PLA’s new Strategic Support Force remains an enigma

A visitor watches a video of President Xi Jinping talking at an exhibition in Beijing about China’s military achievements, on October 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Jason Lee

 

Two years after the People’s Liberation Army created a new Strategic Support Force, a combined cyber and space warfare and military spy service, details about the force’s structure and mission remain wrapped in mystery.

As with most of China’s advanced arms programs and warfighting capabilities, the Strategic Support Force (SSF) remains a closely guarded secret. But the fact that China’s leaders have combined four or five military departments into a service on a par with its army, air force and navy in terms of stature highlights the importance the Chinese have placed on non-kinetic forms of warfare. Continue reading

Russian Warplane Flies Within 50 Feet of U.S. Spy Plane in Asia

Latest aerial encounter occurred near new Russian missile sub

A Russian MiG-31 jet flew within 50 feet of a U.S. surveillance aircraft in Northeast Asia last week, Moscow’s latest aerial saber-rattling against American ships and planes, according to defense officials.

“On April 21, a U.S. Navy P-8 Maritime Patrol reconnaissance aircraft flying a routine mission in international airspace was intercepted by a MiG-31 Russian jet in the vicinity of the Kamchatka Peninsula,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the Pacific Command, told the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading

China Outlines Plan for Military Buildup on Disputed Island

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Website reveals future warship deployment to Philippines’ Scarborough Shoal

China’s plan for a new military buildup on a disputed island near the Philippines shows the future deployment of Chinese warships close to where U.S. naval forces will be stationed in the future.

Details of the militarization plan for Scarborough Shoal in the Spratly Islands were obtained by U.S. intelligence agencies over the last several months, according to defense officials. Continue reading

China Puts Advanced Missiles on Disputed Southeast Asian Island

President Obama defended U.S. naval and aircraft operations near disputed South China Sea islands claimed by China on Tuesday as new intelligence revealed Beijing recently placed advanced air defense missiles in the Paracels.

“Freedom of navigation must be upheld,” Obama said, adding “the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows, and we will support the right of all countries to do the same.” Continue reading