October 21, 2016                                                                    Issue No. 4
In This Issue
Welcome to latest  issue of China D-Tech Watch, which is produced by the Study of Innovation and Technology of China project at the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

In this issue we feature  an analysis of Xi Jinping's engagement with the military and defense industry. 

Tai Ming Cheung

Comments can be sent to Eric Anderson, Research Analyst, at  eanderson@ucsd.edu. 
SITC News Team
UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation
PUTTING NEWS IN CONTEXT: Xi Jinping's Intensifying Engagement with the Military and Defense Industry
Xi Jinping has been a regular visitor to military and defense industrial facilities since becoming Communist Party General Secretary and Central Military Commission Chairman in 2012. But the frequency of these engagements picked up significantly in the summer of 2016. The focus of these visits were on new organizations and new initiatives that central to his vision of turning the Chinese defense establishment into a state-of-the-art outfit able to fight and win twenty-first century wars.

Taiwan's military announced Tuesday the establishment of a new defense technology department, a move intended to boost indigenous defense technology capabilities. Col. Yu Yu-tang ( 游玉堂 ) of the Defense Ministry's Resource Planning Division, said the new military department, to be officially established next January, will be responsible for developing "groundbreaking" and "innovative" technologies for national defense and to drive development of the industry.

China released "implementation guidelines" for five major projects in the "Made in China 2025" plan. The projects include manufacturing industry innovation centers, strong industrial bases, green manufacturing, intelligent manufacturing, and high-end equipment innovation. The five projects are part of what is being called "1+X" planning system, where "1" is the Made in China 2025 plan, and "X" is 11 accompanying project implementation guidelines. These include the 5 project implementation guidelines mentioned above, 4 development plans guidelines (manufacturing talent, information industry, new material industry, and pharmaceutical industry), and 2 action guidelines (development of service manufacturing and advancement of equipment manufacturing industry quality and brands). 

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday instructed the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force to continue to build itself into a strong and modern rocket force. Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and also chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks during an inspection of the PLA Rocket Force, as he congratulated the first PLA Rocket Force Party congress. He described the force as a "core of strategic deterrence, a strategic buttress to the country's position as a major power, and a cornerstone on which to build national security."

China declared a successful launch of space lab Tiangong-2 on Thursday after the space lab blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwest Gobi desert.

China outlined some of its near and long term plans for space exploration at the opening the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico on Monday, including ambitious lunar and Mars exploration missions and space-based solar power ideas.

The Cold Atomic Clock in Space (Cacs) recently developed by researchers in Shanghai can easily be lifted by two people and would fit comfortably in the boot of a car. But it is expected to be three times more accurate than NIST-F2, losing only a second in one billion years. Cacs, several thousand times more accurate than the clocks used in GPS satellites, will start its journey when Tiangong-2, China's second space laboratory, is launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Inner Mongolia.

China launched its Shenzhou-11 spacecraft early on Monday, sending two astronauts on the country's longest-ever human spaceflight mission in preparation for a large space station. A Long March 2F carrier rocket blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at 07:30 Beijing time (23:30 UTC Sunday), carrying astronauts Jing Haipeng, 49, and Chen Dong, 37, into orbit.

China will launch its sixth crewed mission, Shenzhou-11, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre around 23:30 universal time on Sunday, an airspace notification indicates. A Long March 2F rocket will lift off between 07:25 and 07:50 Beijing time to send Shenzhou-11 and its two astronauts into orbit to dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab.

China on Monday quietly rolled out the Long March 2F rocket that will be used to launch the crewed Shenzhou-11 spacecraft into orbit to dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab. The move indicates that Shenzhou-11 will launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert within a week, sending two astronauts into orbit as part of preparations for a large permanent space station.

According to the recently released "Implementation Guide for China High-End Equipment Innovation Projects (2016-2020)", the Long March 8 rocket will aim to be internationally competitive in the commercial satellite launch market. It will use a 500-ton liquid oxygen kerosene engine and separate stage, large-scale solid-state engine.

Over the last decade or so China has been developing new launch vehicles for its growing space ambitions, and in early November will perform the first flight of the largest of the series - the heavy-lift Long March 5 - which will be used to launch a space station. These new rockets are more powerful, use cleaner and cheaper fuel, and are modularised meaning a reduction preparation time, risk and cost when compared with the currently used, aging rockets.

China Rocket Ltd. Co. is the latest of a new generation of Chinese commercial spaceflight enterprises looking to copy the successes of private U.S. aerospace companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. The company, named China Rocket Ltd. Co., is a state-owned commercial aerospace manufacturer and provider. Its biggest shareholder is China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the designer and manufacturer of most of China's Chang Zheng (Long March) series orbital launchers. China Rocket has introduced five expandable orbital launch systems: Naga-1 small-load launcher, Long March 8, and three unidentified launchers currently in development. The company is also hoping to initiate the development of a small-load reusable orbital launch system within the next 3 to 5 years.

In November China will launch the X-ray pulsar navigation satellite - XPNAV-1 - a satellite that will conduct the world's first test of the possibilities of using the regular emission of X-ray signals from pulsars for spacecraft navigation. The spacecraft will attempt to triangulate its position relative to the Sun using the highly regular emissions from pulsars. If successful, this could dramatically cut the reliance of craft in deep space on the huge ground-based communications networks currently in use, such as the Deep Space Network (DSN) and the European Space Tracking (ESTRACK) network, and avoid the related time-delay issues.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is beginning advanced research on a high tech, more efficient successor to the retired Space Shuttle, with hybrid combined cycle engines that can takeoff from an airport's landing strip and fly straight into orbit.

A state-backed firm is developing a gigantic spaceplane. The plane may one day fly up to 20 passengers to the edge of space--significantly more people than any other commercial spaceflight firm has pledged to fly to date. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Beijing has designed a simple, one-piece spaceplane whose design can be scaled up to carry more people, academy rocket scientist Lui Haiquang told the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.
中国 "快舟十一号"固体运载火箭将在2017年亮相

The Kuaizhou 11 will be built on the technology of the Kuaizhou family but its carrying capacity is expected to be five times that of its predecessors. It will use a mobile launcher, have a take-off mass of 78 tons, low Earth orbit maximum carrying capacity of 1.5 tons, and will provide services primarily for 400 to 1,500 km near-earth and sun-synchronous orbit satellites.

China's presumed ambition to snatch up satellite spectrum by purchasing struggling satellite operators around the world was one of the hottest topics at this year's APSCC conference, despite the absence of the Chinese government. Aside from an increased role in East Asia's satellite market, notably through fleet operator APT Satellite Holdings of Hong Kong, these officials said indications are that China has identified satellite telecommunications as a strategic value far beyond assuring China's formidable domestic needs.

Satellite fleet operator Space Communications (Spacecom) of Israel's principal shareholders on Aug. 24 said they had agreed to sell the company to a Beijing conglomerate that has created a Luxembourg entity to manage the business for $285 million in cash. The transaction's terms are pending the successful entry into service of Spacecom's Amos-6 telecommunications satellite, built by Israel Aerospace Industries and scheduled for launch Sept. 3 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Spacecom's satellite fleet, three satellites plus the coming Amos-6, will continue to be operated from Israeli territory under the terms of the agreement.

China's air force is developing a new type of strategic bomber, state media reported on Friday, adding to recent progress in large aircraft production and further expanding the range of the country's increasingly sophisticated military. Air Force chief Ma Xiaotian discussed the development at an open-day event on Thursday, saying the bomber would significantly increase China's long-range strike ability, the reports said. Ma gave no other details about the aircraft or when it would be introduced, saying only that "you will see it in the future".

Chinese air force expert Fu Qianshao has speculated that China's new type of long-range bomber, currently being developed, may be equipped with four turbofan engines. His remark came after Gen. Ma Xiaotian, commander of PLA Air Force, publicly confirmed the plane's existence for the first time. Fu said his assessment was based on the comprehensive technological capacity of the PLA Air Force. He said the new bomber would most likely be equipped with the WS-10 (literally, turbofan-10), now being installed in fighter jets. Since the WS-10 has two versions, one with an afterburner and the other without, Fu further speculated there would be three separate technological plans for the bomber's engine configuration.

Speeches by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang were read at the meeting. Vice Premier Ma Kai attended and also gave a speech. The meeting made clear the high importance aeroengine development is being given among China's leadership.

The PLA Air Force dispatched various types of military aircraft for far-sea training in the Pacific Ocean twice in September, 2016. In addition to the H-6K long-range bomber that drew close attention, the airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft in the formation was also a big surprise. Military expert Wang Mingliang said in an interview with the People's Daily Online that the fact that AEW&C aircraft participated in far-sea training repeatedly indicated that its ability of detecting targets on the sea was improving.

