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OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

ANNUAL REPORT
TO CONGRESS
Military and Security Developments
Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013

Office of the Secretary of Defense

Preparation of this report cost the Department of Defense a total of approximately $95,000 in Fiscal Years 2012-2013.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Annual Report to Congress:
Military and Security Developments Involving
the People’s Republic of China 2013
A Report to Congress Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2000

Section 1246, “Annual Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of
China,” of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Public Law 111-84, which amends
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, Section 1202, Public Law 106-65, provides that
the Secretary of Defense shall submit a report “in both classified and unclassified form, on military and
security developments involving the People’s Republic of China. The report shall address the current and
probable future course of military-technological development of the People’s Liberation Army and the tenets
and probable development of Chinese security strategy and military strategy, and of the military organizations
and operational concepts supporting such development over the next 20 years. The report shall also address
U.S.-China engagement and cooperation on security matters during the period covered by the report,
including through U.S.-China military-to-military contacts, and the U.S. strategy for such engagement and
cooperation in the future.”

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Executive Summary

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (PRC)

continues
to
pursue
a
long-term,
comprehensive
military
modernization
program designed to improve the capacity of
its armed forces to fight and win shortduration, high-intensity regional military
conflict. Preparing for potential conflict in the
Taiwan Strait appears to remain the principal
focus and primary driver of China’s military
investment. However, as China’s interests
have grown and as it has gained greater
influence in the international system, its
military modernization has also become
increasingly focused on investments in military
capabilities to conduct a wider range of
missions beyond its immediate territorial
concerns,
including
counter-piracy,
peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance/disaster
relief, and regional military operations. Some
of these missions and capabilities can address
international security challenges, while others
could serve more narrowly-defined PRC
interests and objectives, including advancing
territorial claims and building influence abroad.
To support the Chinese People’s Liberation
Army’s (PLA) expanding set of roles and
missions, China’s leaders in 2012 sustained
investment in advanced short- and mediumrange conventional ballistic missiles, landattack and anti-ship cruise missiles, counterspace weapons, and military cyberspace
capabilities that appear designed to enable antiaccess/area-denial (A2/AD) missions (what
PLA strategists refer to as “counterintervention operations”).
The PLA also

continued to improve capabilities in nuclear
deterrence and long-range conventional strike;
advanced fighter aircraft; limited regional
power projection, with the commissioning of
China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning;
integrated air defenses; undersea warfare;
improved command and control; and more
sophisticated training and exercises across
China’s air, naval, and land forces.
During their January 2011 summit, U.S.
President Barack Obama and then-PRC
President Hu Jintao jointly affirmed that a
“healthy, stable, and reliable military-to-military
relationship is an essential part of [their] shared
vision for a positive, cooperative, and
comprehensive
U.S.-China
relationship.”
Within that framework, the U.S. Department
of Defense seeks to build a military-to-military
relationship with China that is sustained and
substantive, while encouraging China to
cooperate with the United States, our allies and
partners, and the greater international
community in the delivery of public goods. As
the United States builds a stronger foundation
for a military-to-military relationship with
China, it also will continue to monitor China’s
evolving military strategy, doctrine, and force
development and encourage China to be more
transparent about its military modernization
program. In concert with its allies and partners,
the United States will continue adapting its
forces, posture, and operational concepts to
maintain a stable and secure Asia-Pacific
security environment.

i

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Contents

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Executive Summary

i

Chapter 1: Annual Update

1

Chapter 2: Understanding China’s Strategy

15

Chapter 3: Force Modernization Goals and Trends

29

Chapter 4: Resources for Force Modernization

45

Chapter 5: Force Modernization for a Taiwan Contingency

55

Chapter 6: U.S.-China Military-to-Military Contacts

61

Special Topic: Space-Based Imaging and Remote Sensing

65

Special Topic: China’s First Aircraft Carrier

65

Special Topic: PLA Air Force Stealth Aircraft

66

Special Topic: PLA Integrated Air Defenses

67

Appendix I: Military-to-Military Exchanges

69

Appendix II: China and Taiwan Forces Data

75

Appendix III: Additional Maps and Chart

79

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

1

ANNUAL UPDATE

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

DEVELOPMENTS IN CHINA’S
BILATERAL OR MULTILATERAL
RELATIONSHIPS
China’s military engagement with other
countries seeks to enhance China’s
international presence and influence by
improving relationships with foreign militaries,
bolstering China’s international and regional
image, and assuaging other countries’
concerns about China’s rise. The People’s
Liberation Army’s (PLA) engagement
activities assist its modernization through the
acquisition of advanced weapons systems and
technologies, increased operational experience
both throughout and beyond Asia, and access
to foreign military practices, operational
doctrine, and training methods.
In January 2013, China’s Ministry of National
Defense released information about the PLA’s
2012 military diplomacy, which it stated had
stood severe tests under a difficult
international
and
regional
situation
throughout the year. In 2012, senior military
officials from at least 25 countries visited
China, including officials from Australia,
Germany, Russia and Ukraine. Senior PLA
officials visited at least 33 countries, including
India, Poland, Tanzania, and Turkey. The
PLA participated in UN peacekeeping
operations (PKO), carried out humanitarian
assistance and disaster relief work in Pakistan
and conducted the second global goodwill
voyage of the PLA Navy ZHENG HE

training vessel. PLA leaders participated in
various multilateral meetings, including the
Defense Ministers’ Meeting of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) Regional Forum Security Policy
Conference.
Combined Exercises. PLA participation in

bilateral and multilateral exercises is
increasing. The PLA derives political benefit
through increased influence and enhanced ties
with partner states and organizations. Such
exercises provide the PLA opportunities to
improve capabilities and gain operational
insights by observing tactics, command
decision-making, and equipment used by
more advanced militaries.
In 2011 and 2012 alone, the PLA held 21 joint
exercise and training events with foreign
militaries, compared to 32 during the entire
11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010). These
activities included military exercises with SCO
members, naval exercises, ground forces
training, peacekeeping, and search and rescue
operations/missions. China also conducted
joint training for operations other than war,
including the 2011 COOPERATION SPIRIT
humanitarian
assistance/disaster
relief
(HA/DR) exercise with Australia. China
observed KHAN QUEST-11, a peacekeeping
exercise in Mongolia – the first time it had
done so. The PLA Navy conducted maritime
exercises with Russia, Vietnam, and Thailand

1

and counter-piracy exercises with France and
the United States.
The PLA Air Force (PLAAF) conducted
unprecedented bilateral training during 2011,
including its first bilateral air exercise with
Pakistan and training with air forces in Belarus
and Venezuela. In contrast, the PLA Air
Force participated in only one bilateral
exercise in 2012 – an airborne training
exercise with Belarus in November. PEACE
MISSION 2012, conducted under the
auspices of the SCO, did not include PLA Air
Force participation as in the past, and instead
focused on what SCO nations called
“counterterrorism” training, which more
closely resembles training to suppress armed
opposition within a member country.
Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). Over

the past ten years, China has increased its
commitment to UN PKO by approximately
ten fold, building to its current level of
approximately 2,000 personnel in 11
operations, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and
the Middle East. This level of support has
been steadily maintained since 2008 and is the
highest among the permanent members of the
UN Security Council. In total, China has
deployed more than 21,000 troops to 30 UN
missions and bears 3.93 percent of the UN’s
current peacekeeping budget of $7.23 billion.
PKO participation can serve various
objectives, including improving China’s
international image, obtaining operational

experience, providing opportunities to gather
intelligence, and advancing the PLA’s “New
Historic Missions” by taking on roles and
generating capabilities for operations far
beyond China’s borders. China is currently
taking steps to meet these objectives by
committing civilian police, military observers,
engineers, logistics support, and medical
troops to UN missions while abstaining from
missions that might result in regime change or
lack host country consent.
In 2012, China for the first time deployed
infantry to a UN PKO. This “guard unit,” as
Chinese media described it, is tasked with
security for the PLA engineering and medical
formed military units in its contingent
deployed to the United Nations Mission in
the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).
These forces, likely no more than 50
personnel from the 162nd Motorized Infantry
Division, are equipped with armored vehicles,
enabling them to provide fixed-site security
and convoy escorts.
Chinese Arms Sales. From 2007 to 2011,

Chinese arms sales totaled approximately $11
billion. As of this report’s publication, data
for 2012 arms sales was not yet available.
China primarily conducts arms sales in
conjunction with economic aid and
development assistance to support broader
foreign-policy goals such as securing access to
natural resources and export markets,
promoting its increasing political influence
among host-country elites, and building

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

support in international forums. Arms sales,
however, also can reflect the profit-seeking
activities of individual arms trading companies
and efforts to offset defense-related research
and development costs. For example, China
continues to develop and market unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAVs) abroad, and in 2012,
unveiled a new tactical UAV, the Yi Long,
which will likely be marketed to developing
countries.

by China’s Central Military Commission); and
the first combined counter-piracy exercise
with the U.S. Navy. After its departure from
the Gulf of Aden, the 11th escort formation
visited Ukraine and Turkey, and for the first
time for the PLA Navy, Romania, Bulgaria
and Israel. Ships engaged in counter-piracy
also conducted port calls in Australia,
Mozambique, and Thailand during 2012.

From the perspective of China’s arms
customers (most of whom are developing
countries), Chinese arms are less expensive
than those offered by the top international
arms suppliers, although they are also
generally of lower quality and reliability.
Chinese arms also come with fewer political
strings attached, which is attractive to those
customers who may not have access to other
sources of arms for political or economic
reasons. China also offers relatively generous
terms and flexible payment options to some
customers.

have identified protecting China’s sovereignty
and territorial integrity as a “core interest” and
all officials repeatedly state China’s opposition
to and willingness to respond to actions it
perceives as challenging this core interest. In
2012, this was demonstrated by Chinese
actions at Scarborough Reef in the South
China Sea and the Senkaku Islands in the East
China Sea.

Counter-Piracy Efforts. China continues to
support counter-piracy efforts in the Gulf of
Aden, a commitment which began in
December 2008. In July 2012, the PLA Navy
deployed its 12th escort formation, which
included two guided missile frigates and one
oiler.
Operational highlights for this
formation included the retrieval of 26 crew
members of the fishing vessel Xufu-1 from
Somalia following their release by pirates in
July 2012 (an operation that was recognized

Territorial Disputes. Senior Chinese officials

The Chinese government maintains that its
maritime rights extend to virtually the entire
South China Sea and often illustrates this
claim using a “nine-dash line” that
encompasses much of the South China Sea
area. At the same time, Beijing is ambiguous
about the precise meaning of the nine-dash
line; to date, China has not clarified the
meaning of the nine-dash line or its legal basis.
In April 2012, Chinese maritime law
enforcement vessels and Philippine coast
guard vessels engaged in a protracted standoff
at Scarborough Reef, after the Philippine
Navy attempted to conduct a fishing
enforcement action against Chinese fishermen.

