /16/.

The concept of "Mace assassin" is not new to China. However, since 1999, this term has become the most often appear in Chinese publications on security, especially in the context of the fight against the United States in the Taiwan conflict. However, foreign military experts is not known what actually klassificeret this concept. According to some specialists, /17/, this concept is likely to include the use of modern weapon systems and technologies related to information warfare, ballistic and anti-ship cruise missiles, a modern multi-role fighters, submarines, anti-satellite systems combat and air defense.

The Chinese concept of the weapon a "trump card" doesn't affect certain weapons systems and technology. It includes, according to some experts, /18/, the so-called "intangible concepts" such as the concept of "people's war", the concept of information and information-psychological war as a deterrent against a possible invasion of China or "economic and trade diplomacy" as a means of increasing China's competitiveness relative to the United States in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to American military experts /19/, in 2003-2004, in a number of areas of the military industry and science have been major changes that resulted in a significant increase in China's military capabilities.

So, according to experts, in the political sphere, Chinese military and political leadership and analytical community carefully studied the experience of the opposing sides ' actions during the aggression against Iraq.

The result of in-depth study of combat experience resulted in redefining Chinese political and military leadership of some key provisions of the national military strategy. So, the Chinese military realized that supremacy in the air and powerful air force is able to lead to the desired political outcome to the conflict. High speed of advance of ground forces, as well as the activities of special forces of the coalition forces in solving the problem of targeting, forced military experts in Beijing to rethink the role and place of precision-guided weapons enhanced range, the use of which does not depend on the actions of land forces during the conflict. In addition, the Chinese military experts decided to strengthen the role of psychological operations and air strikes and special forces actions, the purpose of which is the highest military-political leadership of the enemy, his ability to assess the situation and to control the armed forces and his will to win.

Interoperability of coalition forces has strengthened the desire of the military-political leadership of China as soon as possible to conduct the processes of Informatization of the armed forces, with the aim to improve cohesion and combat capability of the units. The success of joint actions of the coalition forces confirmed the determination of the Chinese leadership to improve the conduct of joint operations, the PLA through the creation and deployment of modern systems of command, control, communications and intelligence.

In the field of Economics. Experts say the overall increase in defense spending (see Table.1) first and foremost – an increase of 7% of the cost of buying new weapons systems.

Table 1: Levels of defence expenditures in % of GDP of China (1997-2003) /20/

Years 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
The percentage 1.09 1.19 1.31 1.35 1.48 1.62 1.63


American experts note that the announced defense spending is several times smaller than actual defense spending. So, according to American experts, the real cost of the Beijing on the implementation of projects for the transformation of the armed forces exceeded the costs claimed several times and ranged from 50 to 70 billion dollars.

Logistical and material support. In this area it is noted the increased activity of Chinese experts in the creation of a unified system of material support of the armed forces on the example of analysis of activities of a similar system in the army the anti-Iraq coalition.

4.1. The development of systems of command, control, communications and intelligence of the armed forces of China

Recent years are characterized by intensification of work in the field of creation and modernization of systems for control, communications and intelligence of the Chinese armed forces. Experts say the increase in the percentage of using Chinese experts, the most modern information and telecommunications technologies, including fiber optic, microwave and satellite links, digital telephone exchanges and broadband digital communication networks that are the Foundation of any command and control system that meets the requirements of modern military science.

In particular, experts of the RAND Corporation, a leading analytical center of the administration of the United States, noted /21/, that the highest military-political leadership of China is fully aware of the importance and value of modern systems of command, control and intelligence in the conflicts of the XXI century. The military leadership of China carefully studied the experience of using similar systems during conflicts in recent decades, primarily on the example of the Gulf war of 1991, the aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999 and against Iraq in 2003. According to Chinese experts, today electronic communications are essential for economic development and national security of the country. In this regard, in several publications stressed that military electronics is today the Foundation of national defense and wants to make priority development /22, 23/.

The result of the awareness of a priority role of management systems in modern conflicts was the decision to transfer almost all communications systems of the armed forces and the system of government on modern fiber-optic technology as the least susceptible to intrusion and the most noise-immune. Such lines of communication have, in addition, the high bandwidth that provides not only the current but also future needs of the army and the state in the next few years /24/.

