China sets up powerful information warfare force to support 'military struggles'

The force will report directly to the CMC, the country's most powerful defence organisation which also oversees the People's Liberation Army

Updated - April 19, 2024 10:27 pm IST

Published - April 19, 2024 09:14 pm IST - BEIJING

Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers patrol at Tiananmen in Beijing. File.

Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers patrol at Tiananmen in Beijing. File. | Photo Credit: AFP

China's military helmed by President Xi Jinping on April 19 unveiled a powerful information warfare support force in a major overhaul of a largely opaque structure of strategic units with the aim of supporting "military struggles" in all areas.

The Information Support Force held its founding meeting in the Chinese capital Beijing on Friday, with army veteran Bi Yi as its chief and Li Wei as its political commissar.

As Mr. Xi handed the force's flag to the unit's leaders, he said the formation of the force was a major strategic decision by China's Communist Party and Central Military Commission (CMC) to integrate information resources and strengthen information protection, serving to "support military struggles in all directions and fields".

The force will report directly to the CMC, the country's most powerful defence organisation which also oversees the People's Liberation Army (PLA), or military.

The leadership of the PLA's existing space and cyberspace strategic forces will be adjusted accordingly, state media reported, without providing detail on how they could be integrated into the new force.

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