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India-China Border Dispute (Tibet and South Xinjiang), China-Taiwan, Military Modernisation (Military Theory), Research (SCS, PLA Biographies), 20th CC, Space, Cyber, Military Vocabulary
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Hello, wishing you all a very happy new year and also a very happy Chinese new year. It has been four months since I wrote the last newsletter. I have almost completed one year in Taiwan studying Chinese. I am between levels B1 and B2 (Lower Intermediate). Chinese is getting tougher every day, and managing Chinese language studies, research and other commitments is extremely challenging. My sincere apologies!
I am happy to share the latest edition of the PLA Bulletin: A monthly newsletter on news, analysis, updates and academic writing about the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Before we start, please note that it’s a very long newsletter and might be folded into the email. So it’s best to open it on the browser by clicking on the logo.
As always, a sincere thank you for reading the newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it and find it insightful.
Please take care and stay safe,
Suyash Ashok Desai.
1) India-China Border Dispute
3) Military Modernisation
4) Research: South China Sea, PLA Biographies
5) 20th CC and the PLA, PLA and Space, Cyber
6) Military Vocabulary
Section 1: India-China Border Dispute
Until now, there have been 17 rounds of Corps Commander-level meetings between India and China – the latest held on 20th December 2022 at the Chinese side of the Chushul-Moldo border at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This meeting was held after the recent clashes between the Chinese and Indian soldiers in the near Yangste, Tawang sector, Arunachal Pradesh. However, the 17th round focused on the problems in the western sector (Ladakh). India and China also had 25 Working Mechanism for Consultation and Co0rdination (WMCC) meetings, which set the groundwork for the Corps Commander-level meetings between the two countries. With the latest round of the disengagement of troops from the fifth friction point in Eastern Ladakh along the LAC near Hot springs Patrolling Point (PP) 15, buffer zones have now been established by the two sides in five locations, including in Galwan Valley, north and south of Pangong Lake, at PP17A in Gogra and PP15 Hot Springs. The arrangements in the four earlier established buffer zones have helped keep the peace over the past two years on the western side of the LAC, and reportedly, neither side has undertaken any patrolling. The Hot Springs’ disengagement came just three days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping was to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Uzbekistan. However, the stand-off continues at two points – Depsang Plains and Charding Nullah (Demchok).
However, despite recent disengagement, PD Nitya, Superintendent of Police of Leh, Ladakh’s main city, in her latest report, claims that India has lost access to 26 out of 65 patrolling points in Eastern Ladakh. “Presently there are 65 PPs (Patrolling Points) starting from Karakoram pass to Chumur which are to be patrolled regularly by the ISFs (Indian Security Forces). Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37, due to restrictive or no patrolling by the ISFs,” wrote PD Nitya. Please note that this reporting is by NDTV, and they claim to have accessed the paper written by Ms Nitya. I have not seen the paper yet. Her report also claims that “PLA has taken advantage of the buffer areas in the de-escalation talks by placing their best cameras on the highest peaks and monitoring the movement of our forces... They object to our movement even in the buffer zone, claiming it to be ‘their’ area of operation and then further ask us to move back to create more ‘buffer’ areas.” Ms Nitya also said that marking areas as out of bounds and keeping them barren affects troop morale as well. “During an interaction with one senior officer whose unit is based right on the forward area, he shared that, if by retreating 400 metres back, we can buy peace with the PLA for 4 years, then it’s worth it,” noted the report.
Elsewhere, in the eastern sector near Tawang, over 200 Chinese troops armed with spiked clubs with nails on them, monkey fists and taser guns clashed with Indian soldiers in the tense Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector on December 12, 2022, leading to several injuries on both sides. Indian Media reports highlight that on the morning of December 9, over 200 Chinese soldiers armed with crude weapons reached the Indian perception of the LAC, about 35 km from Tawang, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso. The Chinese soldiers were challenged by a group of about 50 Indian soldiers who stopped the PLA advance in an area that saw a similar clash in October 2021. However, very interestingly, Chinese media claim the specific location of the conflict between India and China to be in the Dongzhang area and not Yangste. This is the same area, 25 kilometres east of Xiaocun and Bangshankou, where the two sides clashed in October 2021.
Bangshankou Pass is the demarcation point of actual control between China and India, and it is also where the PLA attack was launched to control Tawang during the 1962 war. After the latest face-off, Chinese reports describe the demarcation line between the actual control of the two sides in the direction of Cona-Tawang is still the Bangshankou Pass.
Importance of Dongzhang Area: an excellent piece in the Diplomat by Prof Hemant Adlakha, JNU.
“According to the Chinese media, Dongzhang is an extremely important frontline area in the fight against “Indian encroachment in South Tibet.” It is located on the alpine plateau, a windy, cold, and dry semi-arid monsoon climate zone at the northern foot of the Himalayas… Additionally, Dongzhang waterfall is a highly respected holy place and it is believed to be the place where the Tibetan Buddhist master Padmasambhava practiced. Dongzhang is situated at the river’s narrowest point; one can actually cross it on foot during the dry season. India controls land near the Dongzhang Waterfall. According to Chinese media reports, the Dongzhang area clash between the PLA and Indian Army on December 9, 2022, is just a resumption of what happened in September-October last year.”
Source: Rohit Vats
Meanwhile, Chinese Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping, in a rare publicly recorded conversation, spoke to the troops stationed on the India-China border. Mr Xi, speaking from the PLA headquarters in Beijing, addressed troops at a border defence station in Khunjerab under the South Xinjiang Military Command and “inspected their combat readiness.” Notably, the Xinjiang border command was the only PLA army command Mr Xi was shown speaking to, while he has also addressed a Chinese navy formation and an air force aviation brigade elsewhere. However, elsewhere and more importantly, China has commenced its annual spring military training and January conscriptions. More on these topics in the modernisation section, however, notably, the troops and conscripts were diverted to the Indian border after the annual spring training in 2020.
Tibet, South Xinjiang and India
Key Politicians from Tibet and Xinjiang in the 20th CC
CCP Party Secretary
1) Tibet 西藏 – Wang Junzheng 王君正 (Responsible for “re-education camps in Xinjiang).
2) Xinjiang 新疆 – Ma Xingrui 馬興瑞
Minorities on the Central Committee:
1) Erkin Tuniyaz (Uighur)
2) Yan Jinhai (Tibetan), currently serving as the Chairman of the People’s Government of Tibet
Meanwhile, in November 2022, the Tibet Autonomous Region Standing Committee made a notable change by appointing He Jun (贺军) in place of Zhang Jianxin (张建鑫) as Deputy Public Prosecutor in Ngari Prefecture (阿里地區). This was just a day after the vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the TAR People’s Congress, Ji Guogang (纪国刚), was put under investigation for ‘serious violation of Party discipline and laws’.
Tibetan Border Villages
1) Ruomu New Village (若木新村) is identified approximately 15km from the border opposite Sikkim Province, India. This village was established within the last 5 years and cannot be found on Google Maps. However, it appears that the village has a military presence, although the force cannot yet be quantified.
2) A new patrol has been organised in the village of Yümai (玉麦乡), less than 20km from the border with Arunachal Pradesh. The new ‘border guards’ appear to be ethnic Tibetans dressed in civilian clothing. Despite being described as China’s smallest township, this village has seen significant infrastructure growth, with its population increasing to 300, many of which are likely to be Han Chinese. The village even reached national attention with Xi Jinping himself awarding a ‘July 1st Medal’ in 2016 to two of the inhabitants for their role in populating the border town.
3) According to an interview with the deputy secretary of the Ngari Committee and the commissioner of the Administrative Office, Danba Wangjiu, the Ngari County has 37 Border Villages. These were formed after the 19th Party Congress. 170 million Yuan have been invested in implementing power supply, road and communication projects in these border villages. Notably, at the end of September 2020, the task of building a well-off border village in the Ngari region has been fully completed.
Why has China built these border villages? Besides border watch posts, China is trying to make permanent settlements in these border villages. Once these border villages are permanently settled, then this changes the status quo on the border. It becomes difficult to move the settled population, thus making your claim to the region stronger. Also, similar things are practised in the South China Sea Islands, where China has tried to settle a permanent population on the inhabitant artificially constructed islands by growing vegetation since 2020.
China has announced the commencement of construction of Burang Airport (24km from the border with Uttarakhand), which is due to be completed in 2030. Please note that, like all major Tibetan airports, Burang would definitely be a dual-use airport. Some background: In April 2021, the Airport was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission. From the information available, the terminal building of the Burang Airport covers an area of 6,000 square meters. There are 5 C-class seats on the civil aviation apron and two helicopter seats on the general aviation apron; the runway is 4,500 meters long and 45 meters wide.
The local government has also announced that 215 water conservation projects will recommence, promising that the Xianghe Water Conservation Project, which directly affects a tributary of the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River. This project will be completed by April 2023. Furthermore, as the Hindu reports, China is also building a new dam on the Mabja River close to the India-Nepal-China tri-junction. Mabja Zangbo originates in Nagari county of Tibet and flows through Nepal into the Ghaghara river before joining the Ganga in India.
Xinjiang (South Xinjiang)
Xinjiang recently released a report for the developments in 2022 in the Hotan region, which borders Ladakh. A total of 135 major projects have been implemented with an investment of RMB 25.12 billion. This included the completion of several highway sections, such as G315 Minfeng-Lopu Highway, which opened on 30th June 2022 (267.19km) - reportedly shortening the journey from Minfeng to Hotan City from 6 to 3 hours. In 2022, the government also started building an extension to this road connecting Lops Nur to Moyu. This road connects Xinjiang vertically and, on completion, would possibly help faster mobilisation from the north Xinjiang region. Furthermore, after six years, the G580 Hotan-Kangxiwa Highway has also been completed, stretching a total distance of 245.66km. The highway runs through mountainous terrain, including the 4410m-long Kangxiwa tunnel. Please note that Hotan is a major military installation under the South Xinjiang Military Command and Kangxiwa comes exceptionally close to Aksai Chin.
The government is also beginning preparatory work to construct two new regional airports. These are Pishan Airport and Qira County Kunlun General Airport, and I could not locate them on the map. Qira County itself is around 160km from Aksai Chin. Both are extremely close to Aksai Chin. Pishan Airport is located at the southernmost tip of Xinjiang, at the northern foot of the Karakoram Mountains, at the southern edge of the Taklimakan Desert, and at the junction with Kashmir. The airport covers an area of 34.2431 hectares, with a total construction area of 4050 square meters.
India-China trade thriving – India’s deficit beyond 100 billion dollars
India’s alarm spikes as China and Bhutan move closer to resolving border feud
Paper: Chinese border incursions into India
Section 2: Taiwan and China
China appointed Song Tao, former head of the International Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, as the new director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. Song, 67, has replaced Liu Jieyi, who held the post since March 2018. He will also serve as director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Central Committee. The office’s main responsibilities include formulating policies on Taiwan, coordinating legal affairs related to the island, and managing cross-strait business and cultural affairs. Both are under the direct management of the Central Committee. Song was a member of the 19th Central Committee after being elected in 2017 for a five-year term. Song was the head of the Central Committee’s International Department from November 2015 to June 2022. Previously, he served as Chinese ambassador to Guyana and to the Philippines in the 2000s and became vice minister of foreign affairs in 2011. In 2017, Song visited North Korea as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy to promote bilateral ties. A native of Suqian in East China’s Jiangsu province, Song holds a doctorate in economics and spent his early career in the eastern province of Fujian.
Meanwhile, China staged its most significant military manoeuvres near Taiwan in the last week of December since the Taiwan Strait crisis in August, days after the US passed an annual defence spending bill that authorised up to $10bn in security assistance to the country for the first time. 47 PLA aircraft entered the country’s air defence identification zone, with at least 41 flying across the Taiwan Strait median line, claimed Taiwan’s defence ministry. This marks China’s third-largest number of single-day violations of Taiwan’s ADIZ, a self-declared buffer zone, and the most since August 5, during week-long exercises that Beijing staged to retaliate against US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. According to Taiwan’s data, 42 of the 47 PLA planes that flew into the ADIZ were fighter aircraft, with early warning and reconnaissance planes, including one drone, accounting for the rest. More than two dozen fighters crossed the median line, including at its centre where the strait is narrowest — a highly risky manoeuvre the PLA infrequently uses, generally when Beijing is seeking to respond to moves such as visits to Taipei by senior US officials.
After this, the PLA also announced its first drills around Taiwan in 2023, as it conducted joint alert patrol and combat exercises around the island in the second week of January 2023. “Focusing on practising land attack and sea assault, the PLA Eastern Theater Command organised cross-service joint alert patrol and realistic combat-oriented exercises in sea and aerial areas around the island of Taiwan”, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesperson at the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement.
Across the Strait, Taipei has also swung in action as it extended its mandatory military service period. The decision is expected to affect the conscripts born on and after January 1, 2005. Previously, after 1949, when the Republic of China’s (ROC) government was relocated to Taiwan following the Chinese Civil War, all Taiwanese men above 18 had to serve two to three years in the military as part of the conscription system. However, this system was gradually reduced to one year by 2008. Furthermore, under the previous Kuomintang administration, from 2008-2016, the conscription was turned into a volunteer force, with conscripts serving in support roles only required to undergo four months of military training. During these four months, the conscripts are mandated to undergo a five-week boot camp, followed by 11 weeks of specialised training with field units. However, under President Tsai’s revised system, all conscripts must undergo eight weeks of basic military training before 44 weeks of ground training. Their monthly salary would also be raised from about $195 to more than $650 per month.
Elsewhere, Taiwan’s former top military official Lee Hsi-ming (李喜明), a retired admiral who served as chief of the general staff of the Republic of China Armed Forces from 2017-2019, said it is a long-standing practice that senior Taiwanese military officials visit the Pentagon to discuss defence and security issues with American counterparts directly. He revealed that he was invited to meet with a senior American official in the White House in 2019, highlighting the cordial ties between the two militaries despite the lack of diplomatic relations. Admiral Lee is also known for ODC (Overall Defence Concept), which, unfortunately, after his retirement has been abandoned by the Taiwanese military leadership – so much so that there is not a single reference to ODC in Taiwan’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) published in early 2021.
As we enter 2023, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, in an interview with Sky Sports, warned that China is now "more likely" to invade Taiwan to distract from leader Xi Jinping's domestic problems. His words come at a time when tensions across the Taiwan strait are at the highest they've been for many years, with China now flying fighter jets towards Taiwanese airspace on a daily basis. Mr Wu also said that the current "status quo" arrangement, in which Taiwan is self-governing but does not officially declare independence, "might not last forever", in a rare acknowledgement that the island might one day either be assimilated by China or become an independent country.
Check this special issue by Global Taiwan Institute on what 2023 holds for Taiwan.
Taiwan hold military officers suspected for spying on China
Part of Taiwan anti-ship missile send to China for repairs
Section 3: China’s Military Modernisation
Development of science and technology and innovative thinking are determining factors for the modernisation of the PLA's military theory. Over the years, the PLA has developed "system-breaking warfare" as a core theory of guiding warfare (體系破擊戰, tǐxì pò jí zhàn). This means paralysing and destroying the enemy's operations system. This is coupled with a new combat concept, "multi-domain precision warfare", which focuses on breaking through the enemy's blind spots through the "command, information, intelligence, surveillance" (C4ISR) system combined with big data and artificial intelligence and launch precision strikes through joint operations (多域精確戰, duō yù jīngquè zhàn). Military warfare theory and military technology are the two wheels driving military modernisation for the effective implementation of "System-breaking warfare" or "multi-domain precision warfare" in the future.
Personnel of the PLA
Who is Li Qiaoming? The PLA’s New Army Commander
Xi Jinping promoted Li Qiaoming as the commander of the PLA Army.
His details: Age: 61 years
Previously Deployed: Northern Theatre Command Commander.
He previously served in the Guangzhou Military region, which was later converted into Southern Theatre Command. In this theatre command, he was the chief of staff, corps commander and major general in the 41st Army.
Then he was moved to the coastal province of Shandong to join the Northern Theatre after the military reforms as a lieutenant general. He was later promoted to commander of the theatre, a position he held for five years before stepping down in September 2022. In December 2019, Li was promoted to the rank of general, the highest rank for officers in active service in China.