3

Although overt tensions between China and
the Philippines subsided by year’s end, both
sides continue to claim jurisdiction over the
reef. Chinese law enforcement vessels have
maintained an almost continuous presence
ever since.
In November 2012, China also added a map
which contained the nine-dash line to all of its
new passports. This action elicited negative
responses from other nations in the AsiaPacific region. China’s increased reference in
official government materials to the nine-dash
line is a source of concern to its neighbors
and other nations because, at a minimum, it
creates an impression that China is not merely
claiming all the land features within the ninedash line, but it may also be claiming a special
sovereign status of all the water and the seabed contained therein.
China claims sovereignty over the Senkaku
Islands (what the Chinese refer to as the
Diaoyu Islands) in the East China Sea,
territory also claimed by Taiwan and Japan.
In April 2012, the Governor of Tokyo
announced plans to purchase three of the five
islets from private Japanese owners. In
response,
in
September
2012,
the
Government of Japan purchased the three
islands. China protested the move and since
that time has regularly sent maritime law
enforcement ships (and, less often, aircraft) to
patrol near the Senkakus to protect its claims;
this has included regular Chinese maritime
operations within 12nm of the islands. On

September 25, China published a white paper
entitled, “Diaoyu Dao, an ’Inherent Territory’
of China.” In addition, in September 2012,
China began using improperly drawn straight
baseline claims around the Senkaku Islands,
adding to its network of maritime claims
inconsistent with international law.
In
December 2012, China submitted information
to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the
Continental Shelf regarding China’s extended
continental shelf in the East China Sea that
includes the disputed islands.

THE SECURITY SITUATION IN THE
TAIWAN STRAIT
Dealing with a potential contingency in the
Taiwan Strait remains the PLA’s primary
mission despite decreasing tensions there - a
trend which continued following the reelection of Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in
January 2012.
In this context, should
deterrence fail, the PLA could be called upon
to compel Taiwan to abandon independence
or to re-unify with the mainland by force of
arms while defeating any third-party
intervention on Taiwan’s behalf.
Cross-Strait Stability.

China and Taiwan
have reached 18 agreements for cross-Strait
cooperation on economic, cultural, and
functional issues, but Taiwan authorities and
the broader Taiwan public do not support
negotiation on issues directly related to
sovereignty.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

China and Taiwan have also undertaken some
combined security and police operations, and
held a combined maritime rescue exercise in
August 2012 featuring two helicopters, 14
vessels, and 300 personnel, with both sides
equally represented. Also in August, Chinese
and Taiwan police apprehended 30 suspects in
a human-trafficking and prostitution ring – a
first collaborative effort to combat human
trafficking.
During a mid-October 2011 speech, President
Ma stated that a cross-Strait peace agreement
with China might be attainable in 10 years, but
backed down immediately in the face of
widespread negative public reaction and Ma
specified the conditions under which he
would pursue such an agreement. Despite
occasional signs of impatience, China appears
content to respect Taiwan’s current approach
to cross-Strait relations. In November 2012,
Xi Jinping, China’s newly selected general
secretary of the CCP Central Committee sent
a message to President Ma (in the latter’s
capacity as chairman of the ruling
Kuomintang Party), emphasizing the need to
continue promoting the peaceful development
of cross-Strait relations. This early message
suggests that China under Xi Jinping may be
willing to follow President Hu Jintao’s multipronged strategy for developing cross-Strait
relations rather than compelling unification
through the use of force. President Hu in his
report to the 18th Party Congress in
November 2012 used language that promoted

peaceful reunification and called for both
sides to explore political relations and make
reasonable arrangements to discuss the
creation of a military confidence-building
mechanism.

CURRENT CAPABILITIES OF THE
PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY
Second Artillery.

The Second Artillery
controls China’s nuclear and conventional
ballistic missiles. It is developing and testing
several new classes and variants of offensive
missiles, forming additional missile units,
upgrading older missile systems, and
developing methods to counter ballistic
missile defenses.
By December 2012, the Second Artillery’s
inventory of short-range ballistic missiles
(SRBM) deployed to units opposite Taiwan
stood at more than 1,100. This number
reflects the delivery of additional missiles and
the fielding of new systems. To improve the
lethality of this force, the PLA is also
introducing new SRBM variants with
improved ranges, accuracies, and payloads.
China is fielding a limited but growing
number of conventionally armed, mediumrange ballistic missiles, including the DF-21D
anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). The DF21D is based on a variant of the DF-21 (CSS5) medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM)
and gives the PLA the capability to attack
large ships, including aircraft carriers, in the

5

western Pacific Ocean. The DF-21D has a
range exceeding 1,500 km and is armed with a
maneuverable warhead.
The Second Artillery continues to modernize
its nuclear forces by enhancing its silo-based
intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and
adding more survivable mobile delivery
systems. In recent years, the road-mobile,
solid-propellant CSS-10 Mod 1 and CSS-10
Mod 2 (DF-31 and DF-31A) intercontinentalrange ballistic missiles have entered service.
The CSS-10 Mod 2, with a range in excess of
11,200 km, can reach most locations within
the continental United States. China may also
be developing a new road-mobile ICBM,
possibly capable of carrying a multiple
independently targetable re-entry vehicle
(MIRV).
PLA Navy (PLAN). The PLA Navy has the

largest force of major combatants,
submarines, and amphibious warfare ships in
Asia. China’s naval forces include some 79
principal surface combatants, more than 55
submarines, 55 medium and large amphibious
ships, and roughly 85 missile-equipped small
combatants.
In the most publicized PLA Navy
modernization event of 2012, after a year of
extensive sea trials, China commissioned its
first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in September
2012. The PLA Navy successfully conducted
its first launch and recovery of the carriercapable J-15 fighter on November 26, 2012.

The Liaoning will continue integration testing
and training with the aircraft during the next
several years, but it is not expected to embark
an operational air wing until 2015 or later.
China also continues to pursue an indigenous
aircraft carrier program (the Liaoning is a
refurbished vessel, purchased from Ukraine in
1998), and will likely build multiple aircraft
carriers over the next decade. The first
Chinese-built carrier will likely be operational
sometime in the second half of this decade.
The PLA Navy places a high priority on the
modernization of its submarine force. China
continues the production of JIN-class
nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines
(SSBN). Three JIN-class SSBNs (Type 094)
are currently operational, and up to five may
enter service before China proceeds to its next
generation SSBN (Type 096) over the next
decade. The JIN-class SSBN will carry the
new JL-2 submarine launched ballistic missile
with an estimated range of more than 4,000
nm. The JIN-class and the JL-2 will give the
PLA Navy its first credible sea-based nuclear
deterrent.
China also has expanded its force of nuclearpowered attack submarines (SSN). Two
SHANG-class SSNs (Type 093) are already in
service, and China is building four improved
variants of the SHANG-class SSN, which will
replace the aging HAN-class SSNs (Type
091). In the next decade, China will likely
construct the Type 095 guided-missile attack
submarine (SSGN), which may enable a

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

submarine-based land-attack capability. In
addition to likely incorporating better quieting
technologies, the Type 095 will fulfill
traditional anti-ship roles with the
incorporation of torpedoes and anti-ship
cruise missiles (ASCMs).
The current mainstay of the Chinese
submarine force is modern diesel powered
attack submarines (SS). In addition to 12
KILO-class submarines acquired from Russia
in the 1990s and 2000s (eight of which are
equipped with the SS-N-27 ASCM), the PLA
Navy possesses 13 SONG-class SS (Type 039)
and eight YUAN-class SSP (Type 039A). The
YUAN-class SSP is armed similarly to the
SONG-class SS, but also includes an airindependent power system. China may plan
to construct up to 20 YUAN-class SSPs.
Since 2008, the PLA Navy has embarked on a
robust surface combatant construction
program of various classes of ships, including
guided missile destroyers (DDG) and guided
missile frigates (FFG). During 2012, China
continued series production of several classes,
including construction of a new generation of
DDG. Construction of the LUYANG IIclass DDG (Type 052C) continued, with one
ship entering service in 2012, and an
additional three ships under various stages of
construction and sea trials, bringing the total
number of ships of this class to six by the end
of 2013. Additionally, China launched the
lead ship in a follow-on class, the LUYANG
III- class DDG (Type 052D), which will likely

enter service in 2014. The LUYANG III
incorporates the PLA Navy’s first
multipurpose vertical launch system, likely
capable of launching ASCM, land attack cruise
missiles (LACM), surface-to-air missiles
(SAM), and anti-submarine rockets. China is
projected to build more than a dozen of these
ships to replace its aging LUDA-class
destroyers (DD). China has continued the
construction of the workhorse JIANGKAI IIclass FFG (Type 054A), with 12 ships
currently in the fleet and six or more in
various stages of construction, and yet more
expected. These new DDGs and FFGs
provide a significant upgrade to the PLA
Navy’s area air defense capability, which will
be critical as it expands operations into
“distant seas” beyond the range of shorebased air defense.
Augmenting the PLA Navy’s littoral warfare
capabilities, especially in the South China Sea
and East China Sea, is a new class of small
combatant. At least six of the JIANGDAOclass corvettes (FFL) (Type 056) were
launched in 2012. The first of these ships
entered service on February 25, 2013; China
may build 20 to 30 of this class. These FFLs
augment the 60 HOUBEI-class wave-piercing
catamaran missile patrol boats (PTG) (Type
022), each capable of carrying eight YJ-83
ASCMs, for operations in littoral waters.
The PLA Navy also increased its amphibious
force in 2012.
Two YUZHAO-class
amphibious transport docks (LPD) (Type

7

071) were accepted into service during the
year bringing the total of YUZHAO LPDs to
three.
PLA Air Force (PLAAF).