Analyzing the dynamics and main directions of modernization of control systems, communications and intelligence of the PLA, experts pay special attention to the development of the Chinese system of target detection in aerospace and warning of aerospace attack, which is created in China since the mid 90-ies of the last century, and includes over-the-horizon station locations is the subject of special anxiety of the military experts United States /25/.

Experts also the decision taken in 1991, the construction of a unified state system of telecommunications, bringing together channels both civil and military purposes, which is important from the point of view of ensuring strategic disguise of development and modernization of the control system of the PLA. The only exception is a dedicated segment of the telecommunications network facilities of the highest level management of the army and government.

RAND experts additionally observed the changes in the General strategy of the modernization of the military and state control in China /26/.

So, the original strategy of modernization of telecommunication network, declared in 1993 included the six core principles of transformation: the transition from analog technology to digital, the transition from electric to fiber-optic cables; the transition from Electromechanical switching to digital switches and PBXs; replacement monofunctional terminal for multi-function; transition from traditional networks to integrated networks and the transition from automated and manual control network to a fully automatic intelligent management of network communication.

In the mid 90-ies was again confirmed the main direction of the improvement and development of communication networks on the basis of fiber-optic cable networks, microwave wireless networks and satellite communication channels. By the year 2000 marked the development strategy was made some changes. In particular, they have added new principles: the transition from the technology of fixed network subscribers connected to mobile subscribers; transition from the priority of using cable and microwave channels to use satellite systems and communication channels; development of telecommunication technologies in support of command and control systems and systems of information warfare; the transition from narrowband networks to broadband communication; integration of regional and interregional networks into a single global communications network; the transition from the use of specialized military communication network to the use of communication networks, integrating most of the channels for civilian and military purposes, as well as the transformation of the telecommunications network for military use in a military information network.

Experts point out that, since 1985, the most active telecommunications infrastructure, the PLA has modernized and developed, primarily in the North-Western parts of the country and Tibet /27, 28, 29/. So in 1998, in the North-Western parts of the country were delivered and deployed in places of permanent deployment of a large number of modern high-tech telecommunications equipment, including digital PBX trunking communication system, a station, satellite communication, optic fiber communication lines and more.

The General background of scale transform systems of control, communications and intelligence of the Chinese armed forces experts note a growing interest in issues of information security and information protection.

Thus, in some Chinese sources, has drawn attention to the emergence in recent years of the phenomenon of 'information colonialism", which is interpreted as the operation of Chinese information space of other countries due to the widespread use of imported information technology and high-tech machinery and equipment.

Chinese experts argued that without an independent and modern information systems, the country will never have true national independence and sovereignty /30/. In this regard, among Chinese military experts discussed the idea that the army took on another function — that of protection of information systems of the country.

In General, experts note a significant improvement in recent years, qualitative and quantitative indicators of the system of command and control, communications and intelligence of the Chinese armed forces. According to some at the moment upgraded line of about 85% of the key units of the PLA and about 65% of the units of coastal defense and border troops. Experts stress that in subsequent years, Chinese military and political leadership will continue to take active steps to improve and modernize the system of control, communications and intelligence of the PLA.

4.2. Organizational measures for solving the problem of the transformation of the armed forces of China

The successful implementation of the transformation program of the Chinese armed forces prevents, in the opinion of Chinese experts /31/ insufficient number of highly skilled specialists in all branches of the military economy and science.

In order to resolve this issue, the Chinese developed, and since August 2003, implemented a program to identify and comprehensive promotion of talented scientists and specialists. Provides a system of benefits and incentives to professionals working on the creation of new types of weapons. The goal of the program is to try to equip all levels of a state and military leadership of the country in the next twenty years people, realize the depth and importance of the processes of transformation, and completely owning all the features of modern military science and science of public administration in the new environment. With the same purpose, a program of improving the system of training of military specialists into military educational institutions of China, so that every soldier had a clear idea about the developments. This task is dedicated and regular exercises of units and formations of the PLA, which worked through the coherence and order of interaction in the conditions of modern warfare.

