Open main menu

People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force

The People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (PLASSF or SSF ; Chinese: 中国人民解放军战略支援部队) is the cyber-, space-, and electronic-warfare service branch of China's People's Liberation Army.[2][3] It was established in December 2015 as part of the first wave of the People's Republic of China military reform.[4][5]

People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force
Emblem of People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force.png
Emblem of People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force
ActiveJanuary 2016–present
Country People's Republic of China
Allegiance Communist Party of China[1]
TypeCyber and space force
RoleCyber warfare, space warfare, and electronic warfare
Part of People's Liberation Army
CommanderGeneral Gao Jin
Political CommissarGeneral Zheng Weiping
BadgeThe emblem of PLASSF



Initial announcements did not provide much detail, but Yang Yujun of the Chinese Ministry of Defense described it as a combination of all support forces. Commentators speculate that it will include high-tech operations including space, cyberspace and electronic warfare operations, independent of other branches of the military.[4] Another expert, Yin Zhuo, said that "the major mission of the PLA Strategic Support Force is to give support to the combat operations so that the PLA can gain regional advantages in the space warfare and cyber warfare domains, and to ensure smooth operations."[6]


Functionally and structurally, the Strategic Support Force operates like the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force.[3] The SSF is formed from the units responsible for space, cyber, and electronic warfare in the former General Staff Department (including the cyber espionage capabilities of the former Third Department, the electronic support measures from the former Fourth Department, and the space-based ISR systems and Aerospace Reconnaissance Bureau and Satellite Main Station), General Political Department, and General Armaments Department (including the launch, telemetry, tracking, and control facilities and research and development organisations).[2]

Space Systems DepartmentEdit

The PLASSF Space Systems Department [zh] is the consolidation of all PLA's space-based C4ISR systems.

  • Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center / 20th Testing and Training Base
  • Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center / 25th Testