Chinese army to include digital forces in June military drill

The People's Liberation Army will for the first time combine units equipped with digital tech with other combat units such as special operations and electronic counter forces in the exercise next month.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor
The People's Liberation Army will conduct its "digital" military exercise in late June.

The Chinese military will conduct a military exercise next month that would include army units equipped with digital technology for the first time, as it adjusts to the reality of cyber warfare.

Citing the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) general staff department, Xinhua reported Wednesday the army will test out new types of combat forces including units using digital technology.

This is the first time a PLA exercise is focused on combining its combat forces to include "digitalized units, special operations forces, army aviation and electronic counter forces", the department noted.

The drill will be carried out in late June at the Zhurihe training base in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, which is the country's largest military field, it said. Forces from the Beijing Military Area Command, as well as eight military academics will be participating. 

Other than internal drills, it was reported in April that China has held two cyberwar games with the U.S. that were designed to help prevent a sudden military escalation between the two superpowers if either felt they were being targeted by the other.

There has been regular reports of how China is responsible for many cyberattacks against the United States. For instance, security vendor Mandiant in February released a report alleging the PLA was responsible for the "overwhelming" number of cyberattacks on U.S. companies. The Chinese government dismissed the claim though, stating IP addresses originating from China are not reliable enough to prove its allegations.



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