On October 16, 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented an overview of the 19th CCP Central Committee at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CCP), with a noteworthy highlight of implementing artificial intelligence (AI) for People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Reported The Singapore Post.
The PLA is aiming to leverage advanced technology for unmanned weapons and artificial intelligence, as per the news report.
China aims to achieve military modernisation of the PLA to a stage where it is fully automated and computerised by 2027.
According to Xi Jinping, expeditiously upgrading the PLA to a “world-class” force is the need of the hour, as per the news report. He spoke about his resolve to speed up the integrated development of the PLA using “mechanization, informatization, and the application of smart technologies.”
China will focus on C4ISR for PLA i.e. command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, according to The Singapore Post. The aim of China’s PLA is to be prepared for symmetric, asymmetric and cyberspace warfare.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has put a considerable number of robotic and unmanned systems, along with advanced missiles with precision guidance in all services. Moreover, the PLA is developing unmanned vehicles for logistical purposes, while the PLA Navy is focusing on unmanned surface vessels and submarines. Additionally, the PLA Airforce is concentrating on unmanned systems, according to the report.
The PLA Rocket Force is aiming to advance the AI systems for its remote sensing, target recognition and decision making operations, as reported by The Singapore Post. Moreover, PLA Strategic Forces are also actively working on developing these technologies for electronic, cyber profiling, space-based and psychological warfare.
“China’s strategic considerations towards the advancement of technology include the reunification of Taiwan as it has been quite persuasive with this goal under Xi. Civil-military fusion of technology is another reason for China’s technological pursuit”, as per the news report.
China is aware that fusion between the private and public sectors is going to be influential with regard to technological leadership in the world, as per The Singapore Post report. China has been encouraging private-sector companies in the development of artificial intelligence and other critical technologies. The Chinese government is also offering subsidies to the companies.
China also faces limitations to its approach as it is believed that Beijing is overlooking the various vulnerabilities that come with artificial intelligence, as per the news report. A very small segment of the PLA has modern and advanced equipment while most of the Chinese troops still have outdated equipment. The news report said that there are possibilities that “this rhetoric is politically motivated and overestimated.”