China's military modernization aided by intel visits to U.S.
China is lagging behind the West in modernizing its military forces and must do more to boost information warfare and high-technology innovation, a Chinese defense strategist said last week.
Sun Keija, deputy director of strategy and research in the National Defense University, said in an interview with Zhongguo Xinwen that China will pursue a modernization strategy suited to Chinese characteristics.
“The aim of military transformation for both China and the West is to be prepared for the arrival of the era of information warfare, Sun said.
“However, the gap between their starting points is wide. The U.S. military has undergone transformation toward information warfare from a high level of overall mechanization, while China's military has moved toward the same direction with a semi-mechanized foundation. China has not entered the phrase of highly mechanized development, and has seriously lagged behind.”
Sun said China's strategic advantage is that it can learn or “directly attain” the results of Western military transformation and can “avoid their mistakes, integrate with its own peculiarity and go directly to the correct path of development.”
“To achieve this, China must have a strategic planning which strongly emphasizes a military transformation with Chinese characteristics,” Sun said.
China's military has gained valuable information from visits by military personnel, usually intelligence officers, to the United States.
In one case during the 1990s, Chinese officers learned that U.S. aircraft carriers are most vulnerable to attack from beneath their hulls and that arms are stored in those areas. Within two years, U.S. intelligence agencies detected China's purchase from Russia of special wake-homing torpedoes that can attack carriers in that manner, U.S. officials said.