China Carries Out Ballistic Missile Defense Test Amid Related Developments

“It is worth noting that this is not the first time the Chinese military has announced a successful land-based midcourse anti-missile test.”

In August, China fired ballistic missiles over Taiwan and into Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) during mass military exercises, demonstrating that the mobility and survivability of its conventional and nuclear forces are improving.  In the past seven years, China’s strategic missile forces have been reorganized, expanded, and equipped with several new types of long-range precision cruise and road-mobile ballistic missiles (see “China’s New Road-Mobile ICBM DF-41 Official Unveiled,” OE Watch, November 2019). China continues to diversify its missile defense system platforms and the quality of training for its nuclear forces (see “China’s Rocket Forces Conduct Readiness Training,” OE Watch, April 2019).  A parallel development involves the development of anti-ballistic missile systems.  According to the excerpted article below, China successfully conducted another test of a ground-based mid-course ballistic missile defense system in June.  China is also developing an airborne leg of its nuclear forces to complement its existing nuclear ballistic missile submarines, road-mobile, and rapidly expanding silo-based missile force.  Along with its extensive use of decoys, hardened shelters, and other passive defenses, the addition of tested ballistic missile defense systems can only further improve the overall capability and survivability of China’s growing nuclear force.


“中国成功实施陆基中段反导拦截技术试验 (China Successfully Carries out Test of Ground-based Mid-course Intercepting Ballistic Missile Defense System),” The Observer Online (Independent PRC media), 20 June 2022. 

According to the Chinese Ministry of Defense’s public Wechat account, on 19 June 2022, China successfully carried out a land-based mid-course anti-missile interception technology test within its territory.  This test is defensive in nature and not directed against any country. 

China is one of the few countries that has mastered land-based mid-course missile interception technology.  Only China, the United States, and Japan have conducted similar tests.  It is worth noting that this is not the first time the Chinese military has announced a successful land-based midcourse anti-missile test. 

According to public information, the PRC Ministry of National Defense previously announced that it had “successfully carried out a test of ground-based anti-ballistic missile technology” or “achieved the expected purpose” five times… 

In an interview with CCTV News, military expert Shao Yongling [邵永灵] previously commented on CCTV News that land-based mid-course anti-missile technology is a strategic investment in scientific and technical reserves [技术储备] (Note: this term refers to small-scale testing which lays the foundation for more significant capabilities in the future). She said that all countries currently emphasize both offense and defense. China has stated that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict and has limited the scale of development of its nuclear forces. Therefore, it is necessary to develop appropriate defensive capabilities to ensure the survivability of its nuclear force. 

China Issues New White Paper With Special Emphasis on Taiwan

Map of Taiwan.

Map of Taiwan.

“…let there be no doubt – we will tolerate no foreign interference in Taiwan, we will thwart any attempt to divide our country, and we will combine as a mighty force for national reunification and rejuvenation. The historic goal of reuniting our motherland must be realized and will be realized.”

Recently, China issued a new white paper on Taiwan and Reunification, building on two previous white papers published in 1993 (The Taiwan Question and Reunification of China) and 2000 (The One-China Principle and the Taiwan Issue) and a significant speech by Xi Jinping in January 2019.  A close comparison of these sources indicates some important shifts in emphasis, such as the current policy description of a post-reunification Taiwan and the urgency of achieving rejuvenation to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership.

The first two white papers went into considerable detail regarding the “One Country, Two Systems” approach to peaceful reunification.  The 1993 white paper promised “a high degree of autonomy” where Taiwan would be a special administrative region with its own governmental system, a degree of independence in foreign affairs, and its own military forces.  The 2000 white paper similarly promised that China would not “send troops or administrative personnel” to the island.  The new paper uses less explicit language but notes that “We maintain that after peaceful reunification, Taiwan may continue its current social system and enjoy a high degree of autonomy in accordance with the law” and that Taiwan’s “social system and its way of life will be fully respected.”  

Other elements of the paper have close similarities with Xi’s 2019 speech, in which he argued that reunification was a historical necessity, such as the statement “Our country must be reunified and will surely be reunified.  This is a historical conclusion drawn from the evolution of cross-straits relations over the past seven decades; it is also critical to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era.”  The new paper also echoes’ Xi’s commitment to “make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means.”  While this latest white paper and China’s five-year plans have continued to express commitment to deepening economic and social ties with Taiwan, this document appears to be an attempt to more strongly lay out a vision for a post-reunification future as much as it is a restatement of the CCP’s policy regarding Taiwan.  


“《台湾问题与新时代中国统一事业》白皮书 (全文) (The Taiwan Question and China’s Reunification in the New Era),” State Council Information Office, 10 August 2022. 

We Chinese will decide our own affairs.  The Taiwan question is an internal affair that involves China’s core interests and the Chinese people’s national sentiments, and no external interference will be tolerated.  Any attempt to use the Taiwan question as a pretext to interfere in China’s internal affairs or obstruct China’s reunification will meet with the resolute opposition of the Chinese people, including our compatriots in Taiwan.  No one should underestimate our resolve, will, and ability to defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

We will work with the greatest sincerity and exert our utmost efforts to achieve peaceful reunification.  But we will not renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all necessary measures.  This is to guard against external interference and all separatist activities.  In no way does it target our fellow Chinese in Taiwan.  Use of force would be the last resort taken under compelling circumstances.  We will only be forced to take drastic measures to respond to the provocation of separatist elements or external forces should they ever cross our red lines. 

We will always be ready to respond with the use of force or other necessary means to interference by external forces or radical action by separatist elements.  Our ultimate goal is to ensure the prospects of China’s peaceful reunification and advance this process.

The journey ahead cannot be all smooth sailing.  However, as long as we Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits devote our ingenuity and energy to the same goal, let there be no doubt – we will tolerate no foreign interference in Taiwan, we will thwart any attempt to divide our country, and we will combine as a mighty force for national reunification and rejuvenation.  The historic goal of reuniting our motherland must be realized and will be realized. 

Source: “White Paper—The Taiwan Question and Reunification of China,” Taiwan Affairs Office & Information Office State Council, August 1993.  