The center is located in Wuhan's Donghu Development Zone and will primarily research civil and military-use water and floating aircraft. It's first project is working on a 2-ton ground effect vehicle. 

Based on a photo posted by a netizen, it appears that another J-20 stealth fighter recently conducted a test flight. According to a military expert, the performance of the Chinese J-20 rivals that of the American F-22, People's Daily Online reported. According to media reports, the J-20 stealth fighter, which is currently in the process of research and development in China, is equipped with long-range missiles, an advanced active phase array radar and an electronic warfare system. In fact, many authorities believe the J-20 will become a potential rival for F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters. Some of the equipment for the J-20 may even be more advanced than that of the F-22 fighters, which were put into service in 2005.

AviChina and six other companies established a new company to engage in UAV flight services, data operations, and UAV product research and development, and manufacturing, assembling, and sales.

The development of China's next-generation aircraft carrier is in "orderly progress," confirmed Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MOD), at a routine press briefing on Thursday. Sr. Col. Yang did not directly address the issue of whether the vessel will adopt the much-anticipated catapult assisted takeoff device. He told China.org.cn that the Chinese military will publish such information in "due course." A recent online photo shows a PLA Navy's carrier-borne J-15 fighter jet with reinforced front landing gear, which keen military fans and experts interpreted as a sign that China has been testing catapults to install on their third aircraft carrier.
Quantum Radar Successfully Developed | Science and Technology Daily

Hailed as the future 'nemesis' of the stealth fighter, a quantum radar has recently been successfully developed by the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC) 14th Institute. This is China's first quantum radar system that is based on single photon detection.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has called for more independent innovation in the Internet and information technology, as well as enhanced cyberspace security. Xi made the remarks Sunday afternoon at a study session attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. He called for the construction of a safe and controllable information technology system, and for major breakthroughs in the fields of high-performance computing, mobile communication, quantum communication, core chips and operating systems.

China has effectively eclipsed the US in terms of the number of papers published annually in AI. The rate of increase is remarkably steep, reflecting how quickly China's research priorities have shifted. The quality of China's research is also striking. 

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater cooperation between the military and civilian sectors to contribute more to the dream of building stronger armed forces. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks when visiting an exhibition featuring the fruits of innovative military-civilian cooperation projects.

The Thai Air Force is looking to procure a new fleet of transport aircraft, and competition for the planned procurement might probably emerge between Y-9 transport aircraft of China's Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation and C-130J Super Hercules of the US' Lockheed Martin, Britain's Jane's Defense Weekly reported on September 19, citing sources in the Thai Air Force. According to Wang Yanan, a Chinese aviation expert, Y-9 transport aircraft meets the technical and tactical requirements of the Thai military perfectly and he is optimistic about its export prospects even though Thailand's bidding plan for transport plane is unclear yet.

The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) has for the first time officially confirmed a project to provide the Pakistan Navy with eight modified diesel-electric attack submarines, the People's Daily Online reports.  The chairman of CSIC, Hu Wenming, confirmed the deal during a press conference on October 12.

China's military graft-busters are investigating the colonel in charge of quality control for its aircraft carriers on suspicion of corruption, two separate sources say. Chen Wenchao was placed under shuanggui, a form of interrogation, in recent days, with investigators looking into his handling of 170 million yuan (HK$197 million) over several years, one source told the South China Morning Post.
Xi Jinping's Intensifying Engagement with the Military and Defense Industry PuttingNewsInContext
Xi Jinping has been a regular visitor to military and defense industrial facilities since becoming Communist Party General Secretary and Central Military Commission Chairman in 2012. But the frequency of these engagements picked up significantly in the summer of 2016. The focus of these visits were on new organizations and new initiatives that central to his vision of turning the Chinese defense establishment into a state-of-the-art outfit able to fight and win twenty-first century wars.

