China’s military has set up a new department modelled on the Pentagon’s hi-tech research agency to develop state-of-the-art weapons such as stealth aircraft and electromagnetic cannons.
The Scientific Research Steering Committee was set up early this year, according to a documentary aired on state broadcaster CCTV that revealed the new department for the first time.
The committee will fall directly under the Central Military Commission (CMC), which is chaired by President Xi Jinping.
Xi has been driving an unprecedented military overhaul since he took the helm in 2012, with the ambition of transforming the People’s Liberation Army into a nimble and modern fighting force.
The two most recent episodes of the 10-part series Carrying Reform Through to the End, which were broadcast on Sunday and Monday, explained the revamp and the new committee.
The broadcast suggested that the new agency was similar to the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), set up in 1957 by the Pentagon to look after breakthrough technologies to do with national security. (end of excerpt)
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