BEIJING Aug 30 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
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 modernise 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 mechanised warfare and establish the ideological
concept of information warfare".
Xi said the army must "strive to establish a new military
doctrine, institutions, equipment systems, strategies and
tactics and management modes" for information warfare.
The announcement by Xi could rattle many of China's rivals,
including the United States. Officials in Washington have argued
for years that cyber espionage is a top national security
concern, and Beijing and Washington have confronted each other
publicly about the issue.
In May, U.S. authorities charged five Chinese military
officers with hacking into American companies to steal trade
A hacking attempt on a sensitive Canadian government
computer network last month was similar to attacks mounted by an
elite unit of the Chinese army based in Shanghai, according to a
China has denied those charges, saying it is also a victim
of cyber attacks.
In March, China announced its biggest rise in military
spending in three years, a strong signal that it is not about to
back away from its growing assertiveness in Asia, especially in
The spending increase appears to reflect Xi's desire to
build what he calls a strong, rejuvenated China, even though the
country has not fought a war in decades.
Xi also recently urged military leaders to speed efforts to
get the country's sole aircraft carrier combat-ready.
Aside from the carrier, China is developing a range of
high-tech weaponry, from stealth fighters to systems for
shooting down satellites.
(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Dale Hudson)