In October, Li was re-elected as a member of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party. The Central Committee is the party's top policymaking body and is responsible for electing the Politburo and its Standing Committee. Previously, in October 2017, he was elected as a member of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. I also noticed that he was the squad leader to participate in the "Hand in Hand-2007" Sino-Indian Army joint anti-terrorism training exercises.
China also promoted Huang Ming as the Head of Central Theatre Command. He was also promoted to the rank of general – the highest rank for officers in active service in China. Huang, 59, replaces General Wu Yanan as head of the command, which is headquartered in Beijing.
Background: Huang was previously a commander of the Shenyang Military Region's mechanised division in northeastern Liaoning province, which was seen as a pioneer in transforming training in the Army, according to a report in the PLA Daily in 2012. It said he also led the division during a Sino-Russian joint military exercise at that time. Huang went on to become chief of staff of the 16th Group Army, headquartered in Changchun, Jilin, also in the northeast. During that time, in a 2014 article for the PLA Daily, he identified areas such as reconnaissance, early warning and perception, information network protection, and advanced combat power as shortcomings of the PLA. Huang was promoted to the rank of major general in 2014. In 2017, Huang became the first commander of the 81st Group Army, based in Zhangjiakou in northern Hebei province, and was elevated to the rank of lieutenant general in 2019. He was promoted to deputy commander of the PLA Ground Force, reports SCMP.
China gears up for a first round of military recruitment in 2023. College students and graduates remain the focus of this year's recruitment, and priority will be given to students majoring in science and engineering. Recruitment for the first half of 2023 will last from February 15 until March 31, while that for the second half of the year will run from August 15 to September 30.
The PLA has long struggled to field quality personnel. In its early years, most personnel were illiterate, including officers. (This mirrored even the most senior CCP political leaders; for instance, Chen Yonggui rose to Vice Premier despite not being able to read). In recent years, the PLA strategists have recognised these problems and how they are obstacles as cutting-edge weapons cannot be manned by non-professional soldiers. Thus, Xi Jinping has called for a greater "sense of urgency" toward military-personnel modernisation, which he discussed at the 19th and 20th Party Congresses. Since 2013, there has been an emphasis on recruiting highly educated personnel.
The PLA Navy’s new aircraft carrier, the CNS Fujian, is expected to head to sea for the first time this year, the ship’s executive officer said in an interview with state media. Senior Capt. Qian Shumin did not give an exact date for when the aircraft carrier will undergo its first sea excursions, saying only that “the trials will contribute to the realisation of the centenary goals of the People’s Liberation Army.” The Fujian is the largest warship China has ever built, and bringing it into operation is a key component of the PLA Navy’s objectives. The ship was launched with great fanfare on June 17 and has been in the final stages of construction at a Shanghai shipyard.
Elsewhere, China is expanding its military facilities in the Lop Nur desert. Since late 2019, China has been building two probable military bases in Ruoqiang County, in the northwest of the country. The two very similar sites are located not far from the Hami missile silo field, a mysterious military airfield and the Lop Nur Phosphate and Potash Mine.
Northern facilities at 41°12'27.9"N 91°30'10.4"E
The northern facilities, which are situated approximately 90 km away from the southern site and 140 km from the Hami missile silo field, encompass a total area of over 50 sq/km. The facilities include a heliport, storage area, railway station, and an installation with three layers of buildings arranged in an octagonal shape with a central structure in the middle.
Southern facilities at 40°25'41.9"N 91°15'07.0"E
The southern facilities are quite similar to those in the north. A railroad was built to connect the southern facilities to the mine, the northern facilities, and the missile silos. Another zone that began construction at the same time as the main facility is seen at 40.4328, 91.2978, purpose of this site is unknown at the time but appears to be linked to the overall development happening in the sector.
Keywords: Railroad, storage area, unusual shape, close to silos. (Too early to speculate, but certainly something to keep a watch on!)
Section 4: Research Reports, Papers, Journal Articles
How much risk should the US run in the South China Sea?