China bases
approximately 500 combat aircraft within
unrefueled operational range of Taiwan and
has the airfield capacity to expand that
number by hundreds. China continues to
field increasingly modern 4th generation
aircraft, but the force still consists mostly of
older 2nd and 3rd generation aircraft, or
upgraded variants of those aircraft.
Within two years of the J-20 stealth fighter’s
first flight in January 2011, China tested a
second next generation fighter prototype.
The prototype, referred to as the “J-31,” is
similar in size to a U.S. F-35 fighter and
appears to incorporate design characteristics
similar to the J-20. It conducted its first flight
on October 31, 2012.
China continues upgrading its H-6 bomber
fleet (originally adapted from the late 1950s
Soviet Tu-16 design) with a new variant that
possesses greater range and will be armed
with a long-range cruise missile. China also
uses a modified version of the H-6 aircraft to
conduct aerial refueling operations for many
of its indigenous aircraft, increasing their
combat range.
The PLA Air Force possesses one of the
largest forces of advanced SAM systems in the
world, consisting of a combination of

Russian-sourced SA-20 battalions
domestically produced HQ-9 battalions.

and

China’s aviation industry is developing a large
transport aircraft (likely referred to as the Y20) to supplement China’s small fleet of
strategic airlift assets, which currently consists
of a limited number of Russian-made IL-76
aircraft. These heavy lift transports are
needed to support airborne command and
control (C2), logistics, paradrop, aerial
refueling, and reconnaissance operations, as
well as humanitarian assistance and disaster
relief missions.
Developments in China’s commercial and
military aviation industry indicate improved
aircraft manufacturing, associated technology,
and systems development capabilities. Some
of these advances have been made possible by
business partnerships with Western aviation
and aerospace firms (including cleared U.S.
defense contractors), which provide overall
benefit to China’s military aerospace industry.
China will continue to seek advancement in
aerospace technology, capability, and
proficiency to rival Western capabilities.
PLA Ground Force. The PLA is investing

heavily in modernizing its ground force,
emphasizing the ability to deploy campaignlevel forces across long distances quickly. This
modernization is playing out with wide-scale
restructuring of PLA ground forces that
includes a more rapid, flexible special
operations force equipped with advanced

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

technology; improved army aviation units
utilizing ultra-low altitude mobility helicopters
armed with precision-guided munitions; and
command and control (C2) capabilities with
improved networks providing real-time data
transmissions within and between units. In
addition, the PLA has focused its
modernization efforts on transforming from a
motorized to a mechanized force, as well as
improving the ground force’s armored, air
defense, aviation, ground-air coordination,
and electronic warfare (EW) capabilities. PLA
ground forces have benefited from increased
production of new equipment, including the
Z-10 and Z-19 attack helicopters. New air
defense equipment includes the PLA ground
force’s first medium-range SAM, the CSA-16,
as well as domestically-produced CSA-15s (a
copy of the Russian SA-15) and a new
advanced self-propelled air defense artillery
system, the PGZ-07. PLA ground force
restructuring
is highlighted
by
the
development of brigades as a key operational
echelon for combat in diverse terrain and
under complex electromagnetic conditions.
The ground force is a proponent of joint
operations since it requires transport from
other forces to operate beyond China’s
borders. To assist with its power projection
needs, PLA ground forces have practiced
using commercial transport assets such as rollon/roll-off ships, to conduct maritime
crossing operations. However, broader joint
operations capability are still the primary goal

for the ground force, a goal that is now a
mandate for all the military services following
the General Staff Department’s (GSD)
December 2011 creation of the Military
Training Department to oversee all PLA
training, ensuring all military services realize
the “prominence of joint training.”
Space

Capabilities.

In 2012, China
conducted 18 space launches. China also
expanded its space-based intelligence,
surveillance,
reconnaissance,
navigation,
meteorological, and communications satellite
constellations. In parallel, China is developing
a multi-dimensional program to improve its
capabilities to limit or prevent the use of
space-based assets by adversaries during times
of crisis or conflict.
During 2012, China launched six Beidou
navigation satellites.
These six satellites
completed the regional network as well as the
in-orbit validation phase for the global
network, expected to be completed by 2020.
China launched 11 new remote sensing
satellites in 2012, which can perform both
civil and military applications. China also
launched three communications satellites, five
experimental
small
satellites,
one
meteorological satellite, one relay satellite, and
a manned space mission.
China continues to develop the Long March 5
(LM-5) rocket, which is intended to lift heavy
payloads into space. LM-5 will more than
double the size of the Low Earth Orbit

9

(LEO) and Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO)
payloads China is capable of placing into
orbit. To support these rockets, China began
constructing the Wenchang Satellite Launch
Center in 2008. Located on Hainan Island,
this launch facility is expected to be complete
around 2013, with the initial LM-5 launch
scheduled for 2014.
Military Information Operations. Chinese

writings have outlined the five key features at
an operational level of a maturing Chinese
information operations (IO) strategy. First,
Chinese authors emphasize defense as the top
priority and indicate that Computer Network
Defense (CND) must be the highest priority
in peacetime; Chinese doctrine suggests that
“tactical counteroffensives” would only be
considered if an adversary’s operations could
not be countered. Second, IO is viewed as an
unconventional warfare weapon, which must
be established in the opening phase of the
conflict and continue during all phases of
war. Third, IO is characterized as a
preemption weapon to be used under the
rubric of achieving information dominance
and
controlling
the
electromagnetic
spectrum. Fourth, IO is seen as a tool to
permit China to fight and win an information
campaign, precluding the need for
conventional military action. Fifth, potential
Chinese adversaries, in particular the United
States, are seen as “information dependent.”
An IO campaign includes actions taken to
seize and maintain campaign information

superiority, unify command campaign
information operational forces, carry out
information warfare-related reconnaissance,
and offensive and defensive information
warfare methods. According to a PLA
military manual, there are many types of
supporting IO to campaigns including an
island-landing campaign IO, blockade
campaign IO, fire power attack campaign IO,
border counterattack campaign IO, counterlanding campaign IO, and counter-airstrike
campaign IO. These IO campaigns can be
sub-divided into joint campaign IO and
combined arms campaign IO. Depending on
the military services involved in the campaign,
IO can be further divided into army campaign,
navy, air force, and strategic missile force
campaign IO. Their primary tasks are to
protect the PLA’s campaign information
systems, collect intelligence from enemy
information
systems,
destroy
enemy
information systems, and weaken the enemy’s
ability to acquire, transmit, process, and use
information during war.
The PLA continues to conduct frequent
military exercises demonstrating advances in
information technology and information
integration of its military forces. China has
performed integrated joint combat operations
exercises showcasing intelligence acquisition,
joint command, joint strike, and support
operations,
increasingly
incorporated
information technology and information
integration into its annual training
requirement. A number of annual exercise

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

series, including the Vanguard, Lianhe, and Joint
Education series have increased required
integration and full reliance on information
technology for command of complex
operations. In 2012, according to PLA
newspapers, many military exercises banned
paper maps and orders altogether. Also in
2012, there was an increasing emphasis on
PLA command academies participating in
joint exercises using command information
technologies, which indicates proficiency on
such platforms is now a requirement for
graduation to higher command positions.

DEVELOPMENTS IN CHINESE
MILITARY DOCTRINE AND
TRAINING
In 2012, the PLA heavily emphasized training
under realistic, high-technology conditions.
The Chinese aim to operate in “informatized”
conditions by emphasizing system-of-systems
operations, a concept similar to U.S. networkcentric warfare. This requires linking
geographically
dispersed
forces
and
capabilities into an integrated system capable
of unified action. These operational training
reforms are a result of the Outline of Military
Training and Evaluation (OMTE), which was
last published in mid-2008 and became
standard across the PLA on January 1, 2009.
Since that time, the PLA has pushed to
achieve OMTE objectives by emphasizing
realistic training conditions, training in
complex
electromagnetic
and
joint

environments, and integrating new and high
technologies into the force structure. A result
of these changes is a more flexible year-round
training cycle, which is a departure from the
Soviet-style conscript-dependent training
cycles that were prominent throughout the
PLA over the previous decades.
Additionally, the PLA is laying the foundation
for future changes in military doctrine. To
develop a new cadre of officers, the PLA is
reforming its academies to cultivate junior
officers proficient with and capable of
leveraging technology in all warfighting
functions for joint operations. The National
University of Defense Technology’s year-long
joint operations staff officer course is serving
as a pilot for a future national-level program.
The course allows junior officers to rotate to
the command elements of other PLA services
to enhance their skills in joint operations
planning and preparation.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
ACQUISITION
China relies on foreign technology, acquisition
of key dual-use components, and focused
indigenous research and development (R&D)
to advance military modernization.
The
Chinese utilize a large, well-organized network
to facilitate collection of sensitive information
and export-controlled technology from U.S.
defense sources. Many of the organizations
composing
China’s
military-industrial
complex have both military and civilian

11

research and development functions. This
network of government-affiliated companies
and research institutes often enables the PLA
to access sensitive and dual-use technologies
or knowledgeable experts under the guise of
civilian research and development.
The
enterprises and institutes accomplish this
through technology conferences and symposia,
legitimate contracts and joint commercial
ventures, partnerships with foreign firms, and
joint development of specific technologies. In
the case of key national security technologies,
controlled equipment, and other materials not
readily obtainable through commercial means
or academia, China has utilized its intelligence
services and employed other illicit approaches
that involve violations of U.S. laws and export
controls.
A high-priority for China’s advanced
technology acquisition strategy is its CivilMilitary Integration policy to develop an
innovative dual-use technology and industrial
base that serve both military and civilian
requirements. China’s defense industry has
benefited from integration with its expanding
civilian economy and science and technology
sectors, particularly sectors with access to
foreign technology. Examples of technologies
include: advanced aviation and aerospace (hot
section technologies, avionics and flight
controls), source code, traveling wave tubes,
night vision devices, monolithic microwave
integrated circuits, and information and cyber
technologies.

Differentiating between civil and military enduse is very challenging in China due to opaque
corporate structures, hidden asset ownership,
and the connections of commercial personnel
with the central government.
Some
commercial entities are affiliated with PLA
research institutes, or have ties to and are
subject to the control of government
organizations such as the State-owned Assets
Supervision and Administration Commission.
In March 2012, Hui Sheng Shen and Huan
Ling Chang, both from Taiwan, were charged
with conspiracy to violate the U.S. Arms
Export Control Act after allegedly intending
to acquire and pass sensitive U.S. defense
technology to China. The pair planned to
photograph the technology, delete the images,
bring the memory cards back to China, and
have a Chinese contact recover the images.
In June 2012, Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC),
a subsidiary of U.S. aerospace firm and
defense contractor United Technologies
Corporation (UTC), pleaded guilty to illegally
providing military software used in the
development of China's Z-10 military attack
helicopter.
UTC and two subsidiaries agreed to pay $75
million and were debarred from license
privileges as part of a settlement with the U.S.
Department of Justice and State Department.
PWC "knowingly and willfully" caused six
versions of military electronic engine control
software to be "illegally exported" from

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Hamilton Sundstrand in the United States to
PWC in Canada and then to China for the Z10, and made false and belated disclosures
about these illegal exports.
In September 2012, Sixing Liu, aka “Steve
Liu,” was convicted of violating the U.S.
Arms Export Control Act and the
International Traffic in Arms Regulations

(ITAR) and possessing stolen trade secrets.
Liu, a Chinese citizen, returned to China with
electronic files containing details on the
performance and design of guidance systems
for missiles, rockets, target locators, and
unmanned aerial vehicles. Liu developed
critical military technology for a U.S. defense
contractor and stole the documents to
position himself for employment in China.

