China Report – Aspects of “Informatization”

Cognitive security highlights from DIA’s China Report

Jim Garamone, from the Defense Department’s Public Affairs office, wrote an article –> DIA’s China Military Power Report Details Leaders’ Strategy.

DIA’s actual report is here

Several cognitive security highlights from the report:

– The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at a Glance – Core strength: Long-range precision strike, information warfare, nuclear retaliatory capability.

In December 2015, Beijing established the Strategic Support Force (SSF) to provide the PLA with cyber, aerospace, and electronic warfare capabilities. The SSF forms the core of China’s information warfare force, supports the entire PLA.

– In today’s world, the global trends toward multipolarity and economic globalization are intensifying, and an information society is rapidly coming into being– China’s Military Strategy, May 2015

– Perceptions of Modern Conflict – The PLA often uses the term “informatization” to describe the transformation process of becoming a modern military that can operate in the digital age. The concept figures prominently in PLA writings and is roughly analogous to the U.S. military’s concept of net-centric capability: a force’s ability to use advanced information technology and communications systems to gain operational advantage over an adversary.

The PLA uses the term “informatized warfare” to describe the process of acquiring, transmitting, processing, and using information to conduct joint military operations across the domains of land, sea, air, space, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum during a conflict.  PLA writings highlight the benefit of near-real-time shared awareness of the battlefield in enabling quick, unified effort to seize tactical opportunities.

– In 2015, China’s leaders adjusted guidance on the type of war the PLA should be prepared to fight by directing the PLA to be capable of fighting and winning “informatized local wars,” with an emphasis on “maritime military struggle.”  Chinese military strategy documents also emphasize the growing importance of offensive air operations, long-distance mobility operations, and space and cyber operations. 

– The PLA considers information the critical enabler for these maritime-focused digital-age operations, and as a result, China invests heavily in the development and proliferation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment, force structure, and a universal network that processes information across all of its operational domains. These domains include C2, comprehensive support, multidimensional protection, joint firepower strike, and battlefield maneuver.