WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) — The Chinese military considers a pre-emptive effort to control the information systems of its adversaries a key strategic policy, a report finds.
The White House is shifting strategic focus to Asia as it withdraws from conflicts in the Middle East. U.S. defense officials last year expressed concern about the “pace of scope” of Chinese military investments.
A 136-page report prepared for U.S. lawmakers by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission and Northrop Grumman Corp. finds modernization efforts in the Chinese military have focused on integrated information warfare.
“(Military) leaders have embraced the idea that successful warfighting is predicated on the ability to exert control over an adversary’s information and information systems, often pre-emptively,” the report states.
“This goal has effectively created a new strategic and tactical high ground, occupying which has become just as important for controlling the battlespace as its geographic equivalent in the physical domain.”
The risk associated with a cyberoffensive launched by Beijing, the report said, presents the United States and its allies “with a more complex risk calculus” when considering any type of intervention.
An op-ed article published in January by China’s state-run news agency Xinhua warned Washington against “recklessly practicing militarism” in the Asia-Pacific region.