Chinese Perspective on Manned-Unmanned Coordinated Operations on the Modern Battlefield

Hongdu GJ-11 Sharp Sword[RG1]  (Chinese unmanned combat aerial vehicle).

Hongdu GJ-11 Sharp Sword [RG1]  (Chinese unmanned combat aerial vehicle).

“The manned-unmanned combat team has rewritten the modern battlefield formation model, with manned platforms leading unmanned platforms to form an integrated combat team.”

Researchers with China’s Air Force Research Institute recently published an article in China’s PLA Daily outlining five trends in coordinating manned and unmanned battlefield operations. Except for the potential for clustered autonomous systems to increase battlefield uncertainty, the authors argue that recent efforts to divide labor between complementary manned and unmanned systems have provided more options for tactical configuration and combat synergy.  The authors, Guo Yilun and Ma Quan assert there are three types of manned-unmanned platforms: 1) direct transmission of unmanned information for rear control, 2) interoperability between manned and unmanned platforms under limited control, and 3) completely controlled manned-unmanned platforms. As autonomous platforms continue to develop, the Chinese military will be able to combine manned and unmanned platforms into combat groups that will facilitate information processing, mission planning and decision-making, command distribution, and formation of operations to provide flexibility in constantly developing battlefield postures. A second benefit the authors believe will result from closer man-machine coordination is increased battlefield situational awareness. A real-time tactical “cloud” system will rapidly detect, process, and distribute requirements based on developing target data. Information from space platforms, sensors, and weapon systems in the land, sea, air, and space domains will be cross-verified and integrated into a unified framework that coordinates manned and unmanned data. Third, distributed command-and-control systems will be able to disaggregate computing, collection, and decision-making functions and assign sub-problems to collaborative manned-unmanned groups. Fourth, the authors argue that systems of higher autonomous control bring greater uncertainty in warfare; as such, autonomous systems should be classified by the degree to which they are integrated with manned systems. The authors suggest four levels of autonomy: non-autonomy, single-machine autonomy, multi-machine autonomy, and clustered autonomy. Finally, the authors assert that further integrating unmanned systems will save more than 60 percent the cost of manned operations and double their effectiveness.


郭一伦 (Guo Yilun) and 马权 (Ma Quan), “撬动战争形态衍变的新支点 (Prying a New Lever in Evolving Warfare Patterns),” PLA Dailv (PLA-owned media), 27 April 2023.

In the face of future intelligent battlefield environments, the use of a large number of intelligent, unmanned weapons and equipment will reshape battlefield combat force systems. Manned/unmanned combat forces will be flexibly organized as needed, and can be combined into different types and sizes of combat groups, which can be linked for information fusion processing, mission planning and decision-making, command distribution, and formation operations according to combat tasks and battlefield posture.

Image: Hongdu GJ-11 Sharp Sword[RG1]  (Chinese unmanned combat aerial vehicle).
Attribution: CC BY-SA 4.0

Beijing Expands Counter-Espionage Law To Crack Down on Foreign Access to Chinese Information

Activities carried out, instigated or funded … to steal, pry into, purchase or illegally provide state secrets, intelligence, and other documents, data, materials, or items related to national security.”

In April 2023 Chinese lawmakers passed a wide-ranging update to Beijing’s counter-espionage legislation banning the transfer of “all documents, data, materials, and items related to national security and interests” and broadening the definition of spying.[i] The amendments, as published in the excerpted statement from the Chinese government’s website, note that they will take effect on 1 July 2023. The amendments appear to target foreign information-gathering efforts, especially by limiting access to key government and economic data and expanding the range of legal definitions of espionage.[ii] Since the introduction of the legislation in 2014, Beijing has detained dozens of Chinese and foreign nationals on suspicion of espionage.[iii] Several high-profile incidents have emerged, including those involving an Australian journalist and former TV anchor; a Japanese executive; and even a U.S. citizen who has been detained in China since 2016 on charges of espionage related to research he published using open-source information that the Chinese government later deemed to be “state secrets.” Collectively, these incidents have brought attention to Beijing’s unclear definition of what constitutes “espionage.” Earlier this year, Chinese government raids on foreign firms conducting due diligence work in China further underscored the often-questionable lengths to which Beijing will go to control access to information that could be used for a variety of efforts that run counter to the Chinese Communist Party’s interests. [iv]


“中国人民共和国反间谍法 (People’s Republic of China’s Counter-Espionage Law),” (Official Website of the People’s Republic of China’s Central People’s Government), 27 April 2023.

Article 4: “Acts of espionage” as used in this Law refers to the following conduct:

(1) Activities that endanger the national security of the People’s Republic of China that are carried out, prompted, or funded by an espionage organization and its agents, or carried out by agencies, organs, individuals, or other collaborators domestically or outside the PRC borders;

(2) Participation in an espionage organization or acceptance of tasks from an espionage organization and its agents, or seeking to align with an espionage organization and its agents;

(3) Activities carried out, instigated or funded by foreign institutions, organizations, and individuals other than espionage organizations and their representatives, or in which domestic institutions, organizations or individuals collude, to steal, pry into, purchase or illegally provide state secrets, intelligence, and other documents, data, materials, or items related to national security, or in which state employees are incited, enticed, coerced, or bought over to turn traitor.

(4) Network attacks, intrusions, obstructions, control, or disruptions targeting state organs, units involved with secrets, or critical information infrastructure, that are carried out, prompted, or funded by a espionage organization and its agents, or carried out by agencies, organs, individuals, or other collaborators domestically or outside the PRC borders;

(5) indicating targets for enemies;

(6) conducting other espionage activities.

This law applies where espionage organizations and their agents engage in espionage activities targeting a third country within the territory of the People’s Republic of China or using citizens, organizations, or other conditions of the PRC, endangering the PRC’s national security.

Article 14: No individual or organization may unlawfully obtain or possess any documents, data, materials or items that are state secrets.


