China to conduct digital warfare drills ahead of Obama-Xi meet

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 22:11

Beijing: Ahead of President Xi Jinping`s maiden meeting with his US counterpart Barack Obama, China on Wednesday said it will conduct the first ever exercise to test new types of combat forces, including units using digital technology to practice cyber war.

The announcement came amid media reports that Chinese hackers have breached the designs of critical US weapons systems.

It will be the first time that People`s Liberation Army (PLA) exercise focused on combat forces including digitalised units, special operations forces, army aviation and electronic counter forces, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The drill will be carried out in late June at the Zhurihe training base in north China`s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the country`s largest military training field.

Forces from the 38th and 68th combined corps of the Beijing Military Area Command as well eight military academies will participate, according to the department.

The announcement of digital war game came, even as China today outlined the agenda for the first Xi-Obama talks to be held in California on June 8, which include Cyber security in the backdrop of spate of allegations of hacker attacks from China, especially by PLA, targeting America`s weapons systems.

Latest reports say cyber attacks from China tried to access data from nearly 40 US weapons programmes including new missile designs.

Without addressing the allegations directly, assistant Chinese foreign minister Zheng Zeguang today said his country opposes all forms of hacking and referred to an agreement with the US to form a cybercrime working group.

It will be the first face-to-face meeting between the presidents of China and the United States after recent leadership transitions in both nations, Zheng told a press briefing here.

"Both sides believe the summit arrangement is appropriate and shows the importance and uniqueness of China-US relations," Zheng said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 - 22:11

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