China Plans ‘Celestial Military’ To Expand Space Warfare Capabilities

Cadet members of China's People's Liberation Army
Cadet members of China's People's Liberation Army / AP

A new plan to upgrade China’s People’s Liberation Army includes details about setting up a "celestial military" to expand the country’s capabilities in space warfare, according to a Japanese newspaper.

Sources say that, under the plan, the Chinese military’s strategic missile branch, the Second Artillery Corps, would combine with a "celestial military" to bolster its potential ability to conduct space warfare.

The Asahi Shimbun reported:

President Xi Jinping announced the reduction of the nation’s military strength by 300,000 troops during the Sept. 3 ceremony dubbed the "70th Anniversary of the Victory of Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War." This cutback is part of the reformation plan. The plan also includes the set up of a "joint operation command system" in the hopes of ridding the military of its rigid administrative structure.

The plan to upgrade the People’s Liberation Army, which would represent the most significant reformation of Chinese forces since the 1949 birth of the People’s Republic of China, is reportedly a move to push Chinese forces to rival the U.S. military.

Currently, five military regions in addition to Beijing and Shenyang make up the People’s Liberation Army, but the reorganization plan would rearrange them into four or five "combat regions."

The army is comprised of ground, navy, and air forces as well as the Second Artillery Corps. Sources say that the cuts announced by the Chinese president earlier this month will primarily affect ground and non-combat forces, while the navy, air force, and strategic missile force would grow under the plan.

Later this month, President Obama will welcome President Xi Jinping to the White House for a state dinner.