Source: “White Paper—The One-China Principle and the Taiwan Issue,” Taiwan Affairs Office and The Information Office of the State Council, 21 February 2000.   Source: Xi Jinping, “Working Together to Realize Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation and Advance China’s Peaceful Reunification – Speech at the Meeting Marking the 40th Anniversary of the Issuance of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,” Taiwan Affairs Office, 2 January 2019.

Image Information:

Image: Map of Taiwan 
Source: USG, 
Attribution:  Public Domain

Taiwan’s “All-Out Defense” in Context of Aggressive PLA Exercise

“..the structure of the manual was inspired by the examples of similar manuals used by Sweden, Japan and other countries, and integrates information from various government ministries, county and city governments, and experts and scholars.”

— Liu Taiyi [劉泰益], Director of the Material Mobilization Department of the All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency

Over the past year, Taiwan took several measures based on its “All-out Defense” strategy to improve its military readiness, including by integrating reserve forces and bolstering its ability to mobilize society. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command’s recent joint combat exercises, aggressively conducted near Taiwan, highlighted the urgency.

In late July, shortly before the PLA exercises began, Taiwan concluded its largest annual military exercise, known as Han Kuang [漢光]. Taiwanese media coverage described it as focusing on a combination of preserving combat power in the face of a simulated missile attack, and then counter attacking. Taiwan also reportedly dispatched naval forces east of the island. According to the article, Taiwan also dispersed mobile missile units across the island. Later components of the exercise involved simulated amphibious landings to retake occupied offshore islands.

In addition to the standing force, Taiwan maintains a large reserve component which is vital to the survival of the island if war broke out and a population that supports it all. In December of last year, a new agency, the All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency [全民防衛動員署] was established. In its 2021 Report on National Defense, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the agency as intended to “integrate reserve and regular forces, combine reserve force with mobilization resources, and promote interagency cooperation, improving the strength of our reserve force in terms of its organization, force scale, career management, training, and equipping.”  In March, the MND adopted a new 14-day call-up system for reservists to improve skill retention for the force, and in April it issued a handbook for citizens modeled on those used by Sweden, Japan, and others. The handbook provides explanations of how to respond in a number of scenarios including air raids, power outages, earthquakes, as well as invasion. From Taiwan’s perspective, maintaining a credible deterrent will necessarily require a regime of training and doctrine for the standing force to prepare for combat operations with a quickly mobilized reserve component and supportive citizenry: an “All-out Defense.”


“漢光38號演習登場 海陸空戰力防護保存台東亮相” (Hanguang No. 38 exercise debuts, sea, land and air combat power protection and preservation Taitung debut), CNA (Taiwanese state media), 25 July 2022.

[Taiwan’s] Armed Forces’ 38th Han Guang military exercise deputed today. The main focus of the first day of the exercise was “protecting and preserving combat power.”

According to the military, the Taitung region air force will practice combat power preservation, while a second region will carry out a counterattack operation.  The Taitung Army regional command (Taiping Camp area) will send armored vehicles to Chihpen Beach to counterattack [against a landing].

This morning, bases on Western Taiwan simulated a missile strike.  The Air Force IDF Chingguo (FC-K1) and F-16V fighter jets sortied six times respectively. The fighter planes were loaded with weapons and landed at the Taitung Zhihang Base and entered the hardened air shelters to preserve their combat power.

Source 2:

Yu Kaixiang, “全民國防手冊範本出爐 教你如何在戰場生存”(The National Defense Handbook is a template to teach you how to survive on the battlefield), CNA (Taiwan State News Agency), 12 April 2022.

The Ministry of National Defense announced today the ” Model National Defense Manual “, which provides emergency response information when the people face military crises and possible disasters. Other information included in the manual is intended to help people prepare for public safety emergencies. 

The Ministry of National Defense started compiling the “National Defense Manual” last year in order to strengthen the overall resilience of the population during wartime, and this morning held an online press conference to announce publication of the manual.

Liu Taiyi pointed out that the purpose of compiling the manual is to provide the public with relevant emergency response information when faced with military crises and possible disasters, so as to facilitate safety preparations and self-help for survival. For reference of the people of the age group, and design wartime scenario Q&A to guide into the live scene, separate the responsibilities of the central and local governments and the village head, and combine the actual situation of the region to allow the public to inquire about evacuation, medical care and material information.

According to Liu Taiyi, Director of the Material Mobilization Department of the All-Out Defense Mobilization Agency, the structure of the manual was inspired by the examples of similar manuals used by Sweden, Japan and other countries, and integrates information from various government ministries, county and city governments, and experts and scholars.

Source 3:

“全民國防手冊,” National Defense Handbook, Taiwan Ministry of Defense, 12 April 2022.

Two Retired Chinese Officials Offer Conflicting Perspectives on Russia’s Prospects in Ukraine

“The United States is the real planner, instigator, organizer, commander and financier of the war in Ukraine.”

Chinese experts have taken to a number of domestic platforms to offer a more nuanced view of Russia’s war in Ukraine.  While mainstream Chinese media has closely adhered to talking points established in the first weeks of the conflict, the accompanying excerpted articles by two retired Chinese officials suggest alternative narratives of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  Retired officials often have the greatest capacity to speak truth to power in the Chinese system as they have no risk of damaging their careers or have sufficiently powerful friends to shield them from the worst consequences.  While some may hold with the standard party line, their perspectives may provide some insights into the real conversations happening behind closed doors and signal whether the Party is continuing a particular effort or open to change.  In this case, the authors, a career military officer and diplomat respectively, offer contradictory views on Russia’s success in the conflict and likely outcomes.

In the excerpted article posted on Red Culture Net, career military officer Peng Guangqian portrays the war as simply an extension of Russian-U.S. competition, with Ukraine simply an unfortunate proxy being used, as he says, as “cannon fodder.  He goes on to repeat the conspiracy theory that the United States was operating biowarfare labs in Ukraine and concludes by praising Russia’s efforts and predicting a Russian victory.  Peng’s military background, generation, and the fora used to publish this article suggest that he represents a more conservative thread in Chinese Communist Party thinking.  His almost blind acceptance of Russia’s position should not be taken as indicative of broader Chinese support for Russia.  His attitudes may be more due to his generation (for comparison Peng is 78, while President Xi Jinping is 68).  Anecdotal evidence suggests that the broader Chinese public is more jaded and acknowledges Russia’s high losses, even when they accept Chinese government media narratives. 