Prof M. Taylor Fravel and Prof Charles L. Glaser's recent paper for International Security discusses how strenuously, and at what risk should the US resist China's efforts to dominate the South China Sea.
They identify three options—from increased resistance to China's assertive policies on one end to a partial South China Sea retrenchment on the other, with current US policy in the middle. They highlight that China's rise requires the United States to reevaluate all its commitments and decide whether to adopt more competitive or less competitive strategies for defending itself. They argue that where US interests are relatively small and China's rise significantly increases the risks of protecting them, the United States may need to trim its commitments. However, when its interests are large, the United States may need to deepen its commitments and compete intensively to protect them, even if the dangers posed by China's rise are substantial. An analysis of China's claims and behaviour in the South China Sea and of the threat that China poses to US interests concludes that the United States' best option is to maintain its current level of resistance to China's efforts to dominate the South China Sea. China has been cautious in pursuing its goals, making the current policy's risks acceptable. Because US security interests are quite limited, a significantly firmer approach, which would generate an increased risk of a high-intensity war with China, is unwarranted. Suppose future China's actions indicate its determination has significantly increased. In that case, the United States should, reluctantly, end its military resistance to the Chinese pursuit of peacetime control of the South China Sea and adopt a policy of partial South China Sea retrenchment. Don't miss this article; it is extremely detailed, insightful and also not locked behind a paywall.
Assessing China’s Senior Military Leadership
Dr Joel Wuthnow’s latest monograph is a fascinating and extremely detailed study of more than 300 biographies of senior Chinese military officers from 2015 and 2021 to assess the composition, demographics, and career patterns of the PLA leadership. Do take a look at this; it is extremely insightful, one of a kind and has some cutting-edge research on the PLA.
The PLA is a conservative institution whose leaders waited their turn and achieved success in their services and who have similar personal backgrounds. Average senior PLA officers rose patiently through the ranks over the course of careers spanning more than four decades; there were few opportunities for “fast burners” to achieve quick success. Central Military Committee (CMC) Chairman Xi Jinping has not skipped over a generation of people who had waited their turn to promote young Turks more familiar with modern conflict. The surest paths to success were in senior service positions. Senior officers were homogenous in terms of age, education, gender, and ethnicity. Xi has not looked to a broader pool of talent to fill the senior ranks. Leadership selections protect the institutional equities of different interest groups within the PLA. There is a close correlation between service representation at the apex of the PLA hierarchy and manpower share in the PLA. No service is punching above or below its weight in China’s military leadership. Senior PLA leaders are drawn relatively equally from the five theatre commands and 13 group armies. PLA reforms left the army in a dominant position but increased opportunities for the navy, air force, and rocket force officers to become senior leaders. Xi has been personally involved in selections through his position as CMC chairman and has increased his control through anti-corruption investigations. Also, officers are rotated geographically to prevent patronage networks. The top 25 or so senior officers serve on the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and in the National People’s Congress, where they provide military advice and look after PLA equities. Senior PLA officers tend to stay not only within their own services but also in their assigned functional areas. Some change is inevitable over the next decade, but the PLA will find it difficult to overturn traditions to promote a new model of PLA officers. Future leaders will have more experience with advanced technology and operational concepts. Producing a fundamentally different type of senior PLA officer would require the kind of changes to service traditions and organisational culture that has proved difficult even for the United States more than three decades after Goldwater-Nichols.
Also, do read Dr Wuthnow’s recent China Quarterly article on Mobilisation and Use of China’s Armed Police.
Must Read Papers:
Amb Vijay Gokhale’s Paper: A Historical Evolution of China’s India Policy
Prof Daniel C. Mattingly: How Party Commands the Gun? (I have shared the insights from this paper before as well, but back then, it was a working paper. It was published in October 2022 and is extremely insightful.) You could also hear insights from this paper on Pekingology podcast.
