China Report #6

Executive summary

This China BLUF Assessment analyzed China’s highlights in the space, cyber and technology domain for the month of October.

In the space field, a brand-new report from the Financial Times claims that Beijing earlier this August tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile that circled the globe before speeding towards its target. While China publicly refused to admit so, the event has opened a debate among experts regarding Beijing’s effective capability to advance its space technology towards a hypersonic defense system. Moreover, the analysis is dedicated at assessing the impact that China’s space activities might have on the arms control and non-proliferation regime. Other space-related events from this BLUF include China launching its most ambitious human space mission, the Shenzhou 13, and sending new satellite for space debris mitigation technology verification.

In the cyber domain the dedicated section of this BLUF has shown that the Tianfu Cup competition, held in October, has increasingly appeared to be the Chinese Communist Party’s ideal platform to showcase considerable investments in offensive cyber capabilities. Moreover, the Mustang Panda has been identified as the Chinese hacking group suspected of attempting to infiltrate the Indonesian government last month.

To conclude, in the technology field this paper has shown China’s activism in the UAV and Unmanned Combat System concept. A section has also been dedicated at evaluating China’s advancement in the artificial intelligence and the more general military modernization, whose effectiveness will be vital for the PLA military’s future warfighting capabilities.

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