13

2

UNDERSTANDING CHINA’S
STRATEGY

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

NATIONAL-LEVEL PRIORITIES
AND GOALS
China’s leaders characterize the first two
decades of the 21st century as a “strategic
window of opportunity.” They assess that
during this period, both domestic and
international conditions will be conducive to
expanding China’s “comprehensive national
power,” a term that encapsulates all elements
of state power, including economic capacity,
military might, and diplomacy. China’s leaders
anticipate that a successful expansion of
comprehensive national power will serve
China’s strategic objectives, which include:
perpetuating Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
rule, sustaining economic growth and
development, maintaining domestic political
stability, defending national sovereignty and
territorial integrity, and securing China’s status
as a great power.
China’s leaders routinely emphasize the goal
of reaching critical economic and military
benchmarks by 2020. These benchmarks
include
successfully
restructuring
the
economy to maintain growth and increase the
quality of living of China’s citizens to promote
stability; making major progress in military
modernization; and attaining the capability to
fight and win potential regional conflicts,
including those related to Taiwan, protection
of sea lines of communication (SLOCs),
defense of territorial claims in the South
China Sea and East China Sea, and the
defense of western borders. Statements by

Chinese leaders indicate that, in their view, the
development of a modern military is necessary
for China to achieve greater power status.
These statements also indicate that the
Chinese leadership views a modern military as
a critical deterrent to prevent actions by
outside powers that could damage Chinese
interests, or to allow China to defend itself
against such actions should deterrence fail.
Since China launched its “reform and
opening” in late 1978, the essential elements
of China’s strategy to accomplish these goals
have remained relatively constant. Rather
than challenge the existing global order, China
has adopted a pragmatic approach to
international
relations
and
economic
development that seeks to strengthen the
economy, modernize the military, and solidify
the CCP’s hold on power. China balances the
imperative to reassure countries that its rise is
“peaceful” with the imperative to strengthen
its control over existing sovereignty and
territorial claims.
China regards stable relations with its
neighbors and the United States as essential to
its stability and development.
China
continues to see the United States as the
dominant regional and global actor with the
greatest potential to both support and,
potentially, disrupt China’s rise. In addition,
China remains concerned that should regional
states come to view China as a threat, they
might balance against China through unilateral
military modernization or through coalitions,

15

possibly with the United States.
Many
Chinese officials and the public see the U.S.
rebalance to Asia as a reflection of “Cold War
thinking” and as a way to contain China’s rise.
Despite its desire to project an image of a
developing country engaged in a peaceful
development strategy, China’s efforts to
defend national sovereignty and territorial
integrity (underpinned by growing economic
and military capabilities) have occasionally
manifested in assertive rhetoric and behavior
that generate regional concerns about its
intentions.
Prominent examples of this
include China’s response to Japan’s arrest of a
PRC fishing trawler captain following a
collision with Japanese coast guard vessels in
2010, its use of punitive trade policies as an

instrument of coercion, its actions to shield
North Korea from the international response
to its sinking of the South Korean naval vessel,
Cheonan, and its action to pressure Vietnam
and the Philippines in the South China Sea
and Japan in the East China Sea. Official
statements and media during these situations
indicate that China sees itself as responding to
perceived threats to its national interests or
provocations by outside actors. China’s lack
of transparency surrounding its growing
military capabilities and strategic decisionmaking has also increased concerns in the
region about China’s intentions. Absent a
move towards greater transparency, these
concerns will likely intensify as the PLA
modernization progresses.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Origin of the “New Historic Missions”
In 2004, former President Hu Jintao articulated a mission statement for the armed forces titled,
the “Historic Missions of the Armed Forces in the New Period of the New Century.” These “new
historic missions” focus primarily on adjustments in the leadership’s assessment of the
international security environment and the expanding definition of national security. These
missions were further codified in a 2007 amendment to the CCP Constitution. The missions, as
currently defined, include:


Provide an important guarantee of strength for the party to consolidate its ruling
position.



Provide a strong security guarantee for safeguarding the period of strategic
opportunity for national development.



Provide a powerful strategic support for safeguarding national interests.



Play an important role in safeguarding world peace and promoting common
development.

According to official writings, the driving factors behind the articulation of these missions were:
changes in China’s security situation, challenges and priorities regarding China’s national
development, and a desire to realign the tasks of the PLA with the CCP’s objectives. Politburo
member and CMC Vice Chairman Xu Caihou in 2005 asserted “the historic missions embody the
new requirements imposed on the military by the Party’s historic tasks, accommodate new
changes in our national development strategy, and conform to the new trends in global military
development.” While these missions are not expected to replace the defense of China’s
sovereignty in importance, implications for PLA modernization may be increased preparation for
and participation in international peacekeeping and disaster relief operations, interaction with
the international community that allows the PLA more opportunities to learn from other militaries,
and greater efforts to improve PLA logistics and transport capabilities.

FACTORS SHAPING CHINA’S
LEADERSHIP PERCEPTIONS
Chinese leaders continue to view themselves
as operating in a “window of opportunity” to
advance their priorities of economic
development, territorial integrity, and
domestic stability.
Although domestic
stability is believed to be China’s top priority,
official documents indicate that China sees its
security environment becoming more
“complex” as a result of several factors:

Economics.

Continued
economic
development remains the bedrock of social
stability. A wide range of economic factors
could disrupt this trajectory, including a
failure to shift away from its overreliance on
investment and exports to drive growth.
China’s leaders scaled back GDP targets for
2011-2015 (from 8 percent to 7.5 percent) to
mitigate risk of overheating and to manage
expectations. Other potential economic risks
for China include shifting global trade
patterns, domestic resource constraints, rising

17

wages driven by labor shortages, or attempts
to challenge China’s access to global resources,
including energy.
Nationalism. Communist Party leaders and

military officials continue to be affected by,
and in some cases exploit, nationalism to
bolster the legitimacy of the Party, deflect
domestic criticism, and justify their own
inflexibility in dialogues with foreign
interlocutors. However, nationalist forces
could ultimately restrict the leadership’s
decision-making on key policy issues or
pressure the CCP if these forces perceive
party leaders as insufficiently satisfying
nationalist goals.
Regional Challenges to China’s Interests.

Tensions with Japan in the East China Sea
and with South China Sea claimants challenge
to China’s desire to maintain a stable
periphery. Combined with a greater U.S.
presence in the region, these factors raise
Chinese concerns that regional countries will
strengthen their military capabilities or
increase security cooperation with the United
States to balance China.
Domestic Unrest.

The CCP continues to
face long-term popular demands for limiting
corruption and improving government
responsiveness,
transparency,
and

accountability. If unmet, these factors likely
weaken the legitimacy of the CCP in the eyes
of the Chinese people. The Arab Spring and
fears of a Jasmine Revolution amplify
historical concerns about internal stability.
Environment.

China’s
economic
development has come at a high
environmental cost.
China’s leaders are
increasingly concerned that environmental
degradation
could
undermine
regime
legitimacy
by
threatening
economic
development, public health, social stability,
and China’s international image.
Demographics. China faces the dual threat

of a rapidly aging population and a declining
birth rate, one that now falls below
replacement level. Longer life expectancies
may force China to allocate more resources to
social and health services, while the declining
birth rate will continue to reduce China’s
supply of young and inexpensive labor, a key
driver of the country’s three decades of
economic growth. This dual phenomenon
could lead to economic stagnation that could
threaten CCP legitimacy.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

China’s Energy Strategy
China’s engagement, investment, and foreign construction related to energy continue to grow.
China has constructed or invested in energy projects in more than 50 countries, spanning nearly
every continent. This ambitious investment in energy assets is driven primarily by two factors. First,
China is increasingly dependent upon imported energy to sustain its economy. A net oil
exporter until 1993, China remains suspicious of international energy markets. Second, energy
projects present a viable option for investing China’s vast foreign currency holdings.
In addition to ensuring reliable energy sources, Beijing hopes to diversify producers and transport
options. Although energy independence is no longer realistic for China, given population
growth and increasing per capita energy consumption, Beijing still seeks to maintain a supply
chain that is less susceptible to external disruption.
In 2011, China imported approximately 58 percent of its oil; conservative estimates project that
China will import almost two-thirds of its oil by 2015 and three-quarters by 2030. Beijing looks
primarily to the Persian Gulf, Africa, and Russia/Central Asia to satisfy its growing demand, with
imported oil accounting for approximately 11 percent of China’s total energy consumption.
A second goal of Beijing’s foreign energy strategy is to alleviate China’s heavy dependence on
SLOCs, particularly the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca. In 2011, approximately 85
percent of China’s oil imports transited the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca.
Separate crude oil pipelines from Russia and Kazakhstan to China illustrate efforts to increase
overland supply. A pipeline that would bypass the Strait of Malacca by transporting crude oil
from Kyuakpya, Burma to Kunming, China is currently under construction with an estimated
completion time of late 2013 or early 2014. The crude oil for this pipeline will be supplied by
Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern and African countries.
Given China’s growing energy demand, new pipelines will only slightly alleviate China’s maritime
dependency on either the Strait of Malacca or the Strait of Hormuz. Despite China’s efforts, the
sheer volume of oil and liquefied natural gas that is imported to China from the Middle East and
Africa will make strategic SLOCs increasingly important to Beijing.
In 2011, China imported 14.3 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas, or 46 percent of all of its
natural gas imports, from Turkmenistan to China by pipeline via Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This
pipeline is designed to carry 40 bcm per year with plans to expand it to 60 bcm. Another natural
gas pipeline designed to deliver 12 bcm per year of Burmese-produced gas is under
construction and estimated for completion in late 2013 or early 2014. This pipeline parallels the
crude oil pipeline across Burma. Beijing is negotiating with Moscow for two pipelines that could
supply China with up to 69 bcm of gas per year; discussions have stalled over pricing
differences.

19

China's Top Crude Suppliers 2011
Country
Saudi Arabia
Angola
Iran
Russia
Oman
Iraq
Sudan
Venezuela
Kazakhstan
Kuwait
Others

Volume (1,000 barrels per day)
1010
626
557
396
365
277
261
231
225
192
956

Percentage of Imported Crude Oil
20
12
11
8
7
5
5
5
4
4
19

5096

100

Total

INTERNAL DEBATE OVER
CHINA’S REGIONAL AND
GLOBAL ROLE

that the “hide and bide” rhetoric was not a
“smokescreen” employed while China builds
its strength, but rather an admonition to be
patient and not stand out.

China’s leadership has supported former
paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s dictum
from the early 1990s that China should,
“observe calmly; secure our position; cope
with affairs calmly; hide our capabilities and
bide our time; be good at maintaining a low
profile; and never claim leadership.” This
guidance reflected Deng’s belief that Chinese
interests are best served by focusing on
internal development and stability while
steering clear of challenging or confronting
major powers. In December 2010, State
Councilor Dai Bingguo specifically cited
Deng’s guidance, insisting China adhered to a
“path of peaceful development” and would
not seek expansion or hegemony. He asserted

However, some Chinese scholars question
whether Deng’s policy approach will continue
to win support as China’s interests increase
abroad and its power expands. China’s
perceived security interests have changed
considerably since Deng’s era to include a
heavy reliance on maritime commerce.
China’s improving naval capabilities enable
roles and missions that would have been
impossible for the PLA to pursue just a
decade ago. Proponents of a more active and
assertive Chinese role on the world stage have
suggested that China would be better served
by a firm stance in the face of U.S. or other
regional pressure. These voices could increase

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

as a result of renewed tensions with the
Philippines and Vietnam over the South
China Sea and with Japan over the Senkakus,
further complicating this debate.
“New Type of Relationship.” Top Chinese

leaders have repeatedly advocated for a “new
type of relationship between great powers” in
meetings with U.S. officials. The “new type
of relationship” concept urges a cooperative
U.S.-China partnership based on equality,
mutual respect, and mutual benefit. The
concept also reflects China’s aspirations to be
regarded as a great power, emphasizing
conflict avoidance to maintain its “peaceful
rise.”
China’s Periphery. The Chinese leadership

faces a policy dilemma in seeking to maintain
a stable periphery in order to assure its
“window of opportunity” for development

remains open. China also perceives other
regional countries asserting their national
interests in China’s periphery and feels
compelled to respond to ensure continued
stability; however, too strong of a response
may
motivate
regional
actors
to
counterbalance China’s rise through greater
cooperation with each other and the United
States. Therefore, China’s leaders are trying
to maintain a delicate balance between
defending territorial integrity in the face of
perceived provocations by its neighbors while
concurrently tamping down threat perceptions
across the globe. China publicly states that its
rise is “peaceful” and that it harbors no
“hegemonic” designs or aspirations for
territorial expansion. However, China’s lack
of transparency surrounding these growing
capabilities has increased concerns in the
region about China’s intentions.