The program assumes that after one or two decades China will have a large contingent of highly skilled professionals at all levels of the military and state administration, able to perceive a new understanding of the war based on the concept of Informatization, to create truly informatisierung armed forces. In addition, will be prepared by the staff of military experts and staff officers able to perceive the new situation and planning of operations of the armed forces under new conditions. It is also planned to prepare and a contingent of scientists capable of planning and organizing the innovative development of weapons and military equipment, as well as the organization of research in the field of key technologies that could lead to the creation of fundamentally new models of armaments and military equipment. Considerable attention is paid to training technicians with a wide knowledge of new technologies and weapons systems based on new information technologies, and training of personnel of the armed forces the proper use of modern weapons.

It is planned that the project will be implemented in two stages. So, by the end of 2010, it is planned to achieve a high level of training of military personnel needed to implement the transformation of the entire national defence system, as well as to significantly increase the number of highly qualified personnel in the units and divisions of the PLA.

In the next decade, until 2020, it is planned to more fully use our potential for transformation of the armed forces in accordance with the latest military doctrines informatisierung highly mobile forces.

It is planned that a considerable number of military specialists will be trained at civilian universities in China. To date more than 90 such institutions have trained specialists of the PLA for the most popular specialties. In addition, in recent years significantly increased the number of military specialists trained in foreign schools /32/.

In addition, it is planned that in the framework of the national programme in the near future will be developed a policy of providing incentives that encourage graduates and young scientists returning from foreign universities and research centers to participate in the creation of a new system of national defence. For all staff working in the field of modernization of national defense (science and industry), should be provided for measures to increase wages and overall better working conditions and life.

Experts also point to the improvement of training and combat training of troops as a whole, primarily due to the increase in the number of exercises and command-staff games. Special attention is paid to the development of international relations of PLA with armed forces of other countries. So, experts are actively discussing the results of the conducted anti-terrorist exercises of the Shanghai cooperation organization in 2004.

The course of the revolution in military Affairs allows military-political leadership of China to effectively use personnel, helping to reduce the overall size of the armed forces. So, in September 2003, the Chinese government announced the reduction of 200 thousand people in the armed forces by the end of 2005 to maintain the size of the PLA at 2.3 million.

4.3. The development of military science – the most important factor of success in solving the problem of transformation of the armed forces

Developing armed forces, China's aim, according to Chinese experts, the maximum use of achievements of science and technology, creating a scientific and practical Foundation for the years ahead. In addition, the leadership of the armed forces aims to achieve maximum efficiency in the creation of new weapons by the use in their development of fundamental breakthrough achievements of world science.

In an effort to increase the efficiency of the processes of transformation, Chinese authorities expand military cooperation, in order to maximize the experience of other countries in the issues of transformation of the armed forces.

With full independence from external supplies remains the primary objective for the development of Chinese defense industry. While Chinese experts expect 5-10 years to reach the level of development of military equipment, similar to that in the developed countries of the West. However, according to us military experts, to reach the goal in time for the Chinese industry will be very difficult, if not impossible /33/.

Current stage of development of the defense industry of China is characterized by the involvement of a number of different measures, including the import of foreign equipment, technologies, joint research, licensing production; research and development initiative; the expansion and modernization of the existing industrial base.

In particular, the American military experts pay special attention to the analysis of the achievements of Chinese industry in the field of space exploration as the most important sector in the achievement of strategic domination /34/. It is noted that today Beijing is developing military space in a variety of areas, including reconnaissance, navigation, communication, meteorology, use of mini - and micro-satellites, as well as improving the technology of launching a man into space. The main achievements in this area include:

  • The successful launch of China's first astronaut.
  • The launch of new generation for solving the tasks of military communications for heliosynchronous orbit.
  • Orbit insertion of a new optical reconnaissance satellites.
  • Launch prototype of low-orbit satellites military communications is, in the opinion of the U.S. military a key step in the development of the technology of mini - and micro-satellites in China.
  • The results of the research in the field of creation of anti-satellite weapons.

4.4. The development of the microelectronics industry of China – the basis of consciousness modern weapons

According to the results of studies conducted by the audit office of the US Administration /35/ for the last 15 years China has managed to reduce the technological gap with the US in microelectronics and semiconductor technology from 7-10 years to 2 years or less. According to experts, today the Chinese microelectronic industry to produce components of microelectronic devices that just one technological generation behind the most advanced designs.

