'Smart deterrence': China to enhance AI-warfare against US over Taiwan

The PLA has been using AI to simulate war games for invasion operations against Taiwan.
Baba Tamim
Stock photo: Artificial intelligence concept, 3D rendered illustration of a humanoid robot playing chess.
Stock photo: Artificial intelligence concept, 3D rendered illustration of a humanoid robot playing chess.

vchal/iStock 

China could allegedly use more artificial intelligence (AI) to maintain deterrence against the United States (U.S.) over Taiwan.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) should conduct blockade exercises around Taiwan and use AI technology to deter "U.S. interference," South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported on Sunday, quoting a Chinese expert on Taiwan affairs. 

"PLA should conduct blockade exercises around the island and use AI technology to deter U.S. interference and Taiwanese independence forces," said Ni Yongjie, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies. 

The idea of "smart deterrence" was being researched within the PLA, he stated. 

Yongjie made the comments in a Cross-Strait Taiwan Studies essay that was published earlier this week and shared on the journal's social media accounts.

By utilizing its skills in AI, cloud computing, big data, cyber attack and defense, and unmanned equipment, the PLA may become a global leader in future intelligent warfare, he suggested. 

Yongjie called on PLA to normalize military drills that cross the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto sea border separating mainland China and Taiwan, and approach the island's territorial waters, cutting off transport.

AI-warfare

The PLA has been using AI to simulate war games for invasion operations against Taiwan, as well as to identify underwater vehicles.

The simulations track U.S. Navy ships and deploy electronic countermeasures, according to a report published by the Centre for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University last year.

Beijing would be unlikely to succeed in capturing Taiwan in a hypothetical invasion of the island in 2026, as per a U.S. think tank.

However, the think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies warned in a recent report that such a conflict would wreak havoc on both sides of the strait, as well as the U.S. and Japan, with total casualties running into the tens of thousands.

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Meanwhile, Yongjie is dangerously advocating for the use of economic, legal, psychological, and cyber tools to contain Taiwan's independence forces, noted the SCMP report. 

He cited the regulation of cross-strait trade, the prohibition of agricultural imports from areas governed by those forces, and the suspension of the free-trade framework between the two sides of the strait as examples. 

Escalating tensions

The PLA conducted unprecedented live-fire exercises that surrounded the autonomous island amid rising tensions following a visit to Taiwan by the then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in August, prompting the request for the use of AI military strategy.

China was incensed by the trip because it felt that its sovereignty had been violated.

After U.S. President Joe Biden signed the most recent National Defence Authorisation Act, which involves financing armaments for Taiwan, the PLA also increased drills throughout the island.

The use of AI in military strategy is a hotly debated subject, with many academics expressing alarm over the possible repercussions of AI in conflict.

Beijing does not rule out using force to annex Taiwan since it sees it as a part of its territory. The U.S. and the majority of other nations do not recognize Taiwan as an independent state.

However, Washington is opposed to any attempt to annex the island through force.