Dr Brendan Rittenhouse Green and Prof Caitlin Talmadge: Assessing Military Implications of Chinese Control of Taiwan
Dr Michael D. Swaine: Worsening Taiwan Imbroglio
Dr Goeffrey Chambers: Exploratory Analysis of China’s Hypersonic Research Landscape
Section 5: Central Committee, Space, Cyber and More
Central Committee and the PLA
INDSR’s Dr Li Guancheng’s latest write-up details PLA and paramilitary members in the 20th CC. He highlights that among the 205 members of the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, PLA has 44 members accounting for about 21.5%, which is 1.5% higher than the proportion of military members of the 19th CC. All these 44 generals are of Han nationality with an average age of 59.9 years. It includes 15 lieutenant generals and 29 generals. In terms of service distribution, Army has 21, Navy has 8, Air Force has 7, Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force have three each, and two from armed police.
PLA and Space
In an interview with Politico, NASA’s administrator, Bill Nelson, warned that Beijing could establish a foothold and try to dominate the most resource-rich locations on the lunar surface. “It is a fact: we’re in a space race,” the former Florida senator and astronaut said in an interview. “And it is true that we better watch out that they don’t get to a place on the moon under the guise of scientific research. And it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they say, ‘Keep out, we’re here, this is our territory.’” Beijing has announced a goal of landing taikonauts on the moon by the end of this decade. Over the past few years, Beijing has launched a series of robotic landers and rovers to collect lunar samples — including for the first time ever on the far side of the moon — as well as an orbiter, lander and rover that reached Mars. A recent Pentagon report to Congress highlighted a series of recent leaps in the Chinese space program. It cited China’s pioneering ability not just to land on the far side of the moon but to set up a communications relay using a satellite that was launched the year before between the Earth and the moon. The report also found that China is improving its ability to manufacture space launch systems for human exploration farther into space.
Elsewhere, China's state-owned aerospace giant China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) issued its annual blue paper, revealing nearly 70 launches to send 200 spacecraft into space this year, compared with the current record of more than 50 in 2022. In the domain of deep-space exploration, the CASC will move forward with the Phase 4 lunar probe missions and asteroid exploration projects and carry out the research and development of the Chang'e-7 and Tianwen-2 spacecraft. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) said that China would launch the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, which will provide data communication relay services for the following Chang'e-6, -7 and -8 missions.
A Chinese hacking group attacked the websites of twelve state-run Korean agencies over the Lunar New Year holiday, according to Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA), after the group threatened to target over 2,000 government agencies. The affected associations include the Korean Research Institute for Construction Policy, The Korean Archaeological Society, the Woorimal academic society and the Korean Academy of Basic Medicine & Health Science. Some of the websites that were attacked show a generic error page, while others show a message presumably devised by the hacking group. On the Korean Academy of Basic Medicine & Health Science’s site, the group identified themselves with Chinese characters reading “Xiaoqiying,” declaring that they had invaded the “Korean internet.”
USINDOPACOM Statement on PLA’s Unsafe Maneuver
US wants to deploy Missile-armed Marine along Japan's Okinawa islands –Yomiuri
How US Scientists are Collaborating with China’s Military: Wakeup Call
Section 6: Military Vocabulary
因爲我現在學的課本有政治和軍隊的生詞， 所以我寧可給你們介紹這個課本的政治和軍隊的生詞，不要在報紙找軍隊的新生詞給你們看。 不好意思，太麻煩您了!！
18) 選舉 xuǎnjǔ Elections
19) 總統 zǒngtǒng President
20) 政見發表會 zhèngjiàn fābiǎo huì Political convention
21) 共黨 gòng dǎng Communist Party
22) 候選人 hòuxuǎn rén Candidate for election
23) 國會議員 guóhuì yìyuán Congressman
24) 立法委員 lìfǎ wěiyuán Legislator
25) 選舉權 xuǎnjǔquán Right to vote
26) 民主運動 mínzhǔ yùndòng Democratic movement
27) 共產主義 gòngchǎn zhǔyì Communism
28) 改革 gǎigé Reforms
29) 革命 gémìng revolution
30) 内戰 zèi zhàn Civil war
31) 打仗 dǎzhàng To go to war (Verb)
32) 戰爭 zhànzhēng War (Noun)
33) 殖民地 zhímíndì Colony
Suyash Desai is a research scholar studying China’s defence and foreign policies. He is currently studying Mandarin at National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He can be reached at @suyash_desai.
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