China’s Ambition to Harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution Incomparable to America.

Since at least the turn of the century, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been experiencing a significant restructuring. For starters, it has spent years pursuing a mechanization and “informationization” “double construction” strategy. This “two-track” strategy called for near-term modernization of “existing equipment combined with the selective introduction of new generations of conventional weapons,” as well as a longer-term transformation of the PLA along the lines of the “revolution in military affairs” based on information technology (RMA). Officially, the PLA targets mechanization and “major¬†progress” toward informationization by 2020, “complete military modernization” by 2035, and “world-class” military status by 2049. The PLA is currently focused on “informationization” in accordance with this timeline. Informationization refers to the application of information technologies to combined military operations on land, sea, air, space, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum. It also entails equipping the PLA with…

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