Beijing Pursues “Informationization”

According to China’s latest national defense whitepaper, released last week by the Information Office of China’s State Council, the People’s Liberation Army’s Air Force will “accelerate its transition from territorial air defense to both offensive and defensive operations” as one means to “meet the requirements of informationized warfare.” It also plans to “increase its capabilities for carrying out reconnaissance and early warning, air strikes, air and missile defense, and strategic projection.” All designed “to build itself into a modernized strategic air force.” In an earlier section, the 2008 defense whitepaper states, “China pursues a national defense policy which is purely defensive in nature.” It plans to lay a “solid foundation by 2010” for making “informationization as the goal of modernization” and plans to “basically accomplish mechanization and make major progress in informationization by 2020.” Additionally, the whitepaper states that Beijing plans to develop new types of fighters and air and anti-missile defense weapons for its Air Force to “satisfy the strategic requirements of conducting both offensive and defensive operations.