In the second excerpted article from Phoenix News, veteran diplomat Gao Yusheng examines the broader implications of the conflict.  Censors quickly deleted the post, but his opinions are likely representative of a much more realistic group of retired and senior leaders.  In a stark contrast with Peng’s commentary, Gao argues that Russia’s “coming defeat is increasingly clear.”  He acknowledges that Putin has been trying to re-establish the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence and “has never really recognized the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of other former Soviet states.”  He notes “Russia has frequently violated their territoriality and sovereignty” and concludes that “Russia’s political, economic, military and diplomatic power will be significantly weakened and isolated. Russia will be…punished.  Russia’s power will weaken even more.” China further formalized its increasing alignment with Russia shortly before the war broke out (see “China-Russia Pledges of Deeper Cooperation Show Tangible Results,” OE Watch, #3 2022).  The outbreak of war raised fierce internal debates about Russia’s chances for victory in Ukraine and the ultimate consequences of the war for China.  The continuing promotion of pro-Russia narratives, and suppression of even moderate views like Ambassador Gao’s, along with other diplomatic actions, point toward a decision to stand firmly, albeit rhetorically, with Russia.


Peng Guangqian, “谁是乌克兰战场的胜利者和失败者? (Who are the Winners and Losers on the Ukrainian Battlefield?)” Red Culture Net (PRC State-approved NGO), 16 May 2022.

The United States is the real planner, instigator, organizer, commander and financier of the war in Ukraine. Although the United States tried its best to urgently send people, money, and guns, it failed to turn the tide of the war. U.S. military weapons have become the spoils of the Russian army, and the military advisers sent by the United States became the prisoners of the Russian army. The severe economic crisis in the United States has made things worse, and the domestic contradictions and infighting of the ruling clique have become more acute.

What makes the United States especially desperate and fearful is that the Russian army successfully conquered the biological laboratory hidden in Ukraine with the purpose of exterminating human beings, and has a large amount of ironclad evidence that the United States has long denied the secret development of biological weapons.

Russia’s just actions against [NATO] expansion, encirclement, and hegemony have been supported by all peace-loving forces. To measure the outcome of a war, it is not just a simple comparison of offensive and defensive situations, casualties, and positional gains and losses, but more importantly, the political underpinnings and goals of combat operations. In this contest, Russia represented the interests of the majority of the people and did not hesitate to sacrifice its nation. It not only safeguarded Russia’s own national security and strategic frontiers, but also destroyed the nest of the U.S. biological laboratories in Ukraine, exposing the evil face of the U.S. against humanity. This is a victory for Russia and a great victory for the cause of contemporary world peace and human progress. No matter what tests will be faced in the future, Russia’s brilliant achievements will be glorified in the annals of history.

Source: “中国驻乌克兰前⼤使⾼⽟⽣:俄乌战争的⾛势和对国际秩序的影响 (Former PRC Ambassador to Ukraine Gao Yusheng: The Dynamics of the Russian-Ukrainian War and the Implications for the International Order),” Phoenix News (PRC State affiliated media), 10 May 2022.

The Russo-Ukrainian War is the most important international event of the post-Cold War period. It marks the end of the post-Cold War period and the beginning of a new international order. First, Russia has lost the initiative in the Russo-Ukrainian war and this failure is already apparent.

The main reasons why Russia is now heading towards defeat are:

First, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia has always been in a historical process of continuous decline. This decline is first and foremost a continuation of the decline of the Soviet Union before the disintegration, and is also related to the mistakes of the Russian ruling clique in domestic and foreign policies. Western sanctions have intensified this process. The proposition of a so-called revival or revitalization of Russia under Putin’s leadership is totally false, and the decline of Russia has manifested in its economy, military, science and technology, politics, society and other fields, with serious negative consequences for the Russian military and its combat power.

Second, the failure of the Russian blitzkrieg and the failure to achieve a quick victory signaled the beginning of the Russian defeat. The Russian military’s economic and financial strength, which are not commensurate with its status as a so-called military superpower, could not support a high-tech war costing hundreds of millions of dollars a day. The embarrassing defeat of the Russian army due to its poverty was evident everywhere on the battlefield. Every day that the war continues represents a heavy burden for Russia.

Third, Russian military and economic advantages over Ukraine have been offset by the resilience of Ukraine and the huge, sustained and effective aid provided to Ukraine. The generational differences between Russia and the U.S. and other NATO countries in terms of weapons and technology, military concepts, and modes of warfare make the advantages and disadvantages of both sides even more pronounced.

Fourth, modern wars are necessarily hybrid wars, which encompass military, economic, political, diplomatic, public opinion, propaganda, intelligence, and information fields. Russia is not only in a passive position on the battlefield, but has also lost in other areas. This means that it is only a matter of time before Russia is finally. It is only a matter of time before Russia is finally defeated.Fifth, Russia is no longer in a position to determine when and how the war will end. Russia has already failed to end the war as soon as possible to preserve its gains. In this sense, Russia has lost its strategic leading position and the initiative.

China Expands Naval Expeditionary Capability With New Ship and Helicopter Variants

Type 075 (Yushen) Amphibious Assault Ship.

Type 075 (Yushen) Amphibious Assault Ship.

“The [Guangxi’s] complement of amphibious vehicles, tanks and helicopters is more complete and efficient in ship-to-shore movement.”

Captain Xu Ce [许策] – Captain of the Guangxi

China’s state-run television CCTV7 recently showed the Guangxi, China’s second Type 075 (Yushen) Amphibious Assault Ship, or a landing helicopter dock (LHD) in U.S. parlance, participating in workup exercises.  The second of its class, the Guangxi incorporates refinements learned from the development of the Hainan, China’s first Type 075.  Per China’s ship naming conventions, the amphibious ship is named after a Chinese province.  As noted by Captain Xu in state-run media outlet The Paper, the ship’s crew was able to quickly bring new systems online and begin training.  The Type 075 class LHDs can carry 1,687 troops and 30 helicopters, as well as two Type 726 air-cushion landing craft (see: “China: Type 075 Amphibious Assault Ship Launched,” OE Watch, November 2019).  The Type 075 class LHDs also have a defensive suite that includes HHQ-10 missile launchers, similar to the U.S. SeaRAM system; two 30mm H/PJ-11 CIWS; as well as jammers, chaff, and decoy launchers.

