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China Announces Military Shakeup With Focus on ‘Intelligentized’ Warfare

China is again restructuring its military, replacing an almost decade-old unit with a new Information Support Force (ISF) focusing on “intelligentized” warfare.

The country’s defense ministry announced it is terminating its Strategic Support Force (SSF), which brought together Beijing’s space, cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare capabilities.

Formed in 2015, the force was tasked with implementing space-based capabilities and facilitating counter-space operations.

The newly-formed ISF will retain SSF’s aerospace and cyber units, but they will all have broader scope and responsibilities.

‘A Major Decision’

The restructuring is expected to advance China’s defense modernization efforts to prepare for modern warfare.

The world’s second-largest economy and third-most powerful military has been in a tight race with the US for technological prowess.

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) spokesman Wu Qian said the creation of the ISF is “a major decision” for China as it seeks to better adapt its military to the “informatization” conditions of today’s warfare.

Cao Weidong, a retired researcher at the PLA Naval Research Academy, claimed the restructuring will enable better utilization of the country’s satellite systems and cyber and electronic warfare capabilities.

Dissatisfaction With Old Command?

Singapore-based Chinese military analyst Chong Ja Ian took notice of the relatively short existence of the much-touted SSF.

He said the restructuring signals the PLA is dissatisfied with the old command, opening a new window for change.

The previous commander of the SSF was General Ju Qiansheng, who went missing in 2023 amid President Xi Jinping’s purge of PLA leadership due to alleged corruption and negligence.

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