Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Capability of the People’s Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation

Executive Summary

The government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a decade into a
sweeping military modernization program that has fundamentally transformed its
ability to fight high tech wars. The Chinese military, using increasingly networked
forces capable of communicating across service arms and among all echelons of
command, is pushing beyond its traditional missions focused on Taiwan and toward a
more regional defense posture. This modernization effort, known as
informationization, is guided by the doctrine of fighting “Local War Under
Informationized Conditions,” which refers to the PLA’s ongoing effort to develop a
fully networked architecture capable of coordinating military operations on land, in air,
at sea, in space and across the electromagnetic spectrum.

This doctrinal focus is providing the impetus for the development of an advanced IW
capability, the stated goal of which is to establish control of an adversary’s
information flow and maintain dominance in the battlespace. Increasingly, Chinese
military strategists have come to view information dominance as the precursor for
overall success in a conflict. The growing importance of IW to China’s People’s
Liberation Army (PLA) is also driving it to develop more comprehensive computer
network exploitation (CNE) techniques to support strategic intelligence collection
objectives and to lay the foundation for success in potential future conflicts.

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