China is building multiple additional Type 075s, with the goal of fielding an extensive expeditionary force capable of executing “three-dimensional operations” involving power projection through air, sea, and amphibious land from multiple directions.  The growing force will complement the Chinese Navy’s rapidly expanding Marine Corps, which has grown from two divisions less than a decade ago to six operational brigades according to public reporting. In a related development, according to Chinese blog and media outlet Sina, the Z-20, a medium multi-role helicopter derived from the S-70 Blackhawk has entered service with the Chinese Navy.  The helicopter, which has superior capabilities compared to China’s indigenous Z-8 and Z-9 helicopters, has already entered widespread use in China’s ground force, but the apparent induction of navalized variants for anti-submarine warfare and other roles is a significant development, particularly for China’s naval expeditionary force.


Nan Boyi, [南博一], ‘两栖攻击舰 广西舰’ 首次公开亮相,进一步提升海军两栖战力 (Amphibious assault ship “Guangxi Ship” made its first public appearance, further enhancing the naval amphibious combat capability),” The Paper (state affiliated media outlet), 21 April 2022. hxxps://

Recently, the Guangxi, a newly commissioned amphibious assault ship began basic training exercises, focusing on the requirements of future amphibious operations and expeditionary operations, while continuing to test the crew on essential tasks such as navigation, damage control and other subjects.

From its appearance, it can be seen that the Guangxi (hull number 32) is the same class as the Hainan, China’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship (LHD).

According to a previous report by Xinhua News Agency, the Hainan (hull number 31) was launched in Shanghai on September 25, 2019.

According to previous CCTV reports, China’s first indigenously developed [class of LHDs] can carry amphibious armored vehicles, multi-role helicopters, hovercraft and tanks, and is equipped with missiles, naval guns, electronic warfare and other weapon systems.

Source: “国防军事早报 (Morning Report on Defense),” CCTV 7 (state TV military channel), 22 April 2022.

On April 22, CCTV Channel 7’s “Military Report” program displayed a images of an anti-submarine variant of the Z-20 helicopter taking off and landing on a Type 055 destroyer….The Z-20 is a new generation of 10-ton tactical general-purpose transport helicopters independently developed by China. It made its public debut at the 70th National Day military parade in 2019.

Source: “直-20反潜直升机首次公开,将进一步提升海军反潜能力 (Z-20 ASW Aircraft Publicly Shown for the First Time, Advancing the PLA Navy’s Anti-Submarine Capability),”Sina (Chinese blog and news outlet), 23 April 2022. hxxps://

Image Information:

Image: Type 075 (Yushen) Amphibious Assault Ship
Source: Peter Wood
Attribution: Creator, Peter Wood, grants permission to use

China Deepens Information Security Cooperation with Central Asian Neighbors

Shanghai Cooperation Organization logo.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization logo.

“… in the future, information security cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation organization should proceed from a strategic and long-term perspective, improve its position, strengthen its capabilities, expand its horizons, and promote the development of regional and global network governance in a more benign and orderly direction.”

2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).  The SCO, a multilateral association of China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan with four additional observer states, was created to ensure security and maintain stability across Eurasia.

While its focus was initially on traditional counterterror military and police operations, there has been a steady expansion of emphasis on cyber and information security cooperation.  The excerpted article published on the website of the China Institute of International Studies,, provides an outline of the development of this cooperation and China’s future plans.  Written before the outbreak of political violence in Kazakhstan in January 2022, the article provides a snapshot of how China regards its international cooperation efforts in security spheres, and more generally, influence on its neighbors.  SCO members have signed joint documents on information security likening the potential disruptive capabilities of information technologies to weapons of mass destruction.  As such, they emphasize the need to better grasp these technologies to adequately address what the SCO refers to as the “three forces”—terrorists, separatists, and extremists. 

The full article also highlights the role of cyber exercises in China’s engagement with the SCO over the past decade.  Were it not for the pandemic, the fourth iteration of biennial cyberterrorism exercises would have been held in Xiamen, Fujian Province in December.  The first exercise was held in 2015, with subsequent exercises in 2017 and 2019.  These exercises involved capture the flag, cyber forensic investigations and collaborative intelligence collection exercises, identifying terror organizations’ methods of recruiting members, identifying affiliated individuals, and carrying out coordinated arrests.

Taken together, China appears to be equipping its neighbors with the tools to carry out both traditional counterterrorism operations using modern technologies, and improving their ability to counter dissent or any threat to social stability.  The 2018 SCO Qingdao Summit announced the desire to expand SCO far beyond its original size and remit.  As repeated in official readouts at the time, the meeting “marked a new start as the SCO began to transform from an organization of mainly landlocked Central Asian countries to one of regional cooperation between coastal and hinterland countries.”  Cybersecurity and information cooperation—especially with an emphasis on public security, counterterrorism and internal control—will continue to be a springboard for deepening and expanding the impact of the organization.  As Central Asian countries react to the fallout from recent political upheaval in Kazakhstan, China is likely to double down on the promotion of these tools.


Deng Hao [邓浩], Li Tianyi [李天毅], “上合组织信息安全合作:进展、挑战与未来路径(SCO Information Security Cooperation: Progress, Challenges, and Future Path),” (Website of the China Institute of International Studies, a directly-affiliated research institute or think tank for the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs), 24 September 2021.


