China is preparing for a new type of conflict known as “metaverse warfare”

According to research by an Air Force think group, China’s People’s Liberation Army is ready to wage high-tech combat in the metaverse, a developing combination of virtual reality, the internet, and the real world.

According to research by the Air Force China Aerospace Studies Institute, the PLA sees the ill-defined metaverse as a future battlefield for advanced conflict that was long supposed to be limited to science fiction.

In a report published last month, the official military journal PLA Daily declared that the metaverse symbolizes “new heights of future cognitive combat.” Cognitive warfare, as defined by China, is the use of unmanned technology and artificial intelligence to create new ways to fight.

The idea includes drone swarms, electronic warfare, hypersonic missiles, shape-shifting and self-healing platforms, biomaterial-infused “invisibility” cloaks, and 3D battlefield payloads and parts.

Such weapons of the future will be able to see, react, and adjust in real time on the battlefield, completing missions quickly and without the need for human help.

People who wrote a March PLA report on “metaverse warfare” are from the Academy of Military Sciences’ Institute of Military Political Work, which is the PLA’s most important research institute under the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, the country’s most powerful body, the Air Force report says.

The PLA research said that the “metaverse” is a “parallel cognitive environment that digitally mirrors real combat scenarios, where cognitive warfare can be progressed quickly and strengthened at a high rate.” It also said that the domain will be used for attacks and conflict in the future.

According to the research, “One can ‘influence the opponent’s thinking, cognition, and action decision-making’ by targeting an adversary’s metaverse (and in cognitive war more broadly),” according to the research.

Three types of metaverse confrontations are expected, according to the PLA. The first is “platform confrontation,” in which hostile forces use the metaverse to disrupt, delay, dissuade, destroy, and annihilate opposing forces in the metaverse.

Attacks on supply chains and systems, which disrupt enemy metaverses’ key nodes and technical operations, are two more. Indirect diversion, which manipulates enemy metaverse systems through deceit, is another.

According to the study, “The purpose is to confuse and mislead the adversary.”

Another piece in China’s state-run media, titled “New Battlefield-Metaverse,” claims that metaverse conflict would be a theater of great power rivalry between the US and China.

“China and the United States will certainly compete in the metaverse in the future,” the paper states.

While the metaverse is still in its early phases of development, the Air Force research finds that “China is well positioned to be a leader in metaverse development, with investment and backing from some of China’s major IT businesses, as well as the Chinese Communist Party itself.”

According to the paper, “Of particular worry is the potential for conflict to occur as the metaverse is established and depended upon in the same way that the internet is.”

Information technology has already been designated as important infrastructure in the United States. When the metaverse is operational, it will be added to this list.

The research concluded that there will be “increasing danger and potential consequences” from disruption or destruction of the metaverse as the military begins to rely on it in its daily operations.

People should look for “norms” and make the future environment that could be a target in a fight more durable.

In this case, a CASI analyst named Josh Baughman came up with the research, which was first published by the Military Cyber Professionals Association.

The Commerce Department imposed penalties on seven Chinese technology companies in December because they were doing research on “brain control” warfare. This shows that the US government is worried about China’s cognitive warfare development.

US businesses have been banned from doing business with two companies in China because they’re working on “biotechnology procedures to support Chinese military end-uses and end-users, including claimed brain-control weapons,” the Department of Commerce said in a statement.

Concerns are raised by Beijing’s arms sales to Serbia.

When China sent six Y-20 cargo planes to Serbia, a friend of Russia, there were suspicions that China was secretly resupplying Russia’s military as it invaded Ukraine.

According to Chinese state media, the transports exhibited “strategic transport” capabilities for the Chinese military and were constructed from stolen American C-17 transport technology, according to US authorities. A group of people who don’t work for the government looked out for the six Y-20s as they flew across Turkish airspace on Friday.

According to the official Chinese publication, The People’s Daily, the flights were an extraordinary display of military power projection.

According to online rumors, the carriers were carrying FK-3 missiles, which are surface-to-air missiles that can be exported from China.

The shipments transported “conventional military goods to Serbia,” according to Zhao Lijian of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. He stated that the arms shipment was not “aimed at any third country.”

Did you ever worry whether regional peace and stability were threatened when the US provided armaments to Europe and Taiwan?” Mr. Zhao was asked if the deliveries could disrupt the peace in war-torn eastern Europe. Why do you believe that is the case when China sells Serbia some conventional military hardware? “

During the year 2016, Serbia signed a military agreement with Russia. In 2022, Serbia bought a lot of military equipment from Russia, including Pantsir air defense missiles and Kornet anti-tank missiles.

The Chinese arms shipment elicited no quick response from a Pentagon official.

A lobbying group is pushing for missile defense improvements.

According to research by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, the Pentagon needs to improve and reorganize its advanced missile defense systems in the light of new enemy threats such as hypersonic missiles.

The paper states, “The appearance of Russian and Chinese hypersonic missile threats, in addition to both countries’ developing arsenals of increasingly complex ballistic and cruise missile capabilities, plainly underscores the significance our enemies place on long-range strike capabilities.”

As a result of these advancements, the United States must guarantee that the missile defense industry is appropriately organized, resourced, and managed to succeed in this new and challenging threat environment.

China and Russia are aggressively investing in hypersonic missiles that can fly faster than anti-missile interceptors, as well as mass-producing long-range missiles that might overwhelm present missile defenses.

The current missile defense roles and missions have not kept up with the expanding threats.

The MDAA report recommends that missile defense be made a fundamental military task, that funding be increased to fix gaps in ground-based cruise missile defenses, and that weapons to defeat hypersonic missiles be developed. The Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency also needs to be able to buy things quickly so that they can build and put up defenses more quickly and efficiently.

According to the research, better cooperation between the military services and combatant commanders is needed when it comes to missile defenses.

The new Space Command should be in charge of missile defenses, which is currently the task of the Strategic Command.

Riki Ellison, the chair of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance and a three-time Super Bowl champion linebacker in the NFL, said he understands from his playing days that “defense wins.”

However, in the current world, this notion is even more crucial because our country’s defense cannot fail at any time, Mr. Ellison explained.

Unfortunately, today’s missile defense is ill-equipped to counter emerging Chinese and Russian threats. The MDAA’s proposals on duties and responsibilities are a critical first step in ensuring a capable and well-funded missile defense.