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Pentagon report: China’s PLA aims for ‘mind dominance’ with 'cognitive warfare'

Attendees walk past an electronic display showing recent cyberattacks in China at the China Internet Security Conference in Beijing.
FPI / December 8, 2022


People’s Liberation Army (PLA) researchers believe that winning the battle of minds could be a greater victory than conquering via firepower and can last long after any conflict ends.

To gain this cognitive advantage, China plans to use its propaganda machine to launch large-scale information warfare using cyber, electronic and conventional attacks to achieve “mind dominance,” according to the Pentagon’s latest annual report on the Chinese military.

“The concept of information warfare is an expansive concept that includes individuals, enterprises, societies and national communications networks that form integrated entities, encompassing the electromagnetic spectrum, psychology and perception and intelligence operations,” the report released late last month said.

China would also use cyber, electronic, and conventional military strikes in an attempt to destroy enemy information systems and promote communist messaging and disinformation, according to U.S. analysts.

“China’s goal for information warfare is to gain information superiority, which is achieved by destroying an adversary’s ability to acquire, transmit and process information,” the report said.

At the same time, the People’s Liberation Army will seek to protect its information capabilities from foreign attacks. The Pentagon report reveals that China is building electronic warfare systems to disrupt U.S. satellites and has practiced electronic strikes on satellites in military exercises. The targets include several types of space-based communications, radar systems and GPS navigation used in military movements and precision-guided weapons.

The PLA also plans to attack synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites used for military reconnaissance.

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Free Press International [Freedom Is Not Free!]
cyberchi by Mark Schiefelbein is licensed under AP / File

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