[i] For an English-language translation of the Counter-Espionage Law, see:

[ii] For a detailed analysis of China’s Counter-Espionage Law and the new amendments, see:

[iii] The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) has determined many foreign citizens, including U.S. citizens, have been denied due process rights and that they are arbitrarily detained in violation of international law. In March 2023, China’s Foreign Ministry released a report accusing the United States of arbitrary detention of individuals at home and abroad one month prior to releasing its amendments to its counter-espionage legislation. See: “The United States’ Arbitrary Detention at Home and Abroad: Truth and Facts,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 29 March 2023,

[iv] In addition to due diligence firms, Beijing has blocked access to the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), China’s largest academic database, in an effort that analysts assess is aimed at limiting foreign researchers’ access to public discourse and government data. For more on Beijing’s restriction of access to CNKI, see: Lin Yang, “China to Limit Access to Largest Academic Database,” Voice of America, 30 March 2023,

Chinese Seeking To Use AI Disinformation Database for Cognitive Defense

Rumor Crusher.

Rumor Crusher.

“The models built by AI still need further language training. For example, some users’ share [rumors] with irony, sarcasm, or as a metaphor, and machines find it difficult to judge whether they are true expressions of emotion or not. Therefore, we should focus on improving the public’s media literacy so that they are more serious about interacting and sharing content ….”

According to the excerpted article from PLA-owned strategic communications journal Military Correspondent, the PLA is exploring an early warning mechanism for monitoring and combating digital disinformation utilizing the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)’s[i] “AI Rumor Crusher.”[ii] While the article is not a definitive accounting of how the CAC will use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and counter digital disinformation, it does provide insight into a methodology employed across China’s information environment to control flows of information. The author, Li Beibei, a researcher at China’s National Defense University’s College of Politics, suggests that an ideal approach for countering disinformation would include a multipronged strategy that includes expansion of China’s legal framework, improvement of data-sharing among social media platforms and the government, and improved media literacy.

Li explains AI Rumor Crusher’s operational methodology as an eight-step iterative process composed of recognition, word separation, comparison with a rumor database, determination of credibility, analysis of rumor and non-rumor features, and finally supervised and reinforcement learning. In the first two steps, AI Rumor Crusher identifies the source of a piece of information and analyzes the disseminator. Next, it analyzes the information against preexisting rumor samples and tracks sources for their credibility (website, publisher, professionals, etc.). Finally, the key arguments are labeled and cross-referenced with authoritative knowledge databases[iii] to verify the veracity of the information. Li argues that AI, when compared to human counterparts, possesses a superior ability to work around the clock, identify and eliminate rumors in a timely way, track disseminators of disinformation, judge the veracity of information, and even determine the disseminator’s motivation for sharing rumors. Li further advocates for a multipronged approach to digital disinformation governance that would include the expansion and strengthening of China’s relevant legal regulations and public media literacy to reinforce social values and ensure both originators and disseminators (witting or unwitting) do not exacerbate the issue.[iv]


“利用人工智能技术治理网络谣言探析 (An Exploration of the Uses of Artificial Intelligence in Governing Digital Rumors),” Military Correspondent (PLA-owned strategic communications journal ), 23 February 2023.

Management of digital rumors has become an urgent issue. We can establish an early warning mechanism for digital rumors based in artificial intelligence technologies. With AI “Rumor Crusher” we can build a data-sharing platform for disinformation to monitor the trajectory of digital rumors and prevent them from spreading in order to effectively combat digital disinformation.

With the promotion of new media interactive platforms, the difficulty of Internet rumor management is gradually increasing, and users’ behavior and speech on the Internet are difficult to be effectively and timely restrained, making rumor suppression a more complicated and difficult task.

The most central factor in the formation and dissemination of digital rumors is the openness and ambiguity of incoming information. People are most likely to generate and spread rumors in the absence of reliable information. … people use their virtual identities to send and receive information over their various accounts without temporal, spatial, or moral constraints … resulting in many online rumors leading to serious consequences. Since August 2020, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC)’s Reporting Center has organized more than 10 website platforms such as Weibo, Douyin and Baidu to carry out digital rumor tagging and labeling work. This ensures that digital rumor samples are promptly exposed, thereby minimizing the space for digital rumors to survive. However, despite the active measures relevant government departments have taken to control digital rumors, there is still a long way to go. In particular, the legal punishment for digital rumors should be strengthened so the disseminators of rumors can be punished according to the degree to which the rumor is malign and causes a negative impact.


[i] Cyberspace Administration of China’s Reporting Center (网信办举报中心, literally, “Illegal and Harmful Information Reporting Center, 违法和不良信息举报中心). As early as 2004, under the Internet Society of China, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center was established with the stated goal of standing up for “virtue and right thinking” while opposing pornography, violence, and fraud. See: Sumner Lemon, “Chinese website lets users report illegal content,” Computer World, 15 June 2004.

[ii] “Rumor (谣言)” is both a colloquial and legal term in the PRC. Colloquially, it connotes a similar meaning to the term “rumor” in English. According to the Cyberspace Administration of China (国家互联网信息办公室,简称:网信办), internet rumors网络谣言 refers to “false information that intentionally fabricates facts to cause harm to society and others.” This definition partly aligns with Western conceptions of disinformation (often translated as 虚假信息, lit. fake information). For further exploration of the PRC’s unclear use of similar terms in legal matters, see: 谣言型犯罪中“谣言”该如何理解 (How Should “Rumor” be Understood in Rumor Crimes), The Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China, 12 February 2022.

[iii] While not explicitly stated, these would likely include both open source, commercial, and classified government databases accessible by government, military, and commercial personnel. Much of the labeling and tagging until recently has been conducted by human regulators working on behalf of social media companies like Alibaba, Baidu, ByteDance, and Tencent.

[iv] Many of these same issues are addressed in China’s preexisting legal infrastructure managing cyberspace including the Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law, Personal Information Protection Law, and Cybersecurity Review Measures. For more on China’s vision for global cyberspace governance, see: Thomas Shrimpton, “Beijing’s Vision for Global Cyberspace Governance,” OE Watch, 1-2023.

Image Information:

Image: Rumor Crusher.
Attribution: Public Domain

People’s Liberation Army Exploring Military Applications of ChatGPT

ChatGPT Logo.

ChatGPT Logo.

