Japan’s defense ministry research agency: China’s military seeks cyber and space supremacy

China’s military is seeking to use advanced artificial intelligence technology developed by private companies for enhancing its offensive capabilities in order to gain dominance in cyberspace and space, the Defense Research Institute, a think tank under Japan’s Ministry of Defense, said in a study published on Friday (Nov. 13), Japanese media reported.

An annual report on China’s security strategy released Friday by Japan’s Institute of Defense Studies said Beijing seeks to use advanced technology to transform the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), China’s Communist Party’s SSDF, into a world-class fighting force to catch up with the overall military capabilities of the United States.

Until it catches up to the United States militarily, the report says, “the PLA will expand its jamming and strike capabilities to prevent the U.S. military from playing a role in cyberspace and space.”

The Chinese military has not been subtle about this intent.On November 8, China’s official Guangming website published an article by Wu Zhizhong, a researcher at the Research Center for Innovation and Development of Military Political Work of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, stating: “The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the (Communist) Party of China (CPC) made a vision for China’s economic and social development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period and the basic realization of socialist modernization in 2035, Strategic deployment. In terms of national defense and military construction, the plenary communiqué stressed the acceleration of the integration and development of mechanized information technology and intelligence.”

Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that the release of the 2021 China Security Report by the Defense Research Institute of Japan’s Ministry of Defense comes amid intensifying rivalry between Washington and Beijing and competition for dominance in the technology sector; the U.S. is restricting exports of semiconductors to Huawei, a Chinese communications technology equipment manufacturing giant that is trying to expand its dominant position in 5G technology, which involves the military.

The report adds that Chinese authorities are increasing investment in private technology companies through a strategy of nationalization that blends civilian and military technological advances.

In addition, the report noted that the Chinese military is further acquiring a leading position in information technology to prepare for so-called “intelligent warfare,” which will use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and game theory to analyze an adversary’s intentions and decisions in order to provide guidance for its commanders.

The report says this fusion of military and civilian companies by Chinese authorities has led “the West to recognize the need for countermeasures linking economics and security, and has led the West to strengthen its management of trade and investment regulations.”