25 April 2024

New CMSI Series! Translations # 1 & 2—人民海军 (People’s Navy) Articles on PLA’s Integration of Cutting-Edge Technologies

New resource from Newport! Go straight to the source, in the PLA Navy’s own words… Check out the first two published translations in CMSI’s new product line! We bring you expertly-translated English versions of two articles from a series in Beijing’s official naval newspaper to help PRC naval personnel understand fundamental characteristics of intelligent warfare and grasp key implications of Xi Jinping’s 20th Party Congress report—in which he called for the PLA to “accelerate the development of unmanned intelligent combat forces.” Don’t read 中文? 没问题—CMSI takes you straight to the original source in English!

Click here to access CMSI’s new series of translations.

From CMSI Director Christopher Sharman:

This month CMSI is providing two translations for your review. Both address the PLA’s integration of cutting-edge technologies. They are pulled from recent pages of Renmin Haijun (People’s Navy) as part of a series of articles focusing on helping PLAN personnel understand the characteristics of intelligent warfare and to grasp the implications of Xi Jinping’s 20th Party Congress report in which he called for the PLA to “accelerate the development of unmanned combat forces.”  People’s Navy is an authoritative Navy journal, which makes these translations particularly useful.

We frequently receive questions about about the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)’s integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  The first article, “‘Cans’ and ‘Cannots’ of the Military Application of Artificial Intelligence” examines the relationships between AI and humans in combat. It looks at the strengths AI brings, but highlights that it is not a panacea. The article provides a sober assessment of some of the challenges the PLAN must address as it further integrates AI into its martime operations.

The second article, “Dominating the Battlefield – The Advantages of Unmanned Intelligent Combat Forces” examines the prominent role of unmanned combat systems play in combat. The article addresses a wide range of strengths of these systems. It highlights how intelligent unmanned systems enhance operational flexibility by eliminating the need for command and control, it trumpets their utility for strikes on targets deep within enemy territory, and addresses their applicability for swarming operations. The article describes different applications for unmanned intelligent systems and how they can help build efficiencies into warfare.

Professor Nick Henderson, a Research Professor within the NWC Strategic and Operational Research Department who specializes in Chinese language and Chinese international economic policy, teamed up with CMSI to translate these two challenging articles. Our thanks to Nick for his painstaking efforts, from which we all benefit. Thanks as well to CMSI’s own Ryan Martinson, who helped to ensure the accuracy of these challenging translations.

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CMSI Translation #1: The “Cans” and “Cannots” of the Military Application of Artificial Intelligence

Zhang Long


The application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the military field is an important force for promoting improvements in military technology and progress in the revolution of military affairs and is a key driver changing operational patterns and disrupting the form of war. In the upsurge of military applications of AI, we must think carefully about future decisions, deeply understand the technological hub (jishu shuniu) role of AI, dialectically view the functional boundaries of military applications of AI, and accurately grasp what AI “can” and “cannot” do. We must oppose both contemptuous and omnipotent theories of AI military application, comprehensively and objectively clarify what AI “can” and “cannot” do in military applications, and strive to seize the opportunity, win the initiative, develop systematically, and make breakthroughs in the military application of AI.

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CMSI Translation #2: Dominating the Battlefield—The Advantages of Unmanned Intelligent Combat Forces

Zhao Xiangang
Su Yanqin


In his report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping emphasized the need to accelerate the development of unmanned intelligent combat forces. Looking at the practice of local wars in recent years, unmanned combat forces as represented by drones have become an important part of the joint operational force system, playing an increasingly prominent role as an effectiveness multiplier. Especially with the advent of artificial intelligence technology and its rapid development and widespread use in the military field, unmanned systems are becoming more intelligent and autonomous, and unmanned intelligent operations are showing advantages and effectiveness that are different from those in the past.

Publication Date