“[ChatGPT’s] role and impact on the military domain cannot be ignored.”

Chinese regulators have acted swiftly since ChatGPT’s launch in November 2022 to manage perceived political risks by laying out draft rules on the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI).[i] However, this has not stopped the Chinese military’s PLA Daily from inviting security scholars to consider the potential applications of generative AI in the military.

In the three excerpted PLA Daily pieces, Hu Xiaofeng, Zhao Jingxuan, and Hu Yushan explore the risks and opportunities associated with integrating AI technologies and large language models (LLMs) in military planning, operational, and combat systems. Hu Xiaofeng, a professor at China’s National Defense University, argues that the integration of ChatGPT with future information-based and intelligent warfare systems would bring a “qualitative leap to the commander’s decision-making ability.”[ii] Hu Xiaofeng and Hu Yushan argue ChatGPT will likely trigger an expansion of China’s intelligence collection capabilities due to its ability to summarize large swathes of scientific and academic information, providing commanders with near real-time information perception and allowing them to make an accurate threat assessment. Hu Xiaofeng and Hu Yushan also discuss the integration of ChatGPT with other military systems to complete more complex tasks, including training scenario preparation, combat plan generation, combat plan arrangement, action plan drafting, exercise result commentary, as well as higher-level planning tasks like war plan analysis, supply chain risk analysis, and crisis response plan evaluation. At an operational level, Hu Yushan identifies ChatGPT as a useful tool to produce fake news, fake emails, and imitate human language for information deception in cognitive domain operations and cyberattacks. PLA researchers are also wary of the potential negative implications of overreliance on AI technologies in military decision-making. Zhao Jingxuan draws upon the Roman mythology of Janus. Janus is the two-faced god of gates, transitions, doorways, and duality, with the front facing the future and the back facing the past. Zhao likens the use of AI technologies in military decision-making as a doorway presenting serious security, legal, and ethical dilemmas, echoing sentiments expressed at the call to action set forth in February 2023 at the first summit on Responsible AI in the Military Domain (REAIM).[iii]


Hu Xiaofeng (胡晓峰), “ChatGPT, 我们该怎么看” (How Should We View ChatGPT),” PLA Daily (official newspaper of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army), 21 March 2023.

“In future information and intelligent warfare, ChatGPT can be used for basic data analysis and decision support, natural language processing, and the processing of massive volumes of battlefield information to facilitate a qualitative leap in commanders’ decision-making abilities. On this basis, it may lead to transformational mutations in some traditional operational positions, thus triggering changes in established military systems. If it is professionally trained to work with other systems, it can be used for more complex work such as training idea preparation, combat program generation, combat plan arrangement, operational planning and preparation, exercise result evaluation, etc. This will induce many adjustments to command and decision-making institutions, it may even reshape the command and decision-making process. If it continues to iterate and mutate in the future, it may also be involved in completing other higher-order work involved in war plan analysis and crisis management program evaluation, among others. ChatGPT technology may also be used to produce fake news, fake emails, or even imitate human language to implement information decoys, or be used in cyber-attacks.

Zhao Jingxuan (赵静轩), “雅努斯的两副面孔 (The Two Faces of Janus),” PLA Daily (Official newspaper of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army), 21 March 2023.

When a large number of intelligent combat systems are applied to the battlefield, the cost of war will be greatly reduced, and the ‘zero casualties’ of combatants is expected to become a reality. However, in a complex battlefield environment, the intelligent combat system is very likely to have problems such as indiscriminate killing of innocent people due to identification errors, which will bring infinite hidden dangers to human beings.

Hu Yushan (胡玉山), “作战+ChatGPT,会撞出来什么样火花 (Combat + ChatGPT, What Kind of Sparks Will be Struck )” PLA Daily (Official newspaper of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army), 21 March 2023. Based on ChatGPT’s powerful analysis and judgement capability, it can act as a super scheduler and quickly solve issues arising in the logistics supply chain with the support of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, cloud computing, and big data. In the procurement link, through analysis of past material procurement data, it can automatically predict future material demand, and at the same time, according to market fluctuations, independently set funding budgets to improve the military’s economic efficiency. In warehousing processing, it can analyze a series of data such as the number of materials in storage, reserve time, and maintenance to carry out intelligence allocation between personnel and people and materials and equipment. In the transportation link, it can determine the best means of delivery by intelligently analyzing demand, resources, and means of delivery to optimize transportation plans.


[i] The Cyberspace Administration of China (网信办) released draft measures to lay out the ground rules that generative AI services must follow, including the type of content these products are allowed to generate. Importantly, Article 4 stipulates that all AI generated content must reflect the core values of socialism and should not subvert state power. For the full Chinese text, see: “《生成式人工智能服务管理办法(征求意见稿)” (Generative AI Service Management (Draft for Comments)),” Cyberspace Administration of China, 11 April 2023.

[ii] Hu Xiaofeng explicitly mentions integration with AlphaGo (阿尔法狗). AlphaGo is a computer program that was designed to play the strategy board game Go. AlphaGo uses a combination of deep neural networks and tree search techniques and was trained using a combination of supervised and reinforcement learning. In 2016, AlphaGo made headlines when it was the first program to publicly defeat a professional Go player. PLA researchers have discussed military applications of AlphaGO for over half a decade, but Hu admits it has made little progress in effectively applying the program to PLA decision-making processes.

[iii] For more on REAIM and the call to action that 60 countries including the United States and China signed, see: “REAIM 2023 Program,” Government of the Netherlands, 20 April 2023. While China has yet to publish its own vision for governance of AI in military systems, the United States’ “Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy” can be seen here: “Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy,” U.S. Department of State, 16 February 2023.

Image Information:

Image: ChatGPT Logo.
Attribution: Public Domain

Micronesian President Warns Against Chinese External Influence Operations

Federated States of Micronesian President David Panuelo.

Federated States of Micronesian President David Panuelo.

“I believe that our values are presently being used against us. One of the reasons that China’s political warfare is successful in so many arenas is that we are bribed to be complicit, bribed to be silent.”

According to the excerpted article from the Asia-focused outlet, The Diplomat, outgoing Micronesian President David Panuelo recently warned of Beijing’s efforts to shape his country’s external operational environment via “political warfare”[i]and “gray zone operations.” To mitigate the China’s influence, Panuelo suggested that Micronesia switch diplomatic allegiance from China to Taiwan in exchange for Taiwan providing Micronesia with $50 million. The 13-page warning[ii]  letter detailed Chinese covert, coercive, and corrupting influence activities in Micronesia, including bribery, spying, and other external interference. 

Panuelo provided examples stating a former Chinese ambassador had tried to bribe Vice President Palik with an envelope of cash to be seated in a place of prominence at a Chinese Embassy Banquet. When Palik refused, the Chinese ambassador said something to the effect of “you could be President someday.” At the July 2023 Pacific Islands Forum, Paneulo relayed that he was followed by a People’s Liberation Army intelligence officer stationed at the Chinese Embassy in Fiji. The letter also recounts Chinese efforts to manufacture international support for China at the China-Pacific Island Countries Political Dialogue by having a Micronesian private citizen represent the Micronesia when the Micronesian government declined to attend a meeting of the regional multilateral forum. In response to these claims, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson derided Panuelo’s assertions as “smear[s] and accusations…completely inconsistent with the facts,” adding Beijing has “always respected Micronesia’s development path that it has chosen in light of its own national conditions and has supported the Micronesian side in safeguarding its independence.” While it remains to be seen if Micronesia will pursue the diplomatic shift Panuelo proposed after he steps down from office, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has expressed concerns over the burden such “dollar diplomacy” would put on Taiwan.[iii]


“Micronesia’s President Writes Bombshell Letter on China’s ‘Political Warfare’,” The Diplomat (international current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region), 10 March 2023.

It is on this basis that Political Warfare and Grey Zone activity occur within our borders; China is seeking to ensure that, in the event of a war in our Blue Pacific Continent between themselves and Taiwan, that the FSM is, at best, aligned with the PRC (China) instead of the United States and, at worst, that the FSM chooses to ‘abstain’ altogether.

We understand that Mr. Wu [Beijing’s choice for ambassador to FSM] would, upon his arrival, be given the mission of preparing the FSM to shift away from its partnerships with traditional allies such as the U.S., Japan, and Australia. We know that Mr. Wu would expand PRC security activity, awareness, and interest in the FSM … I declined the Ambassador-designate his position … they’re simply awaiting the new President to take power so Mr. Wu can become the Ambassador of China to the FSM.

You can imagine my surprise when I was followed this past July in Fiji during the Pacific Islands Forum by two Chinese men; my further surprise when it was determined that they worked for the Chinese Embassy in Suva; my even further surprise when it was discovered that one of them was a PLA intelligence officer; and my continued surprise when I learned that I had multiple Cabinet and staff who had met him before, and in the FSM. To be clear: I have had direct threats against my personal safety from PRC officials acting in an official capacity.

Ambassador Qian was formerly the ambassador to Fiji – and by extension was the one responsible for  authorizing the two Chinese to follow me in Suva. ,,, Ambassador Qian also would have been present during the 2nd China-PICS Political Dialogue. That itself is noteworthy insofar as that was the public meeting where the FSM Government found itself represented not by myself or a Cabinet member or even a member of our Foreign Service – indeed not by anyone in our Government at all but, rather, a private citizen named Mr. Duhlen Soumwei. I said to the PRC that we would not have formal representation at the meeting, and the PRC went to the extent of taking one of our citizens and then publicly having that citizen formally represent us. To say it again: China has established a precedent of taking out private citizens in multilateral meetings to formally represent our country without our Government’s awareness or approval thereof.

In November, 2021 – after the Secretary of Health and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and myself had changed cellphone numbers due to incessant calls from Ambassador Huang – the FSM signed an agreement that we accept the Chinese vaccines. We included various stipulations, such as that they were to be used only for citizens of China in the FSM; but that wasn’t what China wanted. What China wanted was for the FSM to be on the list of countries that they could publicly promote as having accepted their vaccines. China got exactly what it wanted.

Senior officials and elected officials across the whole of our National and State Governments receive offers of gifts as a means to curry favor. The practical impact of this is that some senior officials and elected officials take actions that are contrary to the FSM‘s national interest, but are consistent with the PRC‘s national interests.

This isn’t rare. This happens all the time, and to most of us – not just some of us. It is at this point that I relay, simply as a point of information, that 39 out of 50 members of Parliament in Solomon Islands received payments from China prior to their vote on postponing elections that were otherwise scheduled for this year. Have you personally received a bribe from the PRC? If the answer is “no,” you are in the minority.When we sent our own patrol boats to our own Exclusive Economic Zone to check on PRC research vessel activity, the PRC sent a warning for us to stay away.


[i] Political warfare [政治战] seeks to mobilize and utilize the spectrum of strategic resources (party, state, military, commercial, and civilian) to influence the conduct, policies, motives, and perceptions of foreign actors in a manner favorable to the strategic objectives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Political warfare differs from public diplomacy in its lack of transparency and calculated manipulation of a target to influence its norms, policies, and strategies through inducive and coercive methods of persuasion. For a more detailed exploration of the CCP’s political warfare and political work concepts, see: Mark Stokes and Russell Hsiao, “The People’s Liberation Army General Political Department: Political Warfare with Chinese Characteristics,” Project 2049 Institute, 14 October 2013, and for more on the PLA’s conception of political warfare, see: Peter Mattis, “China’s ‘Three Warfares’ in Perspective,” War on the Rocks, 30 January 2018.

[ii] For the full report see: LinkedIn Post, 10 March 2023.

[iii] “MOFA Response to Comments that Taiwan is Seeking New Allies through ‘Dollar Diplomacy’,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of China (Taiwan), 10 March 2023.

Image Information:

Image: Federated States of Micronesian President David Panuelo
Attribution: Public Domain

Chinese Military Researchers Debut “Precision Strike” Concept for Cognitive Domain Operations

Cognitive Change Cycle with Precision Strike in Cognitive Domain Operations.

Cognitive Change Cycle with Precision Strike in Cognitive Domain Operations.