China’s Territorial Disputes
China’s use of force in territorial disputes has varied throughout its history. Some disputes led to
war, such as China’s border conflicts with India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979. A contested
border with the former Soviet Union during the 1960s raised the possibility of nuclear war. In more
recent cases, China has been willing to compromise with and even offer concessions to its
neighbors. Since 1998, China has settled eleven land-based territorial disputes with six of its
neighbors. Several disputes continue over exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and ownership of
potentially rich, off-shore oil and gas deposits.
The East China Sea contains approximately seven trillion cubic feet of natural gas and up to 100
billion barrels of oil. Japan maintains that an equidistant line from each country involved should
separate the EEZs, while China claims an extended continental shelf beyond the equidistant line
to the Okinawa Trench (which almost reaches Japan’s shore). In early 2009, Japan accused
China of violating a June 2008 agreement providing for joint exploration of oil and natural gas

21

fields, and claimed that China unilaterally drilled beneath the demarcation line, extracting
reserves from the Japanese side. China, Japan, and Taiwan continue to dispute possession of
the nearby Senkaku Islands.
The South China Sea plays an important role in Northeast and Southeast Asian security
considerations. Northeast Asia relies heavily on the flow of oil and commerce through South
China Sea shipping lanes, including over 80 percent of the crude oil to Japan, South Korea, and
Taiwan. China claims sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel island groups and other land
formations within its “nine-dash line” claim - claims disputed in whole or part by Brunei, the
Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Taiwan, which occupies Itu Aba in the Spratly
Islands, makes the same claims as the PRC. In 2009, China protested extended continental shelf
claims in the South China Sea made by Malaysia and Vietnam; in its protest to the U.N.
Commission, China included the ambiguous nine-dash line and reiterated that it has
“indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters and
enjoys sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant waters as well as the seabed and subsoil
thereof.”
Despite increased political and economic relations over the years between China and India,
tensions remain along their shared 4,057 km border, most notably over Arunachal Pradesh
(which China asserts is part of Tibet, and therefore of China), and over the Aksai Chin region at
the western end of the Tibetan Plateau. Both countries in 2009 stepped up efforts to assert their
claims. China tried to block a $2.9 billion loan to India from the Asian Development Bank,
claiming part of the loan would have been used for water projects in Arunachal Pradesh. This
represented the first time China sought to influence this dispute through a multilateral institution.
The then-governor of Arunachal Pradesh announced that India would deploy more troops and
fighter jets to the area. An Indian newspaper reported that the number of Chinese border
violations had risen from 180 in 2011 to more than 400 by September 2012.

Power Projection Capability.

There has
also been an active debate among military and
civilian theorists in China concerning future
capabilities the PLA should develop to
advance China’s interests beyond traditional
requirements.
Some senior officers and
civilian theorists advocate an expansion of the
PLA’s power projection capabilities to
facilitate missions well beyond Taiwan and
regional disputes. Publicly, Chinese officials
contend that increasing the scope of China’s

maritime capabilities is intended to build
capacity for international peacekeeping,
humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and
protection of sea lanes. The commissioning
of the PLA Navy’s first aircraft carrier in
2012, in addition to serving as a symbol of
national
prestige,
exemplifies
these
aspirations.
Indicators of Decision and Intent. There

are several possible indicators of change in

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Chinese decision-making, depending on the
issue. This intent could be reflected through
speeches in regional and multi-national
organizations, commentary in official,
domestic newspapers or prominent Chinese
think tanks, adjustments to China’s Defense
White Paper, changes in talking points with
civilian and military interlocutors, disposition
of forces, and changes in military diplomacy.

PLA MILITARY ENGAGEMENT
The PLA’s level of engagement with foreign
militaries continues to grow significantly. At
the operational level, this engagement
provides the PLA with opportunities to share
doctrines, strategies, tactics, techniques, and
procedures with other militaries - both
modern and developing. At the strategic level,
China uses military engagement as a platform
for demonstrating the PLA’s growing
capabilities, its status as a modern military,
and its potential role as a responsible security
partner.
Senior-level visits and exchanges provide
China with opportunities to increase military
officers’ international exposure, communicate
China’s positions to foreign audiences, better
understand alternative world views, and
advance
foreign
relations
through
interpersonal contacts and military assistance
programs. Expanded PLA travel abroad
enables China’s military officers to observe
and study foreign military command
structures, unit formations, and operational
training.

The PLA is participating in a growing number
of bilateral and multilateral military exercises.
The PLA derives political benefit from these
exercises in terms of increased influence and
enhanced ties with partner states and
organizations. These exercises also contribute
to PLA modernization by providing
opportunities to improve capabilities in areas
such as counterterrorism, mobility operations,
and logistics. The PLA gains operational
insight by observing tactics, command
decision making, and equipment used by more
advanced militaries.
PLA participation or observer status in
military training exercises of nations in
possession of U.S. military equipment,
systems, and weapons may, in certain
circumstances, have unintended consequences
that could result in the unauthorized
disclosure of defense articles, technical data,
or defense services to China. Public Law 101246 – the Tiananmen Sanctions – prohibits
the transfer or disclosure of U.S.-origin
defense articles, defense services, technical
data, and/or technology to China.
Additionally, Public Law 94-329 – the Arms
Export Control Act - and the International
Traffic in Arms Regulations list China as a
nation for which U.S. policy denies the
transfer or export of defense articles
(including technical data) and defense services.
Beijing primarily conducts arms sales to
enhance foreign relationships and to generate
revenue to support its domestic defense
industry. China’s arms sales range from small

23

arms and ammunition to joint development or
transfer of advanced weapons systems.
Chinese companies sell mostly to developing
countries where China’s low-cost weapons
sales serve a strategic purpose. For example,
China maintains strong and longstanding
military–technical cooperation with Pakistan,
which includes arms sales and defense
industrial cooperation. With other countries
of strategic importance to China, such as
Sudan, arms sales and other security assistance
deepen developing ties and balance China’s
energy imports.

As China’s regional and international interests
grow more complex, the PLA’s international
engagement will expand, especially in the
areas of peacekeeping operations, counterpiracy, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief
(HA/DR), and joint exercises. In addition to
furthering PLA modernization, the focus of
these engagements will likely remain on
building China’s political ties, assuaging fears
about China’s rise, and building China’s
external influence, particularly in Asia.

China’s Military Leadership
The PLA is the armed instrument of the CCP and, organizationally, is subordinate to the Party
apparatus. Career military officers are CCP members, and units at the company level and
above have political officers responsible for personnel decisions, propaganda, and
counterintelligence. Major decisions at all levels are made by CCP committees, also led by the
political officers and commanders.
The PLA’s highest decision-making body, the Central Military Commission (CMC), is technically a
department of the CCP Central Committee, but is staffed primarily by military officers. The CMC
Chairman is a civilian, usually the General Secretary of the CCP and President. Other members
include several vice chairmen, the commanders of the military services, and the directors of the
four general headquarters departments.
China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) is not equivalent to the “defense ministry” in most
other nations, but rather is a small office coordinating military-related tasks where responsibility
overlaps between the civilian government and the armed forces, including foreign military
relations, mobilization, recruitment, “national defense education,” and civil support to military
operations. The Minister of Defense is a uniformed military officer, a member of the State Council
(the country’s chief administrative authority), and also a CMC member.
Following the increasing professionalization of the PLA, the military now holds fewer formal
positions in key political bodies than in the mid-1990s or even the mid-2000s. With the passing of
China’s revolutionary generation, few national leaders have served in the military: the Politburo
Standing Committee has not had a uniformed member since 1997 and only 4 of the 25 current
Politburo members have military experience. However, the PLA remains an influential player in

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

China’s defense and foreign policy due to the CMC’s special bureaucratic status and the PLA’s
near monopoly on military expertise.
Even as the PLA remains subordinate to top Party
leadership direction as the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party, longstanding
bureaucratic coordination issues and China’s increasingly active media landscape have
sometimes led to PLA-associated actions or statements that appear to diverge from the positions
of China’s other key bureaucratic actors, especially on national sovereignty or territorial issues.
Members of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission (CMC)
Chairman Xi Jinping’s appointment as Party General Secretary and CMC chairman, and his
expected selection as state president in the spring, represent the first clean transfer of power in
recent decades. Prior to becoming China’s new commander-in-chief, Xi served as the CMC’s
only civilian vice chairman. Xi’s father was an important military figure during the Chinese
communist revolution and a Politburo member in the 1980s. The younger Xi served as secretary
to a defense minister early in his career and would have had ample opportunities to interact with
the PLA as a provincial Party official. In meetings with U.S. officials Xi has emphasized increasing
mutual trust between Beijing and Washington.
Vice Chairman Fan Changlong is Beijing’s top uniformed officer. He formerly commanded the
Jinan Military Region (MR), a test bed for new operational concepts and technology that has
been at the forefront of the PLA’s joint training efforts in recent years. Fan was the longest serving
of China’s seven MR commanders at the time of his promotion to the CMC. He also spent 35
years in the Shenyang MR where he reportedly served in the same unit as outgoing CMC Vice
Chairman Xu Caihou, the PLA’s top political officer.
Vice Chairman Xu Qiliang—the first career air force officer promoted to CMC vice chairman—
previously served on the CMC as PLA Air Force commander where he oversaw rapid force
modernization and expanded the air force’s foreign engagement. He vocally advocated for
increasing the PLA Air Force’s role within the larger PLA including arguing in 2009 that the air
force should lead the development of offensive space capabilities. Xu may have crossed paths
with Xi Jinping earlier in their careers when both men served in Fujian Province. Xu was the first
PLA Air Force officer to serve as deputy chief of the General Staff Department (GSD) since the
Cultural Revolution period, and—at 54—the youngest in PLA history.
Chang Wanquan was appointed Minister of National Defense at the National People’s Congress
in March 2013. The Minister of National Defense is the PLA’s third most senior officer and
manages its relationship with state bureaucracies and foreign militaries. Chang previously
oversaw the PLA’s weapons development and space portfolio as head of the General
Armament Department. He is a veteran of China’s border skirmishes with Vietnam and held top
posts across military regions.