The transformation program of the Chinese armed forces today focuses mainly on asymmetric action to achieve superiority in a potential conflict. By such means, the implementation of asymmetric actions include, in particular: high-precision weapon of distant radius of action, information warfare, information systems command and control, effective unified air defence system and some other tools or weapons. To reduce the growing technology gap with the leading countries of the West and primarily with the US, Beijing has identified the development of domestic semiconductor and microelectronics industry as one of its highest priorities in the development of the defense industry.

Today microelectronics industry announced by the Chinese leadership as one of the priority directions of ensuring the national security of China. It is expected that in the next 5-10 years to build more than 20 modern factories for the production of semiconductors, each worth over a billion dollars. However, a significant share of investment in the Chinese microelectronics industry are capital European and American companies /36/. In addition, the forecasts of the International Association of semiconductor manufacturers say that by 2010, China will become the world's second largest semiconductor market, and its growth to 2005 will be over 7 billion US dollars.

Beijing stated goal is to become an independent manufacturer of semiconductors for the domestic market, and to develop technologies which are competitive in the world market. This goal is one of the most important in ensuring economic and national security of the country and supported by a 5-year economic plans focused on high-tech industries. China in any way seek to purchase technology to support current and future needs in semiconductors.

Beijing recognizes the special importance of foreign investment in the semiconductor industry.

The PRC government has introduced a number of incentive programs for foreign investors include free land and low taxes. With the aim of development of the domestic microelectronics market in China plans to build over 50 high-tech industrial zones according to the type of the American "Silicon valley". In addition, China is paying increased attention to staff training for its semiconductor industry. A special role is given to the training of senior staff for project management in the development of semiconductor devices and their production. For this purpose, the widely used practice of involving students who returned to China after receiving appropriate professional education in American universities. Chinese managers actively adopt knowledge from Western European and American specialists working for joint ventures in China.

Considering the role and place of microprocessor systems in shaping the modern information society, such a dramatic reduction of the lag in China from the United States, according to American experts /37/, a serious threat to U.S. national security. In this regard, an analysis was conducted of existing export regulations on the supply of equipment and materials for the production of semiconductor devices. Shown the weakness of existing export regulations, allowing export to China the most promising developments in the field of production of semiconductor devices that allows China to develop weapons systems and military equipment. It concludes on the need for early revision of export regulations of China, especially after its accession to the WTO. A special role is given to international organizations and, first of all, Wassenaarse (Wassenaar) Agreement on the control of proliferation of dual-use technology.

4.5. Chinese specifics in information warfare

A number of experts notes that, in recent years, China is implementing its own concept of "Mace assassin" and "weapons trump card" by carrying out persistent and targeted information policy /38/. China's efforts aimed at strengthening its economic state, maintain national unity, a significant improvement in technological and military capabilities, as well as the increasing regional and global influence.

The main condition for successful solution of the tasks is minimal or completely absent a clear and open confrontation, which could draw the attention of Western countries to China and the region as a whole. The aim is achieved by implementation of a unique form of information warfare, effectively using the tactics of deception, disguise and mislead the enemy. According to the American experts /39/, this theory is supported by various sources, which have a direct relationship with Chinese Grand strategy and strategic heritage of China and largely leads to the revision of the boundaries of Western definitions of the concept of "information war".

Particularly it should be noted that this interpretation of the development of the Chinese approach to information warfare is significantly different from the results expressed by the American experts only a few years ago. So, in 2001, the result of identification of Chinese doctrine of information warfare is seen as "frustratingly elusive." Earlier, us experts noted that in the open literature, Chinese experts use definitions are very similar, sometimes exactly like the American vision of information warfare and is often engaged in plagiarism. However, some experts drew attention to the fact that borrowing could actually take place, and much of the debate in China on this issue could be deliberately planned with the purpose of concealment of real intentions and capabilities of China, what makes you perceive it as a large-scale campaign of disinformation. Some experts warn that the United States should be careful not wholly to believe that China views information warfare through the prism of American open publications /40/.