“The continuous application of artificial intelligence, big data, and other technologies [equip] the technically advantaged party with the ability to swiftly and efficiently collect cognitive data and then discover the weaknesses, sensitivities, and points of ignition in the adversary’s cognitive system.”

Researchers with China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT)[i] recently published an article outlining a framework for “precision strike” in covert efforts by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to shape foreign audiences’ perceptions and behaviors. While the article is not singularly authoritative, the concept of precision strike broadly represents a military framing of the Chinese Communist Party’s “precise communication”[ii] external propaganda strategy, which uses consumer data to segment target audiences so that messaging can be crafted to successfully influence those audiences’ perceptions and behaviors.

In the NUDT researchers’ concept, behavioral data collection and algorithmic targeting enabled by artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and machine learning (ML) technologies are seen as the “fuel” and “engine” of cognitive domain operations. They facilitate the monitoring, collection, analysis, and evaluation of a target audience to sketch an “intelligent portrait” of its beliefs, values, opinions, and behaviors over time. Dynamic pool-based labeling[iii] and ML predictive models can then identify changing cognition and can suggest a time and place to inject bespoke messaging to maximize the impact of its messaging.

The authors assert tailored content is the “ammunition” of precision strike cognitive domain operations. The authors suggest that tailored content should match an audience’s cognitive profile to core messaging themes that align with their values. These may include legal persuasion, military deterrence, contradiction and diversion, emotional appeal, righteous guidance, and martial mobilization.[iv] The authors further conceive that such messaging could be used to build “information cocoons,”[v] or insulated and self-reinforcing media ecosystems that limit a target audience’s exposure to outside information. However, they do not suggest solutions for how Chinese propaganda and cognitive warfare practitioners could overcome what Chinese strategic communications experts often refer to as Western dominance in the international media layout,[vi] or the fact that Western media and social media platforms have effectively monopolized international news feeds through first mover advantages.

Finally, the NUDT researchers consider social media to be both the “delivery vehicle and battlefield” for cognitive domain precision strikes. The authors assert Western social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, are the key arena where China is competing for the hearts and minds of overseas audiences. Specifically, they assert Facebook is used for agenda-setting (what the authors call “preempting”),[vii] while Twitter and YouTube are used for coordinating actions and disseminating content, respectively, which the authors call “bombardment.” Precision strike’s parallels to precision communication showcases the degree to which PLA information and psychological operations are informed by the CCP’s propaganda work. While detailed open-source analysis of PLA information and psychological operations planning remains scant, analysis of China’s broader propaganda ecosystem can inform information operations and psychological operations practitioners as to how the PLA will seek to influence foreign audiences in the future.


“如何实现认知域作战精准打击? (How to Achieve Precision Strike in Cognitive Domain Operations?),” PLA Daily (official news outlet of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army), 13 March 2023.

Cognitive domain operations should grasp the rhythm and strength of “temporal immersion” – select the right delivery time according to the target’s cognitive dynamics, and gradually seek to expand the effects. Before the target audience forms an initial understanding of an event, we should seize the priority of information dissemination and “bombard” them with information to strive to “preempt.” In addition, during the fermentation stage of an event, when the subject’s cognition is not yet solidified, repeated dissemination of specified information can achieve the purpose of subconsciously reconstructing the subject’s cognition.


[i] The National University of Defense Technology (NUDT, 中国人民解放军国防科技大学) oversees some of China’s top computer sciences, cyber, information and communications engineering, and intelligence portfolios. For more on NUDT, see: National University of Defense Technology (中国人民解放军国防科技大学), in China Defense Universities Tracker, The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), 23 November 2019.

[ii] For more on precise communication and the CCP’s broader external propaganda strategy, see: Devin Thorne, “1 Key for 1 Lock: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy for Targeted Propaganda,” Recorded Future, 28 September 2022.

[iii] “Dynamic pool-based labeling,” or “label pooling” (标签池) is a category of machine learning algorithms and subset of semi-supervised learning that ranks all unlabeled instances according to informativeness measurement and selects the best queries to annotate. The authors reference Cambridge Analytica as a model of such methods.

[iv] The authors do not distinguish between cognitive domain operations for overseas audiences and domestic. However, CCP researchers have discussed elements of legal persuasion in the context of sovereign claims over disputed territories. PLA researchers have frequently asserted its messaging can serve to mobilize domestic will-to-fight as a deterrence mechanism to weaken foreign audiences’ resolve to fight and win. Recent PLA propaganda research asserts that Syria’s use of women and children in anti-foreign intervention emotional appeals has successfully impacted support for foreign intervention.

[v] “Information cocoon” (信息茧房) refers to the phenomenon that people’s attention to information domains is likely to be habitually guided by their interests, and thus their exposure and consumption of novel ideas.

[vi] International media layout (国际媒体布局), as opposed to international media structure (国际媒体格局), refers to the strength, structure, and strategy of (in this context) a country’s international media penetration and influence.

[vii] PLA researchers broadly recognize the influence of first impressions and identify first-mover advantages as key to winning in the cognitive domain.

Image Information:

Image: Cognitive Change Cycle with Precision Strike in Cognitive Domain Operations
Source: Created by Author
Attribution: Image by Thomas Shrimpton

China Issues Concept Paper on Its Role in Global Security

China Issues “The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper” at the 21 February 2023 Lanting Forum.

China Issues “The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper” at the 21 February 2023 Lanting Forum.

“The legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly, not persistently ignored or systemically challenged. Any country, while pursuing its own security, should take into account the reasonable security concerns of others.”

