A senior Chinese space official and military officer has been promoted to run the People's Liberation Army's key equipment development department, the military said, part of a reshuffle ahead of next month's Communist Party congress. China's armed forces, the world's largest, are ramping up their capabilities with new equipment like aircraft carriers and stealth fighters as the country pursues a more assertive stance in the disputed East and South China Seas and seeks to project power far from home shores. In a brief story on its website about a military technology exhibition in Beijing, the Defense Ministry named Li Shangfu as the new head of the military's Equipment Development Department. It gave no other details of his appointment. According to his official resume, Li was previously director of one of China's main satellite launch sites in Xichang in the southwestern province of Sichuan and has been involved in missions to explore the moon.
Lieutenant General Zhou Yaning, 59, has taken over as chief of the Rocket Force, replacing General Wei Fenghe, who retired. The Rocket Force was known as the Second Artillery Corps until 2015 when it was renamed as part of President Xi Jinping's sweeping military overhaul. Zhou made his first public appearance as its new commander this week when he attended a ceremony paying tribute to Xiang Shouzhi, a Chinese general who died early this month, Thepaper.cn reported on Saturday. Like most Chinese generals, there is little information publicly available on Zhou. According to his official biography, Zhou joined the People's Liberation Army in 1976 and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in July 2016. Previously, Zhou argued in a 2011 paper that the missile forces should be focusing on new technologies rather than combat strategies, according to a post on a WeChat account run by the official Beijing News. "Warfare in the future will be largely dependent on weapons. Strategy will only help to refine and supplement the technology," Zhou was quoted as saying.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC), the nation's defense industry conglomerate, has vowed to answer the government's call to complete key internal corporate reforms by the end of this year. Wang Zhanyu, deputy director of the department of strategy management at CASC, said at a media briefing that in addition to responding to the State Council's timeline to complete its corporate reforms by 2017, it has vowed to accelerate the process of spinning off its social functions by 2018, which is an essential part of deepening the reform of SOEs. It also plans to promote mixed ownership reform, through raising its asset securitization rate to over 45 percent by 2020. The restructuring is included in the broader SOE reforms administered by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the top SOE watchdog.
China Electronics Technology Group Corp, a State-owned technology giant, will step up efforts to optimize corporate structure and encourage innovation amid the central government's deepening of State-owned enterprise reform.
"Our goal is to lead the development of China's electronics industry and build the cornerstone of national security," said Xiong Qunli, chairman of CETC. "We will ramp up resources to cultivate innovation and accelerate structural reform." As of August, the company has successfully integrated 19 research institutes to set up seven units, simplifying hierarchy, boosting operational efficiency and saving costs. CETC has already been working to overhaul its structure, which previously consisted of 47 electronic information research institutes. Such a fragmented structure led to a slate of problems such as scattered investments, redundant construction and disordered internal competition. "We have shifted our focus to five areas - military electronics, civilian products, international management, scientific and technological innovation, and asset management and capital operation," Xiong said.
China's military is preparing a sweeping leadership reshuffle, dropping top generals, including two that sources say are under investigation for corruption. The changes would make room for President Xi Jinping to install trusted allies in key positions at a key party congress that begins on Oct. 18. A list of 303 military delegates to the Communist Party Congress, published by the army's official newspaper, excluded Fang Fenghui and Zhang Yang, both members of the Central Military Commission. The commission is China's top military decision-making body.
A world-first collaboration between the University of New South Wales and the Chinese government, celebrated as a $100m innovation partnership, opens a Pandora's box of strategic and commercial risks for Australia, according to leading analysts. These include the potential loss of sensitive technology with military capability, an unhealthy reliance on Chinese capital and vulnerability to Beijing's influence in Australia's stretched research and technology sector. The UNSW Torch Innovation precinct, the first outside China, was unveiled last year. 29 Chinese partners and one Indian one - Adani Solar, a subsidiary of the resources giant - have signed on to the UNSW Torch project. They include at least seven firms working in industries with dual use military potential such as aerospace, GPS navigation, underwater cameras and nanotechnology. The research is not funded directly by the Chinese government but by the companies themselves.
When a massive military parade was staged at Zhurihe in Inner Mongolia on July 30, Chinese citizens, as well as people worldwide, saw a military taking solid steps toward a strong army. More than 12,000 service personnel from the army, navy, air force, armed police as well as the newly formed rocket force and strategic support troops took part in the parade, which also featured China's tanks, armored vehicles, missile launchers and fighter jets. President Xi Jinping reviewed the armed forces as part of the commemorations that marked the 90th founding anniversary of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which fell on Aug. 1. Two days later, at a grand gathering in celebration of the anniversary, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the Chinese military has reshaped its political environment, organizational form, system of military strength and work style over the past five years. During those five years, China has advanced the reform of national defense and the armed forces under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi at its core, making historic steps in building a system of military strength with Chinese characteristics.