25

Chief of the General Staff Department Fang Fenghui oversees PLA operations, training, and
intelligence. He served as “commander-in-chief” of China’s 60th anniversary military parade in
2009 and oversaw security for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Fan is the first Beijing Military
Region commander to move directly to Chief of the General Staff Department. He was the
youngest military region commander when he was promoted to lead the Beijing Military Region
in 2007.
General Political Department Director Zhang Yang oversees the PLA’s political work to include
propaganda, discipline, and education. He previously served as Political Commissar of the
Guangzhou Military Region, which borders Vietnam and the South China Sea. Zhang assumed
that position at a relatively young age and is unusual among the other newly appointed CMC
members for spending his entire career in one military region. Zhang also participated in China’s
border conflict with Vietnam and supported disaster relief efforts following a January 2008
snowstorm in southern China.
General Logistics Department Director Zhao Keshi is responsible for overseeing PLA support
functions including finances, land, mining, and construction. Zhao spent his entire career in the
Nanjing MR responsible for a Taiwan contingency and most recently served as its Commander.
He was also reportedly an exercise commander in the large military drills that induced the 1996
Taiwan Strait Crisis. Zhao has written on defense mobilization and reserve construction.
General Armament Department Director Zhang Youxia is responsible for overseeing the military’s
weapons development and space program. Nicknamed “General Patton,” he has rare
experience as a combat commander during China’s brief conflict with Vietnam in 1979. Zhang
formerly commanded the Shenyang Military Region, which shares a border with North Korea and
Russia. Zhang is one of China’s military “princelings.” His father, a well-known military figure in
China, served with Xi Jinping’s father in the 1940s.
PLA Navy Commander Wu Shengli has served as head of the navy since 2006 and on the CMC
since 2007—only the second PLA Navy Commander to do so in recent decades. Under Wu, the
navy has increased its out-of-area exercises, multinational patrols, and foreign naval exchanges,
and initiated its first deployment to the Gulf of Aden. The first career navy officer to serve as a
Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Wu held leadership positions in two of the PLA Navy’s three
fleets, spending most of his career in the East Sea Fleet.
PLA Air Force Commander Ma Xiaotian previously oversaw the PLA’s military engagement
activities as a Deputy Chief of the General Staff. Ma led the PLA side in key military-to-military
exchanges with the United States, including the Defense Consultative Talks and the Strategic
Security Dialogue component of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Ma has
significant operational experience both as a pilot and staff officer in multiple military regions.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Second Artillery Commander Wei Fenghe oversees China’s strategic missile forces and bases.
Wei served in multiple missile bases across different military regions and held top posts in the
Second Artillery headquarters before being promoted in late 2010 to Deputy Chief of the
General Staff - the first officer from the Second Artillery to do so. In that role, Wei met frequently
with foreign delegations, including senior U.S. officials, affording him greater international
exposure than previous Second Artillery commanders.

27

3

FORCE MODERNIZATION GOALS
AND TRENDS

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

OVERVIEW
Although Taiwan continues to dominate the
PLA’s force modernization agenda (see
Chapter Five: Force Modernization for a
Taiwan Contingency), Beijing is investing in
military programs and weapons designed to
improve extended-range power projection and
operations in emerging domains such as cyber,
space, and electronic warfare. Current trends
in China’s weapons production will enable the
PLA to conduct a range of military operations
in Asia well beyond Taiwan, in the South
China Sea, western Pacific, and Indian Ocean.
Key systems that have been either deployed
or are in development include ballistic missiles
(including anti-ship variants), anti-ship and
land attack cruise missiles, nuclear submarines,
modern surface ships, and an aircraft carrier.
The need to ensure trade, particularly oil
supplies from the Middle East, has prompted
China’s navy to conduct counter-piracy
operations in the Gulf of Aden. Disputes
with Japan over maritime claims in the East
China Sea and with several Southeast Asian
claimants to all or parts of the Spratly and
Paracel Islands in the South China Sea have
led to renewed tensions in these areas.
Instability on the Korean Peninsula could also
produce a regional crisis involving China’s
military.
The desire to protect energy
investments in Central Asia, along with
potential security implications from crossborder support to ethnic separatists, could
also provide an incentive for military

investment or intervention in this region if
instability surfaces.
China’s political leaders have also charged the
PLA with developing capabilities for missions
such as peacekeeping, disaster relief, and
counterterrorism
operations.
These
capabilities will increase Beijing’s options for
military influence to press its diplomatic
agenda, advance regional and international
interests, and resolve disputes in its favor.
China has become more involved in HA/DR
operations in response to the “New Historic
Missions.” China’s ANWEI-class military
hospital ship (the Peace Ark) has deployed
throughout East Asia and to the Caribbean.
China has conducted more than ten joint
military exercises with the SCO members, the
most prominent being the PEACE MISSION
series, with China and Russia as the main
participants.
China continues its Gulf of Aden counterpiracy deployment that began in December
2008. Outside of occasional goodwill cruises,
this represents the PLA Navy’s only series of
operational
deployments
beyond
the
immediate western Pacific region.

PLA FUTURE CAPABILITIES
Nuclear Weapons. China’s official policy

on nuclear weapons continues to focus on
maintaining a nuclear force structure able to

29

survive an attack and respond with sufficient
strength to inflict unacceptable damage on an
enemy.
The new generation of mobile
missiles, with warheads consisting of MIRVs
and penetration aids, are intended to ensure
the viability of China’s strategic deterrent in
the face of continued advances in U.S. and, to
a lesser extent, Russian strategic intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR),
precision strike, and missile defense
capabilities. The PLA has deployed new
command, control, and communications
capabilities to its nuclear forces. These
capabilities improve the Second Artillery’s
ability to command and control multiple units
in the field. Through the use of improved
communications links, the ICBM units now
have better access to battlefield information,
uninterrupted communications connecting all
command echelons, and the unit commanders
are able to issue orders to multiple
subordinates at once, instead of serially via
voice commands.
China has consistently asserted that it adheres
to a “no first use” (NFU) policy, stating it
would use nuclear forces only in response to a
nuclear strike against China. China’s NFU
pledge consists of two stated commitments:

China will never use nuclear weapons first
against any nuclear-weapon state, and China
will never use or threaten to use nuclear
weapons against any non-nuclear-weapon
state or nuclear-weapon-free zone. However,
there is some ambiguity over the conditions
under which China’s NFU policy would apply,
including whether strikes on what China
considers its own territory, demonstration
strikes, or high-altitude bursts would
constitute a first use. Moreover, some PLA
officers have written publicly of the need to
spell out conditions under which China might
need to use nuclear weapons first; for example,
if an enemy’s conventional attack threatened
the survival of China’s nuclear force or of the
regime itself. However, there has been no
indication that national leaders are willing to
attach such nuances and caveats to China’s
NFU doctrine.
China will likely continue to invest
considerable resources to maintain a limited,
but survivable, nuclear force (sometimes
described as “sufficient and effective”), to
ensure the PLA can deliver a damaging
retaliatory nuclear strike.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

PLA Underground Facilities
China maintains a technologically advanced underground facility (UGF) program protecting all
aspects of its military forces, including C2, logistics, missile, and naval forces. Given China’s NFU
nuclear policy, China has assumed it may need to absorb an initial nuclear blow while ensuring
leadership and strategic assets survive.
China determined it needed to update and expand its military UGF program in the mid to late
1980s. This modernization effort took on a renewed urgency following China’s observation of U.S.
and NATO air operations in Operation Allied Force and of U.S. military capabilities during the
1991 Gulf War. A new emphasis on “winning hi-tech battles” in the future precipitated research
into advanced tunneling and construction methods. These military campaigns convinced
China it needed to build more survivable, deeply-buried facilities, resulting in the widespread
UGF construction effort detected throughout China for the last decade.

Land-Based Platforms.

China’s nuclear
arsenal currently consists of approximately 5075 ICBMs, including the silo-based CSS-4
(DF-5); the solid-fueled, road-mobile CSS-10
Mods 1 and 2 (DF-31 and DF-31A); and the
more limited range CSS-3 (DF-4). This force
is complemented by liquid-fueled CSS-2
intermediate-range ballistic missiles and roadmobile, solid-fueled CSS-5 (DF-21) MRBMs
for regional deterrence missions. By 2015,
China’s nuclear forces will include additional
CSS-10 Mod 2 and enhanced CSS-4 ICBMs.
Sea-Based Platforms. China continues to

produce the JIN-class SSBN, with three
already delivered and as many as two more in
various stages of construction. The JIN-class
SSBNs will eventually carry the JL-2
submarine-launched ballistic missile with an
estimated range of 7,400 km. The JIN-class
and the JL-2 will give the PLA Navy its first

long-range, sea-based nuclear capability. After
a round of successful testing in 2012, the JL-2
appears ready to reach initial operational
capability in 2013. JIN-class SSBNs based at
Hainan Island in the South China Sea would
then be able to conduct nuclear deterrence
patrols.
Future Efforts. China is working on a range

of technologies to attempt to counter U.S.
and other countries’ ballistic missile defense
systems, including maneuverable reentry
vehicles (MaRVs), MIRVs, decoys, chaff,
jamming, thermal shielding, and anti-satellite
(ASAT) weapons. China’s official media also
cite numerous Second Artillery training
exercises featuring maneuver, camouflage, and
launch operations under simulated combat
conditions, which are intended to increase
survivability. Together with the increased
mobility and survivability of the new

31

generation of missiles, these technologies and
training enhancements strengthen China’s
nuclear force and enhance its strategic strike
capabilities. Further increases in the number
of mobile ICBMs and the beginning of SSBN
deterrence patrols will force the PLA to
implement more sophisticated command and
control systems and processes that safeguard
the integrity of nuclear release authority for a
larger, more dispersed force.
Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD).