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (hereinafter referred to as the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization”). Security cooperation has always been the top priority of the SCO cooperation and is the biggest highlight of the SCO’s two decades of development. In the past 20 years, Central Asia, the core area of ​​the SCO, has not been rendered chaotic (lit. “Middle Easternized” [被中东化]) and has always maintained a stable overall situation. The effective security cooperation of the SCO has contributed greatly to this. Over the past 20 years, the economy of the SCO has generally improved. The economic aggregates and per capita GDP growth of its member countries have both been higher than the world average. The security provided by the SCO has contributed a lot. Information security cooperation is the “rising star” of the SCO’s security cooperation and a new force for the SCO’s security cooperation. It plays an increasingly important role in maintaining regional security and stability. The SCO is standing at a new starting point in the history of the third decade, and maintaining information security faces new challenges and pressures. In the future, the SCO information security cooperation should further strengthen the sense of a community of shared future, continuously enhance the ability to respond to information security threats, increase international cooperation, and strive to build a peaceful, safe, fair and open information space.

The SCO information security cooperation started in 2005. Over the past 16 years, the SCO’s information security cooperation has continued to expand from consensus to action and has made positive progress, showing great potential and good prospects…

In the Declaration of the Fifth Astana Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2005, the heads of member states proposed for the first time the prevention of information terrorism. This is the first time that the SCO has raised the issue of information security in an official cooperation document. This opened the prelude to the SCO’s information security cooperation. The SCO’s security cooperation has begun to expand from the traditional field to cyberspace.

On June 15, 2006, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the SCO, the heads of the SCO member states held the sixth summit, which further clarified the need to maintain information security and jointly deal with the military, political, criminal, and terrorism they are facing… It was also at this summit that the heads of member states signed the first special document on information security cooperation-the “Statement of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on International Information Security.” The statement expressed concern about the use of information and communication technology to damage personal, social, and national security, and believed that information security threats would bring serious political, socio-economic consequences to countries and regions and the world, and trigger the instability of societies in various countries, which may cause It is a worldwide disaster equivalent to the use of weapons of mass destruction…

On September 13, 2013, the SCO held the 13th Bishkek Summit of Heads of State. The declaration adopted at the meeting clearly stated that it is necessary to build a peaceful, safe, fair and open information space based on the principles of respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs and advocate the formulation of a unified information space national code of conduct. This is a new understanding of member states on national information security cooperation. The Dushanbe Declaration of the 14th SCO Heads of State Summit in 2014 further stated that member states support the right of all countries to manage the Internet on an equal basis and support and guarantee their respective sovereign rights to Internet security. This has further improved the SCO’s position on international information security issues.

On June 9, 2017, the heads of state of the member states signed the “Statement of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Joint Fighting against International Terrorism” at the 15th SCO Summit in Astana. They believed that comprehensive measures should be taken to combat terrorism, particularly the spread of ideology and extremism, through the prevention of the use of the Internet and other propaganda to incite terrorism and extremism, and conduct recruitment activities.

On October 11, 2020, at the 20th Moscow Summit, the heads of the member states signed the “Statement of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Heads of State Council on Ensuring Cooperation in the Field of International Information Security” and the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization… The Statement on Combating the Spread of Terrorism, Separatism, and Extremism… calling on the international community to work closely in the information field to jointly build a community with a shared future in cyberspace…

In order to effectively carry out information security cooperation, the SCO has gradually established and continuously improved corresponding cooperation mechanisms and systems in the course of practice, which has provided the necessary means and legal guarantees for the SCO’s information security cooperation.

In terms of mechanism construction, regional anti-terrorist agencies are the primary support of the SCO’s information security cooperation. This institution is one of the two permanent institutions of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Since its establishment in 2004, it has been committed to promoting coordination and cooperation among member states in combating the “three forces” (terrorists, separatists, and extremists)…

At the 20th SCO Moscow Summit in 2020, President Xi Jinping the future, cooperation within the SCO should proceed from a strategic and long-term perspective, improve its position, strengthen its capabilities, expand its horizons, and promote the development of regional and global network governance in a more benign and orderly direction.

Image Information:

Image: Shanghai Cooperation Organization logo.
Source: Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,
Attribution: Fair Use

China-Russia Pledges of Deeper Cooperation Show Tangible Results

Chinese and Russian Flags.

Chinese and Russian Flags.

“…We continue to expand local currency settlements and establish mechanisms to counteract the negative effects of unilateral sanctions. The Agreement between the Russian Government and the Chinese Government on Settlement and Payment signed in 2019 became an important milestone in this work.”

“The two sides reiterated that they firmly support each other’s core interests, national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose external interference in the internal affairs of the two countries.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing in early February, and Russia and China took the opportunity to cement their increasingly close relationship further.  The accompanying excerpts from Putin’s public letter and a joint statement, both published by Chinese state media outlet Xinhua, give some sense of the future direction of this relationship.  Central to both the letter and the joint statement is the expressed desire to expand cooperation across a wide range of areas, including space exploration, development of the Arctic, transportation, science, and technological development.

The two countries have successively upgraded relations from a constructive partnership (1994), to strategic partnership of coordination for the 21st century (1996), to a comprehensive strategic coordinated partnership (2011), to a new-era Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic coordinated Partnership (2019) (See “China Upgrades Relations with Russia,” OE Watch, July 2019).  These titles have been accompanied by real improvements in the two countries’ levels of cooperation.  In particular, Putin’s letter highlighting the importance of joint efforts to improve each side’s ability to use local currencies in payments has helped Russia mitigate the effects of international sanctions.

Cooperation in the energy sector has further benefited both sides as China looks to transition its energy grid to use more natural gas as a cleaner and more efficient alternative to coal while Russia is diversifying and expanding its sales of oil and gas.  The two sides have steadily opened new transportation links to improve cross-border trade, including a bridge connecting Heihe and Blagoveschensk along the Amur River, which forms part of China’s northeast border with Russia (See “New Bridge to Connect Russia’s Far East with China’s Northeast,” OE Watch, February 2020).  In Putin’s letter, these links and improving trade have taken on additional importance as both countries look to expand trade after the negative effects of the global pandemic.