Exploring strategy of China, and the role and place in it the means and methods of information warfare experts faced a number of fundamental differences rooted in cultural difference of Western and Eastern civilizations. According to experts most clearly reflect the differences in the cultures of the ancient logical game, which received wide distribution and recognition in the East and in the West: the West is chess, and for the East — the game of go. Chess suggest the presence of a complete set figures up to the beginning of the fight, while the party of go starts with a clean playing field. In the process of playing chess, the enemy forces decrease in proportion to the loss of individual figures, instead, the strength of the opponents is increased by establishing control over the figures the other opponent. Lasts longer than the game of go, the more sensitive becomes the position of the opponents to mistakes, the greater are the advantages that first able to take advantage of opponent's mistake. The result in chess is the defeat of the enemy army and the death of the king, thus, as a rule, seriously affected and a private army, the result of the party go – establishing control over the greater part of the territory of the playing field, and the strength of the winner is greater, the more was the power of the enemy. An important outcome of this analogy is the realization of the essence of the Eastern strategy of confrontation: the strategy should strive for greater influence at minimum cost while not to destroy the enemy and their own nation in endless fighting, and to use the resources and opportunities of the enemy for their own growth.

Important is that the main purpose is not to win over the opponent at any cost, even at the cost of his complete destruction, but avoiding direct collisions and strategic movements of forces, domination, survival and prosperity of their own people. This approach leaves a viable nation, allowing it to dominate a prosperous world, not above the world of chaos, resentment, and poverty.

As a further confirmation of cultural differences, us experts say: China has not officially published its Grand strategy, however, the analysis of different sources has allowed American experts to identify the two strategic goals of China: the development of "comprehensive national power" and maximizing "strategic configuration of power" called Chinese experts "Shi" to maintain independence and create momentum for strengthening national power.

A great strategy of China in full remains closed to the General public, however, the greatest interest, according to us experts, it is the interpretation of the Chinese "Shi" as in respect of the term no Western equivalent. Linguists interpret it as "the alignment of forces," the "propensity of things" or the "potential born of disposition," which in the hands of highly-skilled strategists can ensure victory over a superior force.

Awareness of the basic principles of China's strategy allows experts to assert that today, China can prevail quite a different view of the US as the global enemy. Most likely based on cultural differences and "strategy", China sees the United States as an obstacle to achieving control and influence in the region and the world at large, however, the victory of China over this enemy is not possible without the use of the resource of the enemy. Given the absolute benefits in cooperation with the United States, primarily in trade and technology – Beijing apparently believes that the United States poses a significant long-term challenge. China's leadership argues that the United States seeks to maintain a dominant geostrategic position, constraining the growth of Chinese power, and, ultimately, their desire will be aimed at the dismemberment and the "Westernization" of China, at the same time preventing the revival of Russia. In addition, China has a negative attitude to the relations with Japan and Taiwan.

In General American analysts suggest that in the short term, China will seek to reduce US influence in the Asia-Pacific region, not while taking a sharp confrontational action in order to avoid open confrontation with superior forces.

Meanwhile, the modern American military doctrine seeks to achieve information superiority over the enemy through massive use of high-tech weapons systems and military equipment supported by an extensive infrastructure of command, control, communications and intelligence, as well as the extensive use of precision weapons to destroy key objectives. The main objective is the destruction of the abilities of the enemy command and control. Information operations are conducted by American troops in support of the traditional kinetic weapons. Based on such doctrine, the purpose of the American military leaders today is to be several steps ahead of the enemy inside his decision cycle, having relevant information and not allowing the opponent to the understanding of the nature of the actions of his troops, to quickly strike the enemy with surgical precision. However, returning to the analogy of chess and weiqi, American military doctrine today is just a different way of presenting a further option how to win in chess.

The main conclusion of U.S. military experts is to ensure that existing today in China, the concept of information war is not fight in the traditional, Western sense of the word. Information of China's actions today go beyond the military sphere, which is more traditional for the West. They mainly are based on achieving favorable for China's development and their positive outcome instead of increasing the power of the technical means or the use of the current vulnerability of U.S. infrastructure. The objectives of the communication actions of China most likely removed in time for decades, in contrast to the existing American tendency to an immediate, but short-term success.

Experts believe that the version that China is currently engaged in an information war "non-Western" forms gets quite a lot of evidence. So, the last time China wants to accumulate as much meaningful information (especially in the field of economy and defense), to protect the private information of decision makers and national unity. The Chinese seek to exploit the information system of their opponent, creating public structures, trying to influence the decision-making process of their opponent. While China tries to hide his own intentions from the West, because Chinese strategists are aware of the advantages of this position: ability to operate a lot more, when the purpose of the action taken is not recognized by the enemy.

