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“Intelligentization” driving China’s military-civil fusion of quantum technologies & AI to challenge American military dominance globally

By IQT News posted 07 Jan 2022

(JewishPolicyCenter) China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is racing to integrate futuristic technologies into its historically less-advanced military. IQT-News summarizes a recent report published by the Jewish Policy Center and this summary concentrates on the sections devoted to quantum computing.

The PLA has coalesced around a new organizing concept for how it thinks that advanced technologies will affect warfare in this century. “Intelligentization” represents China’s vision for a new revolution in military affairs. This little-known new concept is driving the PLA’s modernization efforts and signals the expansive ambitions the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has in challenging American military dominance globally.
Intelligentization is the third of the PLA’s official goals in the sequence of modernization. The first is “mechanization,” which is concerned with acquiring basic weapons systems that can deliver firepower against the adversary.
“Informationization” is the PLA’s second official benchmark for military modernization. The PLA famously learned the principles of informationization during the 1991 Gulf War, when the United States demonstrated the devastating potential of a technologically-advanced military in modern warfare.
PRC investments in quantum computing and drone technology are specific examples of how Chinese industrial policy connects to the PLA’s future intelligentization ambitions.

The CCP recognizes the extraordinary potential of quantum computing. It is investing billions of dollars into its development, directing the cooperation between the public and private sectors with “Military-Civil Fusion,” and drawing the greatest minds to efforts with the “Thousand Talents Plan,” among other efforts.
If these Chinese investments in quantum computing pay off on the scale that Chinese strategists hope for, and American policymakers are concerned about, intelligentization could well be within the PLA’s grasp. After a test in November 2021, Chinese scientists claimed that their quantum computer completed a task in a little over an hour that would take today’s fastest supercomputer eight years to finish, although there is no way to publicly confirm these findings. These miracle machines could serve as the robotic assistants that Chinese strategists envision helping operational commanders draft battle plans and select ideal target sets. With these computers, human ingenuity and robotic calculating ability could be married in heretofore unimaginable ways.

Drawbacks in Chinese Thinking
Chinese dreams of intelligentization are not without their flaws, however. Most importantly, the CCP’s betrays the PLA’s predilection for over-centralization of command authority and top-down orchestration of military assets. . . . Failure from any one Chinese commander could be disastrous in an intelligentized PLA.

The extensive report is authored by Benjamin Noon, research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute and Christopher Bassler, Ph.D.,  a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.


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