Chinese combat engineer army (photo : Army Recognition)
China moves towards networked forceThe People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China is moving towards becoming an ‘informationised force’, according to its ‘China's National Defence in 2010’ white paper released on 31 March.
The paper said that significant progress had been made in building information systems for ISR, command and control, and ‘battlefield environment awareness’.
‘A preliminary level has been achieved in interoperability among command and control systems, combat forces, and support systems, making order transmission, intelligence distribution, command and guidance more efficient and rapid,’ the white paper said.
China plans to raise its defence budget by 12.7% to 601 billion Yuan (US$91.5 billion) in 2011. Although this is up from the 7.5% increase that was reported in 2010, the growth rate of defence expenditure has decreased.
‘In the past two years, the increase in the defence expenditure has been used to improve support for troops and accomplish diversified military tasks, ranging from earthquake rescue and effort operations in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia,’ Beijing’s official press service said in a statement.
‘In view of the upward trend of purchasing prices and maintenance costs, China has moderately increased funding for high-tech weaponry and equipment.’
The government said that the total length of the national defence optical fibre communication network had been increased by a ‘large margin’, forming a new generation transmission network with optical fibre communication as the mainstay, and satellite and short-wave communications as secondary.
‘Information systems have been widely applied in logistics and equipment support,’ the statement said.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) issued its own report on the Chinese military’s capability in 2010, which said the PLA was pursuing the dual ideas of mechanisation and ‘informatisation’ (the application of information technology to military operations).
‘As a consequence, and in recognition of the high costs of force-wide refitting with state-of-the-art weapons systems, the PLA is selectively acquiring new generation technologies in some areas, while deferring new acquisitions in others in favour of upgrading older, but capable, systems for networked operations,’ the DoD said.
See Also :
China's National Defense in 2010
Information Office of the State Council
The People's Republic of China
March 2011, Beijing
Appendix II Participation in Strategic Consultations and Dialogues (2009-2010)
Appendix III Joint Exercises and Training with Foreign Armed Forces (2009-2010)
Appendix IV China's Participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations (As of Dec. 31, 2010)
Appendix V Participation in International Disaster Relief Activities (2009-2010)
Appendix VI Imports and Exports of Seven Major Types of Conventional Arms of the PRC (2008)
Appendix VII Imports and Exports of Seven Major Types of Conventional Arms of the PRC (2009)
Appendix VIII Major Military Laws and Regulations Issued in 2009 and 2010 by China