If China intends to win without an open confrontation, then he is in the coming years will be carefully selected to adhere to the line of bribery, intimidation, borrowing and stealing every possible advantage, but not in opposition to the West, and without going into open confrontation.

Analysis of the open Chinese literature allowed the authors to identify a number of basic provisions of the Chinese concept of the information war. These include: attacks on computer networks, information operations, economic operations, precision strikes and targeted promotions. Among the most frequently described goals of a possible war were identified five: national security, economic advantage, financial gain, political influence and policy change. In the future we can expect a close weave of all four instruments of national power: the armed forces (national security advantage), economic (financial gain), diplomatic/policy (the policy change) and information (political influence). Thus, any means that enhance the national power, deals by Chinese strategists as a means of confrontation.

Understanding American experts, the Chinese approach to information warfare in the academic circles and communities of experts remains today insufficient to build an adequate strategy to counter China in the information sphere in the coming years.


A characteristic feature of modern stage of transformation of the Chinese armed forces is the realization of the military-political leadership of the country to the fact that as a result of the processes of globalization, the contradiction in military science and technology between the Informatization on the one hand and mechanization, on the other hand, continues to deepen. These processes lead to growing instability and reduce the effectiveness of the use of military force. However, the role of military power in ensuring national security, according to Chinese experts, today continues to occupy a dominant position.

Coalition forces conducted an operation in Iraq in 2003 highlighted the problem with a widening technological gap between developed Western countries and their armed forces and armed forces of countries in the world. This widening technological gap has prompted the Chinese leadership to encourage the PLA to seek "technological leap" with the aim to fully accelerate the acquisition of abilities that increase maneuverability, firepower and accuracy of weapons by the full Informatization of the armed forces.

Chinese experts also believe that the first two decades of XXI century will be a crucial period for the reform and building new relationships in the field of military science, and industry of the PRC. This period should be a smooth interaction of military and civilian industry, balanced military and civilian needs. In the same period, it is planned to carry out modernization of production in key enterprises of the defense industry with the goal of best match their capabilities with the needs of the armed forces.

Chinese experts expect abrupt changes in the quality of research, understanding and planning of the armed forces in the new conditions after saturation of all structures of military and state administration the necessary number of highly skilled professionals.

Long-term program of modernization of the PLA's goal is the creation and development abilities to lead and to win the fleeting high-intensity conflict around the perimeter of the state border of China. Particular attention is paid to the development of military air and naval forces as the main deterrent to possible aggression.

According to some expert estimates, the shift in emphasis in American foreign policy problems-terrorism, reduced foreign pressure on China, opening new opportunities to strengthen its position not only in the region but throughout the world. Responding to a changing military-political situation in the world military-political leadership of China, according to a series of experts, accelerated the pace of reform and modernization of the armed forces aimed at the early solution of the Taiwan problem.

At the same time, a number of actions of the American armed forces, undertaken in recent years (the invasion of Afghanistan, the placement of U.S. armed forces in Central Asia, deepen relations in the field of military cooperation between the US on one side and Pakistan, India and Japan, on the other), led to recognition by China's leadership to the fact that the main goal of the US-led campaign is rapid encirclement of China, it can be blockade and isolation from the outside world.

As noted in a number of forecast studies /41/ made in recent years in the analytical centers of the United States, China is becoming a major economic and military competitor of the United States in the coming century. However, despite the presence of such a serious opponent, the American understanding of the strategic heritage of China, its Grand strategy and the role of information warfare in support of this strategy, according to American experts, is seriously underestimated. Existing today in the US, the level of development of techniques and methods of analysis and forecasting does not fully comprehend the strong and deep impact that Eastern strategic legacy is in the actions of China.

However, as experts stress, despite the fact that in recent years China has achieved significant growth in the military potential at the expense of the supplies to the troops new weapons system, improving combat training of troops and changes to the basic provisions of military strategy, is currently China does not have enough capability to project military power beyond national borders, which does not allow to speak about possibility of a military solution to the Taiwan problem in the coming years.

