The People’s Liberation Army is expediting plans to set up a new “Aerospace Force” which is expected to be capable of taking on the United States military in emergency situations, according to a report from Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.
The Aerospace Force will be the fifth service branch under the PLA along with its Ground Force, Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Corps, the report said, adding that it will also lead to the creation of an Aerospace Office under the Central Military Commission.
Since the beginning of the year, Chinese president and CMC chairperson Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized moving progressively toward space militarization. In April, he urged the development of a “new-type combat force” and told military leaders they need to be able to deal with air and space emergencies “swiftly and effectively.” During a session with PLA cadres in June, he also stated the importance of integrating air and space capabilities to create a powerful air force capable of safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development.
The plans to establish an Aerospace Force come amid reports that China has recently set up a central joint command center that will boost the unified operations of Chinese capabilities on land, sea, air and in dealing with strategic missile operations. According to the Canadian military affairs magazine Kanwa Defense Review, the “already-operational” command center is based at the Xishan Command Center of the Ministry of State Security and the General Staff Department in Beijing.
Full article: PLA to set up new ‘Aerospace Force’ branch (Want China Times)