In February 2023, China released The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper, a document that describes China’s perception of its role in international security governance. According to Beijing, the Global Security Initiative (GSI) is meant to address the “deficits in peace, development, security, and governance” with “Chinese solutions and wisdom.”[i] Most of the GSI’s underlying principles—the “six commitments”—are the pillars of China’s foreign policy as codified in the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.”[ii] The GSI document also refers to a Chinese Communist Party treatise on China’s Peaceful Development[iii] and Xi Jinping’s New Asian Security Concept[iv]speech,citing claims about China’s historical love for peace and commitment to common, cooperative, comprehensive, and sustainable security. However, the fourth of the “six commitments”—“taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously”—has only in recent years achieved prominence in Chinese foreign policy rhetoric. For example, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization endorses the underlying concept of indivisible security.[v] More recently, just weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China and Russia signed a “no limits” partnership agreement evoking the spirit of indivisible security to oppose NATO expansion.[vi] Following Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, China’s foreign influence apparatus has actively sought to frame Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as induced by NATO expansion.[vii] It has also sought to undermine U.S. efforts to hold Russia accountable by accusing the United States of “Cold War mentality, unilateralism, bloc confrontation, and hegemonism.” The GSI thus provides Beijing with a normative tool for advancing China’s expanding national security interests, motives, policies, and conduct when it comes to international security. It legitimizes any aggressive motives, policies, and conduct on Beijing’s part as defensive, while simultaneously enabling Beijing to denounce the United States, its allies, and partners as the aggressors.


“The Global Security Initiative,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 21 February 2023.

Stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously. Humanity is an indivisible security community. Security of one country should not come at the expense of that of others. We believe all countries are equal in terms of security interests. The legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly, not persistently ignored or systemically challenged. Any country, while pursuing its own security, should take into account the reasonable security concerns of others. We uphold the principle of indivisible security, advocating the indivisibility between individual security and common security, between traditional security and non-traditional security, between security rights and security obligations, and between security and development. There should be a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, so as to realize universal security and common security.

Engage in wide-ranging discussions and communication on peace and security at the General Assembly, relevant UN Committees, the Security Council, relevant institutions, and other international and regional organizations based on their respective mandates, and put forward common initiatives and propositions to forge consensus in the international community to address security challenges.

Leverage the roles of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS cooperation, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, the “China + Central Asia” mechanism, and relevant mechanisms of East Asia cooperation, and carry out security cooperation incrementally to achieve similar or same goals. Promote the establishment of a multilateral dialogue platform in the Gulf region and give play to the role of coordinating and cooperative mechanisms such as the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan and the China-Horn of Africa Peace, Governance and Development Conference to promote regional and global peace and stability.Support the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, the Middle East Security Forum, the Beijing Xiangshan Forum, the Global Public Security Cooperation Forum (Lianyungang) and other international dialogue platforms in contributing to deepening exchange and cooperation on security. Promote the establishment of more global security forums to provide new platforms for governments, international organizations, think tanks and social organizations to leverage their advantages and participate in global security governance.


[i] For more on so-called “Chinese solutions and wisdom” on global issues, see: Wang Yi, “Acting on the Global Security Initiative to Safeguard World Peace and Tranquility,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 24 April 2022.

[ii] The Five Principles are mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; mutual non-aggression; mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and cooperation for mutual benefit; and, peaceful coexistence. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence make up the basic normative framework for modern China’s foreign policy and are codified in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.

[iii] For a detailed reading of China’s efforts to promote its “peaceful development” narrative, see: “China’s Peaceful Development,” State Council Information Office, 6 September 2011.

[iv] For Xi Jinping’s speech on the New Asian Security Concept, see: “New Asian Security Concept for New Progress in Security Cooperation,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 21 May 2014.,regional%20security%20issues

[v] China is the founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and has endorsed indivisible security through SCO. For more on the SCO, see: Rashid Alimov, “The Role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Counteracting Threats to Peace and Security,” United Nations, October 2017.,its%20respective%20regions

[vi] Indivisible security is the principle that the pursuit of one’s security should not be at the expense of another’s security. Indivisible security as a guiding principle is difficult to incorporate in practice, as defining “at the expense of another’s security” is highly subjective. For more on Chinese normative conceptions of security, see: Jerker Hellström, “Security/安全,” Decoding China.

[vii] For more on China’s accusations that NATO expansion undermined Russia’s security interests, see: “People’s Republic of China Efforts to Amplify Kremlin’s Voice on Ukraine,” U.S. Department of State, 2 May 2022.,the%20West%2C%20NATO%2C%20and%20the%20United%20States and “China’s Position on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 4 February 2023.,Putin%20during%20his%20December%202021%20annual%20news%20conference

Image Information:

Image: China Issues “The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper” at the 21 February 2023 Lanting Forum.
Source: Chinese Government,
Attribution: Public Domain

Hong Kong Firm To Develop Satellite and Rocket Launch Site in Djibouti

Signing of the Republic of Djibouti – HKATG MoU. President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh (center) with HKATG Vice President Allen Fung (center left).

Signing of the Republic of Djibouti – HKATG MoU. President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh (center) with HKATG Vice President Allen Fung (center left).

The MOU signed this time not only involves the construction of 7 satellite launch pads and 3 rocket testing pads, but also covers supporting projects such as power stations, water plants, aerospace ports, roads, and ports.

On 9 January 2023, Djibouti signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group (HKATG)[i] and Touchroad International Holdings[ii] to develop a $1 billion satellite and rocket launch site in Djibouti. The project includes seven launch pads and three rocket test pads in addition to power stations, water plants, spaceports, roads, and maritime ports in Djibouti’s northern Obock region. The MOU stipulates that the government of Djibouti will provide the necessary land (a minimum of 10 square kilometers) with a co-managed lease that runs for a minimum of 35 years. The government of Djibouti will take over the lease after 30 years of co-management.

According to the state-affiliated China Daily, the project would alleviate high demand for commercial satellite launching facilities in China, which are largely dependent on the Wenchang Space Launch Site and Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center for commercial launches. China currently maintains four official space launch centers, all state-owned and operated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). A 2021 State Council Information Office white paper identified the country’s demand for “commercial launch pads and launch sites to meet different commercial needs” as a priority for China’s space capabilities through 2026.[iii]

For its part, Africa’s expanding space industry relies heavily on international partners, including private firms, universities, and national space programs. Several countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Namibia, and Tunisia, have already ventured into the space domain relying on Beijing’s capabilities. In 2007, China launched Nigeria’s first communications satellite. Moreover, Beijing launched Algeria’s first communication satellite, and in 2019 it launched Ethiopia’s and Sudan’s first satellites. In 2020, China’s launch of a second satellite for Ethiopia from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center was aired live on Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.

