Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
China Upgrades its Strategic Missile Forces
Jan 06, 2016

In a major revamp of its 2.3 million strong military, China recently elevated the status of its strategic nuclear missile forces of its army, navy and air force and formed a new force to provide electronic and cyber intelligence backup for precision missile strikes in war.

  • In the newly revamped structure, China's powerful missile force, the Second Artillery Corps (SAC) which was formed in 1966 has been renamed as People's Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force (PRF) and announced the formation of PLA Strategic Support Force (SSF).

  • With a variety of short, medium and long-range nuclear and conventional missiles, China's missile force is regarded as one of the biggest in the world. 

  • PLA is conducting scientific tests of a railcar-based long-range missile capable of hitting targets across the US. 

  • Besides renaming the missile force, Chinese Premier elevated the status of the new force with the army, navy and air force. 

  • The two new forces will not be ‘subordinating forces’.  While the PRF with number of missiles will carry on as a strategic deterrence force, the job of the SSF will be to provide proper electronic intelligence to it in times war.

  • The new forces which is part of the cyber warfare will play in important role China's plans to win ‘information wars’.

  • China's military which is in the thick of a massive anti-corruption campaign in which about 40 top military commanders faced investigations is currently undergoing big revamp of its command structure. 

Inaugurating the forces Chinese Premier who is also the Chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission (CMC) which oversees all military forces said the formation of the Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force is a major decision by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) to realise the Chinese dream of a strong military, and a strategic step to establish a modern military system with Chinese characteristics.

  • It will be a key milestone in the modernisation of the Chinese military and will be recorded in the history of the people's armed forces. 

  • The PLA Rocket Force is a "core force of strategic deterrence, a strategic buttress to the country's position as a major power, and an important building block in upholding national security". 

  • The army needs to optimise its structure and composition, expedite its transformation from regional defence to universal fighting and build itself into a powerful modern land force. 

  • A new force in safeguarding national security, the SSF represents "an important growth point" of the Chinese military in modern war. 

  • Under the new structure of the military command system all wings of PLA will operate under a joint operational command. 

China has seven military area commands—Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, Jinan, Shenyang, Lanzhou and Guangzhou.  Of these, Chengdu is responsible for security along the border with India's eastern sector in the Tibet region along Arunachal Pradesh while Lanzhou looks after partly the western sector, including Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. As per the new strategic zone plan, both Chengdu and Lanzhou get integrated into strategic command region making them perhaps the biggest operational areas for the Chinese military.

Chinese Premier asked the officers and soldiers of the PRF to understand the roles and tasks of the force, and to follow the requirement of maintaining both conventional and nuclear weaponry and the ability to deter and strike across the entire defence area. He also called on the PRF to enhance nuclear deterrence and counter-strike capacity which is credible and reliable, medium and long-range precision strike ability, as well as strategic check-and-balance capacity to build a strong and modern Rocket Force. He called on army soldiers to embrace honourable traditions, adapt to changing situations in the digital age and explore new patterns in land battles.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.

http://www.drishtiias.com/upsc-current-affairs-article-China-Upgrades-its-Strategic-Missile-Forces