Xi calls new PLA branch a key pil­lar, stresses in­no­va­tion

Pres­i­dent in­spects Strate­gic Sup­port Force and com­mand cen­ter as sup­port sys­tems for the war­fare of to­mor­row

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHAO LEI in Bei­jing zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping made his first in­spec­tion tour of the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Strate­gic Sup­port Force on Mon­day, urg­ing ef­forts to boost in­no­va­tion for the force’s de­vel­op­ment.

Xi, also chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, told com­man­ders of the Strate­gic Sup­port Force that the ser­vice is a new-type com­bat force and an im­por­tant pil­lar of the PLA’s joint op­er­a­tion sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease on the De­fense Min­istry’s web­site.

The pres­i­dent asked com­man­ders to fo­cus on in­no­vat­ing the force’s de­vel­op­ment modes. He also em­pha­sized the build­ing of var­i­ous sup­port sys­tems and the co­or­di­na­tion of de­vel­op­ment of civil­ian and de­fense sec­tors.

Xi also in­spected the com­bat com­mand cen­ter of an uniden­ti­fied unit of the force.

The pres­i­dent at­taches great im­por­tance to and has high hopes for the Strate­gic Sup­port Force, the news re­lease said.

The force was es­tab­lished on Dec 31 in a key step of the on­go­ing mil­i­tary re­form, which started in Novem­ber and is over­seen by Xi.

Ac­cord­ing to Se­nior Colonel Yang Yu­jun, a spokesman for the De­fense Min­istry, the found­ing of the Strate­gic Sup­port Force will help to im­prove the PLA’s struc­ture and en­hance its in­te­grated sup­port ca­pa­bil­ity.

Although the PLA has not dis­closed the com­po­nents or func­tions of the new branch, the PLA’s flag­ship news­pa­per, PLA Daily, has re­ported that re­searchers with the Strate­gic Sup­port Force are fo­cus­ing on cut­tingedge tech­nolo­gies such as big data ap­pli­ca­tions, cloud com­put­ing, 3-D print­ing and nano­ma­te­ri­als.

It quoted an un­named re­searcher as say­ing that mem­bers of the force should al­ways pre­pare for “to­mor­row’s war­fare”.

PLA Daily also has re­ported that units of the Strate­gic Sup­port Force are sta­tioned “from high moun­tains to dis­tant oceans, and from des­o­late deserts to the front lines of the na­tion”.

Du Wen­long, a se­nior re­searcher at the PLA Academy of Mil­i­tary Sci­ence, said the tasks of the Strate­gic Sup­port Force are to con­cen­trate, co­or­di­nate and make plans for the PLA’s non-com­bat­ant re­sources.

Yin Zhuo, di­rec­tor of the PLA Navy’s Ex­pert Con­sul­ta­tion Com­mit­tee, said “the mis­sion of the force is to en­sure that the PLA can main­tain su­pe­ri­or­ity in mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions tak­ing place in space and in­volv­ing the elec­tro­mag­netic field and the in­ter­net.”

He said that the force’s re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­clude tar­get re­con­nais­sance and track­ing, global po­si­tion­ing op­er­a­tions, space as­sets man­age­ment and de­fend­ing against hos­tile ac­tiv­i­ties in cy­berspace and the elec­tro­mag­netic field.

The mis­sion of the force is to en­sure that the PLA can main­tain su­pe­ri­or­ity.” Yin Zhuo, di­rec­tor, PLA Navy’s Ex­pert Con­sul­ta­tion Com­mit­tee

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