The announcement represents a major expansion of China’s involvement in Djibouti, where it has hosted its first official overseas military base since 2017. It remains to be seen what launch capabilities the site will support or to what extent Chinese firms will use the facility upon its projected completion in 2028. However, the involvement of HKATG and Touchroad, with their close ties to state-owned corporations, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects—coupled with a permanent PLA presence and other strategic investments—may allow China to be looked to as African states’ space partner of preference.[iv]


“与吉布提政府合作建太空港 助力商业航天突破限制 (Partnership with Djibouti Government to Build Spaceport Aids Commercial Aerospace Breakthroughs),” China Daily (PRC state-affiliated media), 12 January 2023.

The construction of the spaceport in the Republic of Djibouti is expected to take at least five years, that said, from a commercial point of view, the project is still of great benefit to the business of HKATG.

At present, most commercial satellites are launched in the new mode of “carpooling” of shared rockets, that is, “one rocket with multiple satellites” at the Wenchang Space Launch Site and China’s Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Facing the high demand for commercial satellite launches in China in recent years, the demand for launch pads has been far outstripping supply, the development of Djibouti’s Spaceport will break the restrictions of the existing business model and have a positive impact on HKATG’s business development.

It is noteworthy that the parties will work together to establish research centers, universities and provide aerospace technologies, products, services and programs in addition to infrastructure development.

“驻吉布提大使胡斌会见香港航天科技集团有限公司 (Ambassador to Djibouti Hu Bin Meets with Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group Co., Ltd. Vice-President),” Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China, 5 January 2023.

Ambassador Hu Bin expressed his affirmation of the cooperation between Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group Co., Ltd. and encouraged the enterprise to strengthen feasible research, to establish a firm sense of compliance, to balance corporate interests and social responsibilities, to promote the diversified economic development of Djibouti, and to contribute to Sino-Djiboutian cooperation. The embassy will actively provide the necessary support and assurances.

He Liehui, vice president of the Chinese African People’s Friendship Association, attended the meeting.


[i] HKATG (香港航天科技集团有限公司) maintains close ties with Chinese state-owned and affiliated giants Huawei Technologies (华为) and China Aerospace Technology Corporations (中国航天科技集团公司), both of which are main players in China’s military-civil fusion research and development programs. HKATG’s board members maintain strong ties to the CCP and its united front system. Vice Chairman and Executive Director Claire Ku previously served as the founding CEO of the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), a documented CCP united front organization. Vice President of Business Development, Allen Fung, is a member of the CCP’s All-China Youth Federation and a Standing Committee Member of the Guangdong Youth Federation.

[ii] Touchroad International Holdings is owned by Africa-focused Chinese investor He Liehui, who is the current Vice President of the Chinese African People’s Friendship Association, another known united front organization with development projects across the African continent.

[iii] For more on China’s space ambitions, see “China’s Space Program: A 2021 Perspective,” State Council Information Office, 28 January 2022,

[iv] Other strategic BRI investments include China Merchant Ports Holdings’ operation and ownership stake in the Port of Doraleh’s Terminal Container and a high-capacity standard gauge railway that terminates at the Port of Doraleh.

Image Information:

Image:  Signing of the Republic of Djibouti – HKATG MoU. President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh (center) with HKATG Vice President Allen Fung (center left).
Source: Djiboutian Government
Attribution:  Public Domain

China Addresses Challenges to Critical Mineral Supply

PRC Minister of Natural Resources, Wang Guanghua.

PRC Minister of Natural Resources, Wang Guanghua.

“International geopolitics has become an important factor affecting China’s resource supply.” – Wang Yunmin

In an interview with Chinese party-owned media outlet People’s Daily this January, Chinese Minister of Natural Resources Wang Guanghua explains that Beijing will launch a new round of domestic strategic mineral mining operations to offset dependence on foreign suppliers of critical energy resources. Recent external shocks, including a global pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and a growing trend toward “resource nationalism,” threaten to disrupt Beijing’s access to the strategic minerals necessary to power its economy and military technologies.[i] The new Chinese initiative includes policies to stimulate domestic exploration, prospecting, and processing of raw strategic minerals, with particular emphasis on oil- and gas-bearing basins and key metallogenic belts.[ii] According to the director of the State Key Laboratory of Safety and Health for Metal Mines, Wang Yunmin, around two-thirds of China’s strategic mineral production and supply for minerals like iron, chrome, manganese, cobalt, nickel, copper and oil is highly dependent on foreign sources.

One of Beijing’s greatest concerns over strategic minerals lies in its ability to transition energy supply from fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal to cleaner alternatives. China is the world’s single largest consumer of lithium-ion batteries, relying on them to not only power its electric car and renewable energy industries, but also military weaponry, including drones and submarines.[iii] Three core ingredients for the lithium-ion battery traditional recipe include cobalt, lithium, and nickel.

China’s critical mineral supply faces challenges from resource rich countries where local governments have announced restrictions on mining and exports of cobalt, lithium, and nickel. Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Zimbabwe are among China’s top lithium supplier states while the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Indonesia are among its largest cobalt and nickel suppliers respectively. Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, collectively known as the ‘lithium triangle’ for their prospected vast lithium reserves, are reportedly discussing a possible OPEC-like agreement for lithium.[iv] In December 2022, Indonesia and Zimbabwe announced export restrictions requiring firms to processing raw materials in-country.[v] While Chinese lithium-ion battery production firms like CATL and SVOLT have recently reported production of lithium-ion batteries that rely on little or no nickel or cobalt, China is still far off from integrating these technologies across its military-economic structure.[vi]


Shi Yimin (施毅敏), “工程院院士:中国战略性矿产对外依存度高地缘政治影响资源供给 (Chinese Academy of Engineering Scholar: High Degree of Chinese Foreign Dependence on Strategic Mineral Production, Geopolitics Influencing Resource Supply),” Caixin News (Beijing-based Chinese non-state media organization), 24 December 2022.