The joint statement expands upon the pledges of economic cooperation mentioned in Putin’s letter, promising increasing connectivity across Eurasia and cooperation in developing the Arctic.  The statement also systematically touches upon issues of concern to each side, ranging from core interests such as the “One China” Principle and the status of Taiwan, to the historical account of Russia’s role in World War Two.  It devotes significant time to defending their respective interpretations of democracy and positioning Russia and China as defenders of the post-World War Two international system and global security.  While both sides likely harbor some doubts about the long-term value of cooperation due to the massive inequalities in the size of their respective economies and populations, improving trade and scientific cooperation as well as backing each other diplomatically could pay significant dividends in expanding both countries’ national power in the near term.


“普京通过新华社发表署名文章《俄罗斯和中国:着眼于未来的战略伙伴》(Putin published a signed article through Xinhua News Agency ‘Russia and China: Strategic Partners for the Future’),” Xinhua (PRC State News agency), 3 February 2022.


….We continue to expand local currency settlements and establish mechanisms to counteract the negative effects of unilateral sanctions. The Agreement between the Russian Government and the Chinese Government on Settlement and Payment signed in 2019 became an important milestone in this work.

A mutually beneficial energy alliance is being formed between our two countries. In addition to the long-term delivery of oil and gas to China, we also plan to implement a series of large-scale joint projects. One of the projects is the construction of four new generating units at China’s nuclear power plant from last year, with the participation of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation. All of this greatly enhances the energy security of China and the entire Asian region.

We believe that the two countries have extensive opportunities to develop partnerships in the information and communications industry, medicine, and space exploration, including the application of national navigation systems and the implementation of the International Lunar Research Station project. The “Year of Science and Technology Innovation” held  2020-2021 and hosted by both countries has injected a huge impetus into strengthening bilateral relations.

Accelerating the socio-economic development of Siberia and the Far East is one of Russia’s strategic tasks. These regions are the regions closest to China. We plan to actively develop local cooperation, attract Chinese investment and technology, and expand global transportation and trade routes. For example, modernization and upgrading of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian railways have already begun. Its capacity will be doubled and a half by 2024 by increasing the volume of transit freight and shortening transit times. In addition, the port infrastructure in the Russian Far East has also been developed. All of these will further enhance the complementarity of the Russian and Chinese economies.… We have the same position on international trade issues. We advocate maintaining an open, transparent and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system based on the rules of the World Trade Organization, and agree to restart the global supply chain. As early as March 2020, Russia proposed an initiative to build a “green corridor” for trade without any sanctions, political and administrative barriers. The implementation of this initiative will help overcome the economic impact of the pandemic….

Source: “中华人民共和国和俄罗斯联邦关于新时代国际关系和全球可持续发展的联合声明 (Joint Statement of People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on International Relations in the New Era and Global Sustainable Development),” Xinhua (PRC State News agency), 4 February 2022.

… The two sides will actively promote the cooperation between the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” and the Eurasian Economic Union, and deepen the practical cooperation between China and the Eurasian Economic Union in various fields. Improve the level of connectivity in the Asia-Pacific and Eurasian regions. The two sides are willing to continue to promote the parallel and coordinated development of the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” and the “Greater Eurasian Partnership”, promote the development of regional organizations and the process of bilateral and multilateral economic integration, and benefit the people of all countries in the Eurasian continent.

The two sides agreed to further deepen pragmatic cooperation in Arctic sustainable development…

The two sides expressed deep concern over the severe challenges facing the international security situation, and believed that the people of all countries share a common destiny, and no country can and should not achieve its own security by breaking away from world security and at the expense of the security of other countries. The international community should actively participate in global security governance to achieve common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

The two sides reiterated that they firmly support each other’s core interests, national sovereignty and territorial integrity and oppose external interference in the internal affairs of the two countries.

The Russian side reiterated that it abides by the one-China principle, recognizes that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and opposes any form of “Taiwanese independence.”

China and Russia oppose external forces undermining the security and stability of the two countries’ common surrounding areas, oppose external forces interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, and oppose “color revolutions”, and will strengthen cooperation in the areas mentioned above.

The two sides believe that individual countries, military-political alliances or alliances seek direct or indirect unilateral military superiority, harm the security of other countries through unfair competition and other means, intensify geopolitical competition, exaggerate rivalry and confrontation, seriously undermine the international security order, and undermine global strategic stability. . The two sides oppose the continued expansion of NATO, and call on NATO to abandon the ideology of the Cold War, respect the sovereignty, security, interests, and diversity of civilizations, history and culture of other countries, and view the peaceful development of other countries in an objective and fair manner. The two sides oppose the establishment of a closed alliance system in the Asia-Pacific region and the creation of confronting camps, and are highly vigilant of the negative impact of the “Indo-Pacific strategy” promoted by the United States on the peace and stability of the region. China and Russia have always been committed to building a security system in the Asia-Pacific region that is equal, open, inclusive, and not targeting third countries, and maintains peace, stability, and prosperity.

Image Information:

Image: Chinese and Russian Flags.
Attribution: Image by Author. Permission to use image granted by author

PLA Experimenting with Formations To Optimize Combat Effectiveness

PLA soldier participates in a tactical shooting competition.

PLA soldier participates in a tactical shooting competition.

“Precise deployment of forces is an important part of winning future ‘informationized’ wars. Only by continuously improving the accuracy of the allocation of forces and use of firepower can we better unlock the full combat effectiveness of the troops, achieve functional integration and complement each other’s advantages.”

A brigade in northeastern China appears to be experimenting with new combat formations.  In the accompanying excerpt from the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) newspaper PLA Daily, the unnamed brigade, which is under the 78th Group Army based in northeastern China, reallocated units down to the squad level to better suit mission requirements and terrain.  Units under the 78th Group Army appear to have long been at the forefront of the PLA’s experimentation with, and transition to, combined arms battalions (See “New Type” PLA Units Emphasize Mobility, Joint Operations,” OE Watch, October 2018).  In this exercise, the brigade testing the new formation was representing the blue team, or “enemy” force.  This gave the red PLA force the chance to test itself against an unusual and more effective fighting force while experimenting with new ways of allocating forces.  The “mixing and matching” method proved successful in both defensive and offensive scenarios during the exercise.

