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Chinese Cybersecurity and Cyberdefense by Daniel Ventre

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PLA Views on Informationized Warfare, Information Warfare and Information Operations

Over the course of the past two decades, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been closely examining the experiences of foreign militaries as it has sought to modernize itself and prepare for warfare under new, more high-technology conditions. Having not fought a war itself since 1979, the PLA nonetheless recognizes that the nature of modern warfare has fundamentally evolved in the intervening 35 years, and that it must adapt if it is to be victorious in future conflicts.

In the view of Chinese analysts, the advances in information technology have fundamentally altered the character of modern warfare. Consequently, an essential part of the PLA’s approach to future wars is the need to secure “information dominance (zhixinxiquan; images/Inline_1_6.jpg)”. This extends beyond the realm of computer network attack and defense, and instead encompasses not only information systems (both hardware and software), but also the cognitive and decision-making aspects of military and political command.

2.1. The evolution of chinese military thinking

Even before the end of the Cold War, the PLA had already concluded that reliance on massed numbers of ill-trained, poorly equipped troops was no longer appropriate. Chinese assessments of the American war in Vietnam and the “Fourth Middle East War” of 1973 indicate a recognition ...

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