PLA Army, Strategic Support Force, and Rocket Force
From July through September 2016, Xi Jinping visited the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Army Headquarters, PLA Strategic Support Force (SSF), and the PLA Rocket Force (PLARF). Each of the visits coincided with the First Party Congresses of the respective services. They mark Xi's first visits to any of the five military service headquarters in almost two years-the last visit being his April 2014 inspection of PLA Air Force headquarters.
The visit to PLA Army Headquarters was made on July 27 just prior to the August 1 anniversary of the founding of the PLA. Xi's speech encouraged the PLA Army to improve its capabilities in areas including rapid response, remote mobility, and special operations. Loyalty to the party and party leaders was heavily stressed.
Xi's   visit to SSF during its First Party Congress on August 29 was his first visit to the newly created service since its establishment in December 2015. Information regarding the SSF's role and operations is still incomplete, but it is regarded as the core of China's information warfare force. Xi's visit included an inspection of an operations command center.
In his remarks, Xi called the SSF a new-type of combat force to safeguard national security and an important support for the military's joint combat systems. Innovation was a key focus of his speech, including a summon to focus more heavily on actual combat, being innovation-driven, system construction, "intense efficiency", and strategic guidance of civil-military integration (CMI). Xi included an admonition to seize, or "grab by the bull nose", science and technological innovation and the development of advanced technology and equipment, as well as the development of S&T talent. Regarding CMI, Xi stressed the need to seize it and not let go, and to play to the advantages of the conditions in a socialist market economy, coordinating force resources, and expanding the depth and breadth of CMI to build an integrated national strategic capability.
Xi's   visit to the PLARF was made during the First Party Congress of the PLARF on September 26. This was his first visit to the newly created force since its establishment in December 2015. PLARF replaced the Second Artillery and was elevated from an independent branch to a military service alongside the PLA Army, PLA Navy, PLA Air Force, and the also newly created SSF. Song Zhongping, a former Second Artillery officer and a professor at the PLARF's Equipment Research Academy, expects that the PLARF will eventually expand beyond its predecessor's responsibility of land-based nuclear capabilities and conventional missile force to include responsibility for all nuclear forces in China's nuclear triad.
Xi's speech lauded the PLARF as "irreplaceable" in protecting global strategic balance and stability and encouraged the rocket force to accelerate its development and increase its strategic capability. Xi further stressed the need to achieve new breakthroughs to enhance China's strategic deterrence capability, and emphasized the need to implement the military strategic principles and the Outline of the 13th Five-Year Plan for the building and development of the armed forces. He also called for the creation of a PLARF-specific development strategy aimed at creating a more "scientific" rocket force structure and troops and to increase combat effectiveness. This would include fully integrating the PLARF into the all military joint operations command system. Xi further discussed at length the need of the PLARF to be ideologically and politically in line with the party.
Civil-Military Integration (CMI)
On July 29, Xi gave a speech at an award ceremony in Beijing for individuals promoting civil-military solidarity and model cities and counties. Over 400 cities and counties were recognized during the ceremony along with dozens of organizations and individuals. Xi's remarks as a whole reflected his statement made during the speech, "When military and civilian act as one, see who under heaven can oppose" ( 军民团结如一人,试看天下谁能敌). CMI has been a hallmark of Xi's focus over the past couple years, highlighted by its elevation to the level of national strategy in early 2015. Much of the emphasis has been at coordination at the national level and crafting of policies, regulations, and institutions that will overcome current barriers to its progress. At the local level, cities and counties have been rapidly forming organizations and policies also to develop CMI and to provide opportunities for local companies to enter the defense industry. Xi's visit to the award ceremony is a recognition of these efforts and the successes that have been achieved by some.
On October 19, Xi   visited the 2nd Civil-Military Integration Development High-Tech Achievements Exhibition at the PLA Armored Forces Engineering Academy in Beijing. During the visit, he emphasized CMI's status as a national strategy and called for greater cooperation between the military and civilian sectors. Xi also stressed the need to further innovate in CMI reforms to increase both demand and supply for CMI products and to promote better management, operation, and policy making in CMI. The exhibition featured innovative CMI products that have come out since the 18th National Congress in 2012 that brought Xi to power. Items on display included Beidou, hybrid power stations, underwater robots, cloud data encryption technology, large-scale 3D printers, and UAVs.
China Aero Engine Corporation
On August 28, Xi sent a letter to be read at the establishment ceremony of the China Aero Engine Corporation. The letter encouraged the company to accelerate the realization of indigenously researched and produced aero engine and gas turbine in order to make China into a global aviation power. Xi and China's top leadership support of the aero engine was well known and led to the announcement of the new company in March 2016, but continued leadership support will be important for its ongoing progress.
Other Military Visits by Xi
Xi Jinping also visited the Wuhan Joint Logistics Support Base and Joint Logistics Support Center (September 13, in Beijing), and a symposium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Liu Huaqing, a former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission and a PLA Navy commander regarded as China's founding naval strategist and who is given credit for the modernization of the PLA Navy (September 28).