In the article, the blue team brigade leader notes that allocation of forces will be essential to prevail in “informationized” warfare characterized by high tempos and deep integration of sensors, communications, and precision fires.  Modularity and organizational flexibility will be essential to bringing the maximum amount of combat power to bear while allowing quick responses to new threats.  Currently, the PLA is quickly adopting new command systems and testing new formations and equipment to improve its proficiency in combined arms operations.  (See “PLA Fields New Integrated Command Platforms, Improving Combined Arms Operations,” OE Watch, December 2021).  While new equipment is arguably equally important, finding new ways to use existing or new formations, and adopting a mindset that would allow such innovation, may prove key in future conflicts.


Zhang Guangxuan [张光轩], “第78集团军某旅 ‘按需混编’ 精准释放战斗效能(Brigade under the 78th Group Army ‘Mixes’ Units Correctly to Release Full Combat Efficiency),” PLA Daily (official newspaper of the PLA), 11 February 2022.

On the eve of the Spring Festival, a brigade of the 78th Group Army and a related unit conducted a realistic confrontation exercise. Acting as the opposing force, the brigade used an “on-demand mixing” method to organize its troops and firepower for combat operations instead of the static, pre-allocated method used before, which allowed the unit to optimize combat formations and improve the effectiveness of combat command.

“Precise deployment of forces is an important part of winning future ‘informationized’ wars. Only by continuously improving the accuracy of the allocation of forces and use of firepower can we better unlock the full combat effectiveness of the troops, achieve functional integration and complement each other’s advantages.” According to the brigade’s leader, in this exercise, the opposing force broke up existing units and instead reallocated each squad to a new ad hoc mixed unit to better suit the mission requirements and terrain. Each combat unit has a designated commander and deputy. Compared with the previous grouping method, this “on-demand mixing” mode enables more precise use of force and firepower and more efficient and efficient combat command.

At the exercise area, Zhang Peng, the commander of the opposing force, organized the force into 18 operational units after leading the battalion, company, and platoon commanders to conduct repeated surveys of the defensive positions before the battle. After the battle started, Zhang Peng directly ordered each operational unit to enter the fight in response to the attacking forces. Their reaction speed and the efficiency of the deployment of troops and firepower were significantly improved.

“The opponent’s reaction is too fast!” admitted the commander of the attacking team at the end of the exercise. “The main reason for the failure of our attack is that the opposing team was able to respond quickly, and the coordination of forces and fires is more effective.” In the following iteration of the exercise, the opposing force switched from defense to attack and again ‘mixed’ forces to suit the terrain and mission. The result of the new tactics was clear—another decisive win. 

Image Information:

Image: PLA soldier participates in a tactical shooting competition.
Attribution: CC BY 4.0

Xi Urges Accelerated Development of Cutting-Edge Weaponry, Military Modernization

GEN. Li Shangfu head of the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department (Li is second from the right).

GEN. Li Shangfu head of the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department (Li is second from the right).

“Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (in 2012), the state of weapons and equipment technology has been improved and accelerated the speed of development as the entire military has consistently made the development of weapons and equipment a strategic priority, guided by the requirements of combat operations, and closely following trends in international military technology. At the same time, we must also realize that China faces significant gaps in many respects when compared with the requirements for safeguarding national security and development interests…”

Speaking in October at the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) annual all-service equipment conference, which sets priorities for military modernization, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech describing China’s major efforts to catch up with other military powers, particularly since 2012.  In the accompanying excerpted article from the PLA’s official news outlet China Military Online, Xi describes China’s weapons development as having shifted from importation and imitation to indigenous development and greater self-reliance.  While Xi acknowledges continuing gaps, the Chinese military has tried to improve management of weapons and equipment development programs.  In 2016, China significantly restructured its top-level organizations guiding equipment development for the PLA, replacing the General Armaments Department with an Equipment Development Department (EDD) directly subordinate to the Central Military Commission (CMC), China’s top military body.

In a related development, the CMC and each of China’s Joint Theater Commands appear to have also established a Military Requirements Bureau under their Joint Staff departments.  The bureaus are intended to help their respective organizations more quickly address changing requirements, whether related to training or necessary equipment.  At the same time other organizations with oversight of long-term planning, particularly the Science and Technology Commission were also upgraded.  Engagement with non-traditional parts of the defense industry and expanding cooperation with scientists and institutions outside of the industry have also been prioritized to improve the PLA’s access to cutting-edge research.  Taken together, these efforts will enable the PLA to better coordinate efforts between services while also responding to technological change more swiftly.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had set several important milestones for military modernization, many of which are looming.  In the speech, Xi referred to the PLA’s centennial goal, which entails accelerating mechanization and integration of informationized and intelligent (smart) systems by 2027.  There is no guarantee that China will meet these deadlines.  For example, the goal of completing mechanization of the PLA by 2020 appears to have been revised.  Even more ambitious milestones lie ahead: the CCP wants the PLA to achieve world-class status as a military by mid-century.  Efforts set since 2012 to make the PLA a potent, modernized force, and to improve the underlying processes that drive modernization, are paying off.


“加快推进武器装备现代化——认真学习贯彻习主席在全军装备工作会议上重要指示(Accelerate the modernization of weapons and equipment——Conscientiously study and implement Chairman Xi’s important instructions at the military equipment work conference),” China Military Online (official news outlet for the People’s Liberation Army), 27 October 2021.


The PLA held an equipment work conference for all military services in Beijing. President Xi extended sincere greetings and important instructions to the delegates and all comrades working on the front lines of weapons and equipment and spoke highly of the leapfrog development and historic achievements of the Chinese military’s weapons and equipment development during the course of the “13th Five-Year Plan” (2016–2020), clarifying the fundamental, directional, and overall major issues of weaponry and equipment construction. This has important practical significance and far-reaching guiding significance for accelerating the implementation of the “14th Five-Year” plan (covering 2021-2025) and creating a new chapter in weaponry and equipment development.