Wang Yunmin introduced, Chinese foreign dependence on 10 types of minerals exceeds 50%. Among these, iron ore at 82%, chrome ore at 98%, manganese ore at 96%, cobalt ore at 95%, nickel ore at 90%, and both copper ore and oil at 78%. Wang said, “This determines the external environment’s strong influence over China’s resource supply and production.”

“优化要素保障 建设美丽中国 (Optimizing Factors to Ensure Construction of a Beautiful China),” People’s Daily (official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party), 5 January 2023.

China has a high degree of foreign dependence on some important mineral resources, and once the international situation changes, it will certainly affect economic security or even national security.

A new round of domestic prospecting for strategic minerals will be launched in an all-round way. The focus will be on strategic minerals, particularly important oil and gas-bearing basins and key metallogenic belts. New policies will be implemented to promote exploration, prospecting and processing.


[i] Resource nationalism (资源民族主义) refers to the tendency of people and governments to assert control over natural resources located within their territories.

[ii] In 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published its plan to facilitate the development of the country’s raw materials industry during the 14th Five-Year Period (2021-2025).

[iii] For more on China’s use of lithium-ion batteries in military weaponry, see: Stephen Chen, “China’s submarine fleet may soon be powered by lithium batteries,” 29 October 2022, South China Morning Post,; Zhang Tong, “Chinese scientists’ new gel filling could triple lifespan of lithium batteries for EVs, drones,” 4 November 2022, South China Morning Post,

[iv] Connor Mycroft, “China’s lithium hold won’t be undercut by Opec-style cartel as Argentina, Chile, Bolivia consider alliance,” 5 November 2022, South China Morning Post

[v] For more on recent Indonesia and Zimbabwe’s export restrictions, see: Fransiska Nangoy and Bernadette Christina, “Indonesia confirms bauxite export ban to proceed as scheduled,” 21 December 2022, Reuters, and “Zimbabwe bans raw lithium exports to curb artisanal mining,” 21 December 2022, Reuters,

[vi] Keith Bradsher and Michael Forsythe, “Why a Chinese Company Dominates Electric Car Batteries,”” 22 December 2021, The New York Times, and “Completely Cobalt-Free Battery Cells from SVOLT Available for Order Now,” 2 February 2021, SVOLT,

Image Information:

Image: PRC Minister of Natural Resources, Wang Guanghua
Source: Chinese Government,王广华/69366
Attribution: Public Domain

Beijing’s Vision for Global Cyberspace Governance

“Problems with the internet such as unbalanced development, unsound regulation, and unreasonable order are becoming more prominent. Cyber-hegemonism poses a new threat to world peace and development.” 

China identifies the Internet and cyberspace as a critical domain for ensuring national security, economic and social stability, and ultimately, the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Recently, Beijing presented its vision for international cooperation in cyberspace via a white paper from the State Council Information Office. The white paper reflects Beijing’s tightening grip on information flows and fundamental freedoms, its growing concerns over Western digital advantages in its operational environment, and its expanding efforts to export digital authoritarianism to the developing world.

For Beijing to realize its global superpower aspirations and compete with the United States as a cyber superpower, it must present a vision for an equitable and inclusive global community. The 2022 white paper lays out Beijing’s vision for such a community through “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance, and promot[ion of] a multilateral, democratic, and transparent international internet governance system.” The document further highlights Beijing’s achievements in internet development (e.g. expansion of its internet penetration, digital economy, and tech sector) and cyberspace governance (e.g. the Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law, Personal Information Protection Law, and Cybersecurity Review Measures)[i] while advocating for the rights of all countries to formulate their own national cybersecurity strategies. However, these seemingly liberal themes are trumped Beijing’s emphasis on cyber sovereignty as its core guiding principle in international cyberspace governance.

Cyber sovereignty is the notion that individual countries should maintain the exclusive right to govern their own territory’s cyberspace, superseding any supposed rights for the mutual interest of a future shared community in cyberspace. As such, reliance on the principle of cyber sovereignty serves to justify the CCP’s long-term strategic control over information flows available to Chinese internet users and to facilitate Beijing’s digital security apparatus’ ability to enforce social stability to buttress CCP legitimacy.

Simultaneously, China looks to promote this version of internet governance abroad.  This conception of cyberspace governance diverges from the principles of an “open, free, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet” advocated for by the United States and 61 partner nation signatories of the “Declaration for the Future of the Internet.”[ii] Indeed, Beijing’s white paper presents China’s achievements and vision of shared internet development and cyberspace governance in stark contrast to its vision of Western “cyber hegemonism,” the idea that “certain countries are exploiting the internet and information technology as a tool to seek hegemony, interfere in other countries internal affairs, and engage in large-scale cyber theft and surveillance.” Despite the liberal rhetoric framing a “community with a shared future in cyberspace,” the more Beijing can affiliate cyber sovereignty with equitable and inclusive participation in cyberspace governance to developing countries, the wider its brand of digital authoritarianism will spread.


“携手构建网络空间命运共同体 (Jointly Build a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace),” State Council Information Office, 7 November 2022. (Chinese) (English).

Problems with the internet such as unbalanced development, unsound regulation, and unreasonable order are becoming more prominent. Cyber-hegemonism poses a new threat to world peace and development.

Certain countries are exploiting the internet and information technology as a tool to seek hegemony, interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, and engage in large-scale cyber theft and surveillance, raising the risk of conflict in cyberspace.

Some countries attempt to decouple with others, and create schism and confrontation in cyberspace. The increasingly complex cybersecurity situation calls for more just, reasonable and effective cyberspace governance. Global threats and challenges in cyberspace necessitate strong global responses.

All countries have the right to formulate public policies, laws, and regulations on cyberspace in the context of their national conditions and international experience. No country should seek cyber hegemony; use the internet to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs; engage in, incite, or support cyber activities that endanger other countries’ national security, or infringe on other countries’ key information infrastructure.


[i] For more on the PRC’s evolving cyberspace and data governance legislation see: “China’s Evolving Data Governance Regime,” U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 26 July 2022.

[ii] For more on the Biden administration’s articulation of the United States’ vision for cyberspace governance see: “A Declaration for the Future of the Internet,” The White House, 28 April 2022.