Thus, I believe the American military experts, the focus is short-term and medium-term actions for the transformation of the General purpose forces of the PLA will focus on the active preparation for a possible escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait with regard to possible intervention in the conflict and the United States. Thus as purposes put in only the superiority over the armed forces of Taiwan, but also the decline of the USA to an early exit from the conflict by causing significant losses. The main emphasis will be placed on the development of asymmetric methods of armed struggle.

Experts emphasize that the lack of balance between global interests of Beijing and its low ability to project force to protect their interests, both on a regional and global scale creates a sense of vulnerability to China, which in turn continues to create tension between China and the United States.


  1. Chinas National Defense in 2004, Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, December 2004, Beijing
  2. Ibid., p. 4.
  3. Ibid., p. 6.
  4. Ibid., p. 6.
  5. U. S. Department of Defense. FY04 report for Congress on the military power of the Peoples Republic of China
  6. Ibid., p. 15.
  7. T. Donnelly. Force Size and Strategy, AEI Outlook, September 2004
  8. U. S. Department of Defense. FY04 report for Congress on the military power of the Peoples Republic of China
  9. Ibid., p. 10.
  10. U. S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 2004 Report to Congress, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
  11. Ibid., p. 6.
  12. Ibid., p. 8.
  13. Chinas National Defense in 2004, Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, December 2004, Beijing
  14. Ibid., p. 7.
  15. Qiao Liang; Wang Xiangsui, Unrestricted Warfare, PLA Literature and Arts Publishing House, 1999, Beijing
  16. Ibid., p. 4.
  17. Toshi Yoshihara, Chinese information warfare: a phantom menace or emerging threat? Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, 2001
  18. Ibid., p. 3.
  19. U. S. Department of Defense. FY04 report for Congress on the military power of the Peoples Republic of China
  20. Chinas National Defense in 2004, Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, December 2004, Beijing
  21. A Poverty of Riches. New Challenges and Opportunities in PLA Research. Ed. by: James C. Mulvenon, Andrew N. D. Yang, Santa Monica, CA: RAND, CF-189-NSRD, 2003
  22. David Finklestein, "The General Staff Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army: Organization, Roles, & Missions" in James C. Mulvenon and Andrew N. D. Yang, eds. The People's Liberation Army as Organization: Reference Volume v1.0, Santa Monica, CA: RAND, CF-182-NSRD, 2002.
  23. China Electronic News, 22 September 2000.
  24. PLA Troops Work on Fiber-Optic Cable Project in Tibet, Xinhua, 11 May 2000.
  25. Chinas National Defense in 2004, Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, December 2004, Beijing
  26. A Poverty of Riches. New Challenges and Opportunities in PLA Research. Ed. by: James C. Mulvenon, Andrew N. D. Yang, Santa Monica, CA: RAND, CF-189-NSRD, 2003
  27. Fan Qing and Liu Jun, Military Phones Open in Northwest, Xinhua Domestic Service, 18 July 1998.
  28. Zeng Xianglu and Lan Peng, Tibet Border Defense Units Build Three-Dimensional Telecommunications Network, Jiefangjun bao, 18 August 1996.
  29. Ma Sancheng and Zhang Zhanhui, Northwest `Large Military Communications Network Realizes Qualitative Leap, Jiefangjun bao, 24 April 1996.
  30. China Electronic News, 22 September 2000.
  31. Chinas National Defense in 2004, Information Office of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, December 2004, Beijing
  32. Ibid., p. 8.
  33. U. S. Department of Defense. FY04 report for Congress on the military power of the Peoples Republic of China
  34. U. S. Department of Defense. FY04 report for Congress on the military power of the Peoples Republic of China
  35. Rapid Advances in Chinas Semiconductor Industry Underscore Need for Fundamental U.S. Policy Review, GAO-02-620 EXPORT CONTROLS
  36. Ibid., p. 5.
  37. Ibid., p. 7.
  38. Toshi Yoshihara, Chinese information warfare: a phantom menace or emerging threat? Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, 2001.
  39. Ibid., p. 4.
  40. Ibid., p. 6.
  41. Ibid., p. 8.

Source: http://www.trinitas.ru/rus/doc/0228/002a/02280038.htm

Tags: security , China , threat