Without adequate equipment, we cannot begin to discuss the art of war. Weapons and equipment are an important symbol of military modernization, an important foundation of the preparation for military struggle preparations, an important support for national security and national rejuvenation, and an important weight in international strategic competition. Only by possessing advanced weapons and equipment and truly improving our defensive capabilities can we offer a real deterrent. Building a People’s Army with advanced weapons and equipment is the goal of [the Chinese Communist Party]. In the course of its long-term development, our military has successively gone through the development stages of importation, imitation, and indigenous research and development. It has successively produced a large number of advanced weapons and equipment and high-precision technology as represented by the “Two Bombs and One Satellite” [China’s successful Manhattan Project-like effort to develop atomic and hydrogen bombs in the 1960s and launch an artificial satellite in 1970].

Promoting the leapfrog development of our military’s equipment construction and providing material and technical support for enhancing the country’s strategic capabilities, especially military strength, are the great mission placed on the PLA by the Party and the expectation of the PLA’s officers and enlisted. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (in 2012), the state of weapons and equipment technology has been improved and accelerated the speed of development as the entire military has consistently made the development of weapons and equipment a strategic priority, guided by the requirements of combat operations, and closely following trends in international military technology. At the same time, we must also realize that China faces significant gaps in many respects when compared with the requirements for safeguarding national security and development interests, or with the requirements for winning an informatized war, and compared with the world’s strongest military powers. At present, a new round of scientific and technological revolution, industrial revolution, and military revolution are evolving rapidly. The degree of informatization of modern warfare continues to increase, and the characteristics of intelligence are increasingly emerging. This provides a rare opportunity for advancing the modernization of weaponry and equipment and also creates tougher demands. In the face of changing times, wars, opponents, and technological changes, we can only be determined and strengthen our sense of urgency. Only by working hard, focusing more proactively on tomorrow’s war to accelerate the development of weapons and equipment, and stepping up the construction of a modern management system for weapons and equipment can we fully create a new situation in weapons and equipment construction and make positive contributions to the realization of the goal of the army’s centennial struggle.

Image Information:

Image: GEN. Li Shangfu head of the Central Military Commission’s Equipment Development Department (Li is second from the right).
Attribution: Zhang Youxia (2017-12-07) 02.jpg, CC BY 4.0

PLA Practices UAV-Delivered Logistical Support for Airborne Operations

PLAAF Airborne Z-8 Helicopter (says airborne in white over the wheels)  
PLAAF Changhe Z-8KA – Zhao.

PLAAF Airborne Z-8 Helicopter (says airborne in white over the wheels)  PLAAF Changhe Z-8KA – Zhao.

The brigade plans to further test combat support functions for the drones and improve logistical sustainment methods for airborne operations to improve combat effectiveness.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to refine the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for tactical resupply through their integration into exercises. As noted in state media outlet Science and Technology Daily, a recent exercise held in the mountainous terrain of central Yunnan province describes a PLA Air Force (PLAAF) Airborne Corps brigade using UAVs to resupply units engaged in a firefight and help evacuate casualties.

The “key point seizure” exercise featured a drone swarm working in concert with the airborne assault team as it maneuvered, resupplying units just as they reached defensive positions determined by a company commander.  Other reporting on the exercise indicated that medium UAVs could deliver 50kg of ammunition.  Participants in the exercise noted that the addition of UAVs greatly simplified logistical resupply for the units.

Exercises in 2020 involving the PLA Joint Logistics Support Force tested delivering munitions to front-line units, and in a separate exercise, providing hot meals and water to border troops in politically sensitive or logistically difficult-to-access areas. (See “PLA Fields New Rapid-Assembly Camp System,” OE Watch, November 2020). The same month the PLAAF Airborne Corps conducted tactical replenishment exercises in Hubei province. (See “China: Improving Capability in Replenishment Operations Through Drones”).


Peng Yueyun and Qi Yongqiang, “无人机参与助攻空降作战有了新帮手(Drones participate in assists and airborne operations have new helpers),” Science and Technology Daily (State media outlet managed by the PRC Ministry of Science and Technology), 10 December 2021.


“Begin the attack on the closest position!” Following the command of Li Qilong [李齐龙], the commander of a company under an airborne brigade, members of the unit charged bravely towards the “enemy” position. The unit is engaged in a ‘key point seizure’ exercise in an unidentified location in central Yunnan.

After their initial charge, the enemy was able to suppress the attackers. The lead assault team leader called out “Running low on ammunition! Requesting resupply!”

Standing by the radio in the rear, commander Li marked Ren’s location on the drone control terminal, issuing orders for supplies and a flight path. One minute later, a medium UAV with nearly a hundred kilograms of heavy equipment quickly lifted off and flew toward the battle. Thanks to the timely resupply, the attacking unit could renew their assault.

In this exercise, the brigade embedded transport drones in its support operations, making full use of their advantages in terms of ability to cover long distances quickly, with great precision and in spite of rugged terrain—advantages that traditional resupply methods overland or via large, vulnerable transport lack.

On the front lines of the battle, the firing is intense, and the support team has continued to take casualties even as neither side has gained the advantage.  “Requesting casevac.” A signal from the assisting team came from the radio. In the rear, the rotors of a large UAV spin up under the operated by Chen Yao [陈遥], leader of the integrated support team. Hugging the ground, the drone dodges enemy fire while making its way toward the requested location of the ‘wounded,’ beaming back information to the support team.

“Found them,” Chen Yao said as he put the drone into a rapid descent. With the assistance of ground combatants, one of the simulated casualties was dispatched to the rear.

“Shift your position and prepare to defend!” After pushing the assault, company commander Li Qilong quickly pivoted to defense while coordinating resupply using the UAVs. A few minutes later, as coordinates for defensive positions were issued [to the attacking units], a “swarm” composed of eight quadrotor drones took off in succession, beginning “multi-target precision resupply operations.” Despite being spread out over more than ten kilometers, the “swarm” independently coordinated and accurately positioned themselves to quickly deliver emergency supplies from the rear to the new defensive positions.

Li described the transport drones as “Fast, stealthy and precise,” noting that “[due to their support] the length of the battle was reduced by nearly an hour and the number of casualties has been greatly reduced.”

The brigade plans to test combat support functions for the drones further and improve logistical sustainment methods for airborne operations to improve combat effectiveness.

Image Information:

Image: PLAAF Airborne Z-8 Helicopter (says airborne in white over the wheels) PLAAF Changhe Z-8KA – Zhao.
Source: Allen Zhao,