(TheDiplomat) China’s State Council Information Office has just released a new national defense white paper, which is the first since the launch of major military reforms in 2015. This document includes an assessment of the international security situation and provides an official explanation of China’s defense policy, missions, military reforms, and defense expenditure. In Xi Jinping’s “new era,” the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is urged to strengthen its preparedness and enhance combat capabilities commensurate with China’s global standing and interests.
The PLA is preparing for the demands of future warfare. Whereas conflict has been reshaped by information technology in recent history, today’s advances in emerging technologies are anticipated to create a new form or pattern of warfare, catalyzed by this latest round of technological and industrial revolutions. In particular, China is concerned with the increasing application of cutting-edge technologies in the military domain, especially artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information, big data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things.