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Xi launches new wing for Chinese military to fight cyber wars

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Beijing, April 19: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday launched an Information Support Force, a new wing of the People’s Liberation Army, which he said will be a strategic branch and a key pillar of the world’s largest military.
Xi, who also heads the Central Military Commission (CMC), the overall high command of the Chinese military, besides heading the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Presidency, said that the establishment of the Information Support Force (ISF) is a major decision made by the CPC and the CMC in light of the overall need of building a strong military.
The Information Support Force (ISF) was regarded as the revised version of the PLA’s Strategic Support Force (SSF), established in 2015 by the Chinese military to deal with the space, cyber, political and electronic warfare to fight what was described as “informationised wars.” State-run Xinhua, which reported Xi’s launching of the ISF, also stated that the CMC has cancelled the designation of the SSF, which observers say has been re-launched as the ISF.
After presenting a flag to the force at its establishment ceremony in Beijing, Xi, 71, stressed that the information support force is a new, strategic branch of the military and a key pillar in coordinating the construction and application of the network information system.
It will play a crucial role in advancing the Chinese military’s high-quality development and competitiveness in modern warfare, Xinhua quoted him as saying.
He ordered the force to resolutely obey the ruling Communist Party’s command, and make sure it stays absolutely loyal, pure and reliable.
Xi urged the force to integrate deeply into the Chinese military’s joint operation system, carry out information support operations in a precise and effective manner, and facilitate military operations in various directions and fields.
He also urged efforts to build a network information system that fulfils the requirements of modern warfare and features the Chinese military’s own characteristics, as well as efforts to accelerate the development of integrated combat capabilities more effectively.
Since he assumed power in 2012, Xi has revamped the military, reducing its size to around two million by retrenching three lakh troops and officers besides overhauling the command structures of the PLA and creating a missile force called the Rocket Force.
He also introduced the system of constant training of troops with real war time exercises. (PTI)

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