Xi Jinping unveils newest branch of the Chinese military

Xi Jinping unveils newest branch of the Chinese military

President Xi Jinping on Friday unveils the newest branch of the Chinese military: the Information Support Force of the People’s Liberation Army. Xi handed over the flag of the new force to his commander, Lieutenant General Bi Yi and political commissar of the unit General Li Wei in Beijing. XINHUA

President Xi Jinping on Friday unveiled the newest branch of China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army Information Support Force, calling it a vital force in modern warfare.

Xi, who is also secretary general of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission, presented the flag of the new force to commander Lt. Gen. Bi Yi and the unit’s political commissar Gen. Li Wei, during the founding ceremony of the armed forces. the CMC headquarters in Beijing.

The President gave his instructions to the Information Support Force and ordered it to strive to become a powerful and modernized unit.

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He said the establishment of the Information Support Force is an important decision of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC with the aim of building a strong PLA, and a strategic step in establishing a new structure of services and improving the military system with Chinese characteristics.

“This has profound and far-reaching significance for the modernization of national defense and armed forces and for the military’s fulfillment of its missions and duties in the new era,” Xi said. “The Information Support Force is a brand new strategic branch of the PLA and an important pillar of the integrated development and use of the network information system. It plays an important role and bears great responsibility in promoting the PLA’s high-quality development and its ability to fight and win in modern warfare.”

The president ordered that the new force be absolutely loyal to the party.

He emphasized that the unit must focus on its core task: deploying information assets in support of combat operations. It must maintain the flow of information, integrate information resources, protect information security, and deeply integrate into the Army’s joint operations system.

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The Commander-in-Chief also urged the new force to boost innovation, strengthen coordination and integration between different systems, collaborate with other armed forces and promote resource sharing. It should form a network information system that can support modern combat operations and have Chinese characteristics, Xi noted.

According to a decision by the CMC, the Information Support Force will be led directly by the CMC and the official designation of the Strategic Support Force, which was established in December 2015 to take charge of space, cyberspace and electronic warfare operations, is canceled. .

Meanwhile, the leadership and structures of the PLA Space Force and the PLA Cyberspace Force have been reshuffled accordingly, the CMC said.

The announcement also marked the first time that China confirmed the existence of the Space Force and the Cyberspace Force, which were widely believed to be key components of the Strategic Support Force.

Senior Col. Wu Qian, a Defense Ministry spokesman, told reporters at a news conference Friday evening that with the latest overhaul, the PLA now has four services, namely the Ground Force, Navy, Air Force and Missile Force. and several subdivisions, including the Space Force, the Cyberspace Force, the Information Support Force, and the Joint Logistic Support Force.

In response to a question about the newly released Space Force, Wu said that building the force is of great importance for strengthening the ability to travel safely to space, openly and peacefully develop space resources, and control and crisis management in space to improve.

“China’s space policy is clear and distinct. We are always committed to the peaceful uses of space and stand ready to work with all countries with the same commitment to strengthen exchanges, deepen cooperation and contribute to lasting peace and common security in space” , the spokesperson said.

Asked whether the Cyberspace Force is being used to “militarize the Internet,” Wu said cybersecurity remains a global challenge and poses a serious threat to China.

“Developing the Cyberspace Force and cybersecurity and defense tools is important for strengthening national cyberspace defenses, quickly detecting and countering network intrusions, and maintaining our cyber sovereignty and information security,” he said.