As
part of its planning for military contingencies,
China continues to develop measures to deter
or
counter
third-party
intervention,
particularly by the United States. China’s
approach to dealing with this challenge is
manifested in a sustained effort to develop the
capability to attack, at long ranges, military
forces that might deploy or operate within the
western Pacific, which the DoD characterizes
as “anti-access” and “area denial” (A2/AD)
capabilities. China is pursuing a variety of air,
sea, undersea, space and counter-space, and
information warfare systems and operational
concepts to achieve this capability, moving
toward an array of overlapping, multilayered
offensive capabilities extending from China’s
coast into the western Pacific. China’s 2008
Defense White Paper asserts, for example,
that one of the priorities for the development
of China’s armed forces is to “increase the
country’s capabilities to maintain maritime,
space, and electromagnetic space security.”
An essential element, if not a fundamental
prerequisite, of China’s emerging A2/AD

regime is the ability to control and dominate
the information spectrum in all dimensions of
the modern battlespace. PLA authors often
cite the need in modern warfare to control
information, sometimes termed “information
blockade” or “information dominance,” and
to seize the initiative and gain an information
advantage in the early phases of a campaign to
achieve air and sea superiority. China is
improving information and operational
security to protect its own information
structures, and is also developing electronic
and information warfare capabilities, including
denial and deception, to defeat those of its
adversaries. China’s “information blockade”
likely envisions employment of military and
non-military instruments of state power
across the battlespace, including in cyberspace
and outer space. China’s investments in
advanced electronic warfare systems, counterspace weapons, and computer network
operations (CNO) — combined with more
traditional forms of control historically
associated with the PLA and CCP systems,
such as propaganda and denial through
opacity, reflect the emphasis and priority
China’s leaders place on building capability for
information advantage.
In more traditional domains, China’s A2/AD
focus appears oriented toward restricting or
controlling access to China’s periphery,
including the western Pacific. China’s current
and projected force structure improvements,
for example, will provide the PLA with
systems that can engage adversary surface
ships up to 1,000 nm from China’s coast.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

China is also developing weapons for its
entire military to project force further from its
coast.
Current and projected missile systems will
allow the PLA to strike regional air bases,
logistical facilities, and other ground-based
infrastructure. Chinese military analysts have
concluded that logistics and power projection
are potential vulnerabilities in modern warfare,
given the requirements for precision in
coordinating transportation, communications,
and logistics networks. China is fielding an
array of conventionally armed ballistic missiles,
ground- and air-launched land-attack cruise
missiles, special operations forces, and cyberwarfare capabilities to hold targets at risk
throughout the region.
Counter-Space. PLA strategists regard the

ability to utilize space and deny adversaries
access to space as central to enabling modern,
informatized warfare. Although PLA doctrine
does not appear to address space operations
as a unique operational “campaign,” space
operations form an integral component of
other PLA campaigns and would serve a key
role in enabling A2/AD operations. Publicly,
China attempts to dispel any skepticism over
its military intentions for space. In 2009, PLA
Air Force Commander General Xu Qiliang
publically retracted his earlier assertion that
the militarization of space was a “historic
inevitability” after President Hu Jintao swiftly
contradicted him. General Xu Qiliang is now
a Vice Chairman of the Central Military

Commission and the second highest-ranking
officer in the PLA.
The PLA is acquiring a range of technologies
to improve China’s space and counter-space
capabilities. China demonstrated a directascent kinetic kill anti-satellite capability to
low Earth orbit when it destroyed the defunct
Chinese FY-1C weather satellite during a test
in January 2007. Although Chinese defense
academics often publish on counterspace
threat technologies, no additional anti-satellite
programs have been publicly acknowledged.
A PLA analysis of U.S. and coalition military
operations reinforced the importance of
operations in space to enable “informatized”
warfare, claiming that “space is the
commanding point for the information
battlefield.” PLA writings emphasize the
necessity of “destroying, damaging, and
interfering
with
the
enemy’s
reconnaissance...and
communications
satellites,” suggesting that such systems, as
well as navigation and early warning satellites,
could be among the targets of attacks
designed to “blind and deafen the enemy.”
The same PLA analysis of U.S. and coalition
military operations also states that “destroying
or capturing satellites and other sensors…will
deprive an opponent of initiative on the
battlefield and [make it difficult] for them to
bring their precision guided weapons into full
play.”
Information Operations. New technologies

allow the PLA to share intelligence, battlefield
information, logistics information, weather

33

reports, etc., instantaneously (over robust and
redundant
communications
networks),
resulting in improved situational awareness
for commanders. In particular, by enabling
the sharing of near-real-time ISR data with
commanders in the field, decision-making
processes are facilitated, shortening command
timelines and making operations more
efficient.
These improvements have greatly enhanced
the PLA’s flexibility and responsiveness.
“Informatized” operations no longer require
meetings for command decision-making or
labor-intensive processes for execution.
Commanders can now issue orders to
multiple units at the same time while on the
move, and units can rapidly adjust their
actions through the use of digital databases
and command automation tools. This is
critical for joint operations needed to execute
A2/AD.
However, to fully implement
“informatized” command and control, the
PLA will need to overcome a shortage of
trained personnel and its culture of centralized,
micro-managed command.
The PLA GSD Fourth Department
(Electronic Countermeasures and Radar)
would likely use information operations (IO)
tools, to include jamming/EW, CNO, and
deception to augment counter-space and
other kinetic operations during a wartime
scenario.
“Simultaneous and parallel”
operations would involve strikes against U.S.
warships, aircraft, and associated supply craft
and the use of IO to affect tactical and

operational communications and computer
networks. The PLA would likely rely on IO
to disrupt the U.S. capability to use
navigational and targeting radar.
Maritime. The PLA Navy is in the forefront

of China’s A2/AD developments, having the
greatest range and staying power within the
PLA to interdict third-party forces. In a nearterm conflict, PLA Navy operations would
likely begin in the offshore and coastal areas
with attacks by coastal defense cruise missiles,
maritime strike aircraft, and smaller
combatants, and extend as far as the second
island chain and Strait of Malacca using large
surface ships and submarines. As the PLA
Navy gains experience and acquires larger
numbers of more capable platforms, including
those with long-range air defense, it will
expand the depth of these operations further
into the Western Pacific. It will also develop a
new capability for ship-based land-attack
using cruise missiles. China views long-range
anti-ship cruise missiles as a key weapon in
this type of operation and is developing
multiple advanced types and the platforms to
employ them for this purpose.
These
platforms include conventional and nuclearpowered attack submarines (KILO SS, SONG
SS, YUAN SSP, SHANG SSN), surface
combatants (LUYANG III DDG [Type
052D],
LUZHOU DDG [Type 051C],
LUYANG I/II DDG [Type 052B/C],
SOVREMENNY II-class DDG, JIANGKAI
II FFG [Type 054A], JIANGDAO FFL [Type
056]), and maritime strike aircraft (JH-7 and
JH-7A, H-6G, and the SU-30 MK2).

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

China would face several short-comings in a
near-term A2/AD operation. First, it has not
developed a robust, deep water antisubmarine warfare capability, in contrast to its
strong capabilities in the air and surface
domains. Second, it is not clear whether
China has the capability to collect accurate
targeting information and pass it to launch
platforms in time for successful strikes in sea
areas beyond the first island chain. However,
China is working to overcome these
shortcomings.
Air and Air Defense.

China’s future air
force A2/AD capabilities will be bolstered by
the development of a 5th generation fighter
force, which is not likely to be fielded before
2018. Key characteristics of fifth generation
fighters include high maneuverability, lack of
visibility on radar due to very low observable
stealth shaping, and an internal weapons bay.
Other key features of these aircraft are
modern avionics and sensors that offer more
timely situational awareness for operations in
network-centric combat environments, radars
with advanced targeting capabilities and
protection
against
enemy
electronic
countermeasures, and integrated electronic
warfare
systems
with
advanced
communication and GPS navigation functions.
These next generation aircraft will improve
China’s existing fleet of fourth generation
aircraft (Russian built Su-27/Su-30 and
indigenous J-10 and J-11B fighters) by
utilizing low-observable platforms to support
regional air superiority and strike operations.
Additionally, China’s continuing upgrades to

its bomber fleet may provide the capability to
carry new, longer-range cruise missiles.
Similarly, the acquisition and development of
longer-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV),
including the BZK-005, and unmanned
combat aerial vehicles (UCAV), will increase
China’s ability to conduct long-range
reconnaissance and strike operations.
China’s ground-based air defense A2/AD
capabilities will likely be focused on
countering long-range airborne strike
platforms with increasing numbers of
advanced, long-range SAMs. China’s current
air and air defense A2/AD components
include a combination of advanced long-range
SAMs – its indigenous HQ-9 and Russian SA10 and SA-20 PMU1/PMU2, which have the
advertised capability to protect against both
aircraft and low-flying cruise missiles. China
continues to pursue the acquisition of the
Russian extremely long-range S-400 SAM
system (400 km), and is also expected to
continue research and development to extend
the range of the domestic HQ-9 SAM to
beyond 200km.
Ballistic Missile Defense. China has made

efforts to go beyond defense from aircraft and
cruise missiles to gain a ballistic missile
defense capability in order to provide further
protection of China’s mainland and strategic
assets. China’s existing long-range SAM
inventory offers limited capability against
ballistic missiles. The SA-20 PMU2, the most
advanced SAM Russia offers for export, has
the advertised capability to engage ballistic

35

missiles with ranges of 1,000km and speeds of
2,800m/s. China’s domestic CSA-9 longrange SAM system is expected to have a
limited capability to provide point defense
against tactical ballistic missiles with ranges up
to 500km. China is proceeding with the
research and development of a missile defense
umbrella consisting of kinetic energy intercept
at exo-atmospheric altitudes (>80km), as well
as intercepts of ballistic missiles and other
aerospace vehicles within the upper
atmosphere. In January 2010, and again in
January 2013, China successfully intercepted a
ballistic missile at mid-course, using a groundbased missile.
Cyber Activities Directed Against the
Department of Defense.
In 2012,

numerous computer systems around the
world, including those owned by the U.S.
government, continued to be targeted for
intrusions, some of which appear to be
attributable directly to the Chinese
government and military. These intrusions
were
focused
on
exfiltrating
information. China is using its computer
network exploitation (CNE) capability to
support intelligence collection against the U.S.
diplomatic, economic, and defense industrial
base sectors that support U.S. national
defense programs. The information targeted
could potentially be used to benefit China’s
defense industry, high technology industries,
policymaker interest in US leadership thinking
on key China issues, and military planners
building a picture of U.S. network defense
networks, logistics, and related military

capabilities that could be exploited during a
crisis. Although this alone is a serious
concern, the accesses and skills required for
these intrusions are similar to those necessary
to
conduct
computer
network
attacks. China’s 2010 Defense White Paper
notes China’s own concern over foreign
cyberwarfare efforts and highlighted the
importance of cyber-security in China’s
national defense.
Cyberwarfare

in

China’s

Military.

Cyberwarfare capabilities could serve Chinese
military operations in three key areas. First
and foremost, they allow data collection for
intelligence and computer network attack
purposes. Second, they can be employed to
constrain an adversary’s actions or slow
response time by targeting network-based
logistics, communications, and commercial
activities. Third, they can serve as a force
multiplier when coupled with kinetic attacks
during times of crisis or conflict.
Developing cyber capabilities for warfare is
consistent with authoritative PLA military
writings. Two military doctrinal writings,
Science of Strategy, and Science of Campaigns
identify information warfare (IW) as integral
to achieving information superiority and an
effective means for countering a stronger
foe. Although neither document identifies the
specific criteria for employing computer
network attack against an adversary, both
advocate developing capabilities to compete
in this medium.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

The Science of Strategy and Science of Campaigns
detail the effectiveness of IW and CNO in
conflicts and advocate targeting adversary C2
and logistics networks to affect their ability to
operate during the early stages of conflict. As
Science of Strategy explains, “In the information
war, the command and control system is the
heart of information collection, control, and
application on the battlefield. It is also the
nerve center of the entire battlefield.”
In parallel with its military preparations, China
has increased diplomatic engagement and
advocacy in multilateral and international
forums where cyber issues are discussed and
debated. Beijing’s agenda is frequently in line
with Russia’s efforts to promote more
international
control
over
cyber

activities. China and Russia continue to
promote an Information Security Code of
Conduct that would have governments
exercise sovereign authority over the flow of
information and control of content in
cyberspace. Both governments also continue
to play a disruptive role in multilateral efforts
to establish transparency and confidencebuilding measures in international fora such as
the
Organization
for
Security
and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), ASEAN
Regional Forum, and the UN Group of
Governmental Experts. Although China has
not yet agreed with the U.S. position that
existing mechanisms, such as international
humanitarian law, apply in cyberspace,
Beijing’s thinking continues to evolve.

Role of Electronic Warfare (EW) in Future Conflict
An integral component of warfare, the PLA identifies EW as a way to reduce or eliminate U.S.
technological advantages. Chinese EW doctrine emphasizes using electromagnetic spectrum
weapons to suppress or deceive enemy electronic equipment. PLA EW strategy focuses on
radio, radar, optical, infrared, and microwave frequencies, in addition to adversarial computer
and information systems.
Chinese EW strategy stresses that it is a vital fourth dimension to combat and should be
considered equally with traditional ground, sea, and air forces. Effective EW is seen as a
decisive aid during military operations and consequently the key to determining the outcome of
war. The Chinese see EW as an important force multiplier and would likely employ it in support of
all combat arms and services during a conflict.
PLA EW units have conducted jamming and anti-jamming operations testing the military’s
understanding of EW weapons, equipment, and performance, which helped improve their
confidence in conducting force-on-force, real-equipment confrontation operations in simulated
electronic warfare environments. The advances in research and deployment of electronic
warfare weapons are being tested in these exercises and have proven effective. These EW
weapons include jamming equipment against multiple communication and radar systems and
GPS satellite systems. EW systems are also being deployed with other sea and air-based
platforms intended for both offensive and defensive operations.

37

Systems and Capabilities Enabling
Power Projection. China has prioritized

land-based ballistic and cruise missile
programs to extend its strike warfare
capabilities further from its borders. It is
developing and testing several new classes and
variants of offensive missiles, forming
additional missile units, upgrading older
missile systems, and developing methods to
counter ballistic missile defenses. The Second
Artillery has deployed more than 1,100
SRBMs to garrisons across from Taiwan and
is fielding cruise missiles, including the
ground-launched CJ-10 land-attack cruise
missile. China continues to field an ASBM
based on a variant of the DF-21 (CSS-5)
medium-range ballistic missile that it began
deploying in 2010. Known as the DF-21D,
this missile provides the PLA the capability to
attack large ships, including aircraft carriers, in
the western Pacific. The DF-21D has a range
exceeding 1,500 km and is armed with a
maneuverable warhead.
The PLA Navy continues the development
and deployment of ship, submarine, and
aircraft-deployed ASCMs, Russian- and
Chinese-built. New long-range air-launched
cruise missiles for the H-6 bomber fleet
extend the PLA’s strike range.
The PLA Air Force is continuing a
modernization effort to improve its capability
to conduct offensive and defensive off-shore
operations such as strike, air and missile
defense, strategic mobility, and early warning
and reconnaissance missions.
China

continues its development of stealth aircraft
technology, with the appearance of a second
stealth fighter following on the heels of the
maiden flight of the J-20 in January 2011. In
an effort to address its strategic airlift
deficiency, as mentioned earlier in this report,
China is also developing a heavy lift transport
aircraft, possibly identified as the Y-20.
Capabilities to Realize a “Blue Water”
Navy. The PLA Navy remains at the

forefront of the military’s efforts to extend its
operational reach beyond East Asia and into
what China calls the “far seas.” Missions in
these areas include protecting important sea
lanes from terrorism, maritime piracy, and
foreign interdiction; providing humanitarian
assistance and disaster relief; conducting naval
diplomacy and regional deterrence; and
training to prevent a third party, such as the
United States, from interfering with
operations off China’s coast in a Taiwan or
South China Sea conflict. The PLA Navy’s
ability to perform these missions is modest
but growing as it gains more experience
operating in distant waters and acquires larger
and more advanced platforms. The PLA
Navy’s goal over the coming decades is to
become a stronger regional force that is able
to project power across the globe for highintensity operations over a period of several
months, similar to the United Kingdom’s
deployment to the South Atlantic to retake
the Falkland Islands in the early 1980s.
However, logistics and intelligence support
remain key obstacles, particularly in the Indian
Ocean.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

In the last several years, the PLA Navy’s
distant seas experience has primarily derived
from its ongoing counter-piracy mission in
the Gulf of Aden and long-distance task
group deployments beyond the first island
chain in the western Pacific. China continues
to sustain a three-ship presence in the Gulf of
Aden to protect Chinese merchant shipping
from maritime piracy. This operation is
China’s first enduring naval operation beyond
the Asia region.
Additionally, the PLA Navy has begun to
conduct military activities within the
Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of other
nations, without the permission of those
coastal states. Of note, the United States has
observed over the past year several instances
of Chinese naval activities in the EEZ around
Guam and Hawaii. One of those instances
was during the execution of the annual Rim of
the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in July/August
2012. While the United States considers the
PLA Navy activities in its EEZ to be lawful,
the activity undercuts China’s decades-old
position that similar foreign military activities
in China’s EEZ are unlawful.
The PLA Navy has made long-distance
deployments a routine part of the annual
training cycle. In 2012, it deployed task
groups beyond the first island chain seven
times with formations as large as seven ships.
These deployments are designed to complete
a number of training requirements, including

long-distance navigation, C2, and multidiscipline warfare in deep sea environments
beyond the range of land-based air defense.
The PLA Navy’s force structure continues to
evolve, incorporating more platforms with the
versatility for both offshore and long-distance
operations. In addition to the recentlycommissioned KUZNETSOV-class aircraft
carrier (CV) Liaoning, China is engaged in
series production of the LUYANG-class III
DDG, the JIANGKAI-class II FFG, and the
JIANGDAO-class FFL. China will also begin
construction on a new Type 081-class landing
helicopter assault ship within the next five
years. China will probably build several
aircraft carriers over the next 15 years.
Limited logistical support remains a key
obstacle preventing the PLA Navy from
operating more extensively beyond East Asia,
particularly in the Indian Ocean. China
desires to expand its access to logistics in the
Indian Ocean and will likely establish several
access points in this area in the next 10 years
(potential sites include the Strait of Malacca,
Lomboc Strait, and Sunda Strait). These
arrangements will likely take the form of
agreements for refueling, replenishment, crew
rest, and low-level maintenance. The services
provided will likely fall short of U.S.-style
agreements permitting the full spectrum of
support from repair to re-armament.

39

China’s Maritime Security Approach
During the 2012 Scarborough Reef and Senkaku Island tensions, the China Maritime Surveillance
(CMS) and Fisheries Law Enforcement Command (FLEC) ships were responsible for directly
managing the disputes on a daily basis, while the PLA Navy maintained a more distant presence
away from the immediate vicinity of the contested waters. China prefers to use its civilian
maritime agencies in these disputes, and use the PLA Navy further ashore from disputed areas or
as an escalatory measure. The five civilian agency entities, commonly referred to as the “Five
Dragons” are:
Anti-Smuggling Bureau (ASB): Subordinate to the General Administration of Customs and Ministry
of Public Security. Armed entity responsible for criminal investigations and smuggling cases along
China’s inland border posts and rivers.
China Coast Guard (CCG): Subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security. Active duty maritime
police force responsible for combating maritime crime.
China Maritime Surveillance (CMS): Subordinate to the State Oceanic Administration and
Ministry of Land and Resources. Responsible for asserting China’s marine rights and sovereignty
claims in disputed maritime regions.
Fisheries Law Enforcement Command (FLEC): Subordinate to the Ministry of Agriculture. Enforces
PRC fisheries laws and handles fishery disputes with foreign entities across China’s exclusive
economic zone (EEZ).
Maritime Safety Administration (MSA): Subordinate to the Ministry of Transport. Responsible for
safety of life at sea (SOLAS), maritime pollution control, and cleanup, port inspection, and
maritime investigation.
In the next decade, an expanded and modernized force of civilian maritime ships will afford
China the capability to more robustly patrol its territorial claims in the ECS and SCS. China is
continuing with the second half of a modernization and construction program for its maritime
law enforcement agencies. The first half of this program, from 2004-2008, resulted in the addition
of almost 20 ocean-going patrol ships for the CMS (9), Bureau of Fisheries (BOF) (3), Maritime
Safety Administration (MSA) (3), and China Coast Guard (2). The second half of this program,
from 2011-2015, includes at least 30 new ships for the CMS (23), BOF (6), and MSA (1). Several
agencies have also acquired ships that were decommissioned from the PLA Navy. Some old
patrol ships will be decommissioned during this period. In addition, MLE agencies will likely build
more than 100 new patrol craft and smaller units, both to increase capability and to replace old
units. Overall, CMS total force level is expected to increase 50 percent by 2020 and BOF by 25
percent. MSA, China Coast Guard, and Maritime Customs force levels will probably remain
constant, but with larger and more capable units replacing older, smaller units. Some of these
ships will have the capability to embark helicopters, a capability that only a few MLE ships
currently have. The enlargement and modernization of China’s MLE forces will improve China’s
ability to enforce its maritime sovereignty.

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China

Military Operations Other Than War.

China’s military continues to emphasize
Military Operations Other Than War
(MOOTW) including emergency response,
counter-terrorism,
international
rescue,
disaster relief, peacekeeping, and various other
security tasks. China’s 2010 Defense White
Paper cited the use of its military for these
purposes as a means of maintaining social
harmony and stability.
These missions
support the “New Historic Missions” while
enabling the PLA opportunities to acquire
operational and mobilization proficiency in
addition to strengthening civil-military
relations.
According to Chinese media, between 2008
and 2011, the PLA employed more than 2.4
million active-duty forces, roughly 7.82
million militia and reservists, and more than
6,700 aircraft sorties for MOOTW, including
high-profile events such as the 2008 Beijing
Olympics and the 2011 evacuation of Chinese
citizens from Libya. Within the past year,
China’s MOOTW experience has included

dispatching soldiers to work with civilian
entities to provide disaster relief in Yunnan
Province following a 5.6 magnitude
earthquake in September, and counter-piracy
patrols in the Gulf of Aden. Additionally, the
PLA has increasingly committed itself to UN
peacekeeping operations and continues
military engagements as a member of the SCO.
In December 2011, the Military Operations
Other Than War Research Center was
founded at the Academy of Military Sciences
in Beijing, indicating MOOTW’s growing role
in the PLA following the establishment of
guidelines and regulations for such operations
during the preceding two years.
This
increased emphasis of MOOTW provides the
PLA experience with joint operations and
various command and control scenarios.
Depending on the nature of the operation,
PLA resources for MOOTW can be under the
command of local jurisdiction or up to the
highest levels of civilian and military
leadership, allowing the PLA to rapidly
respond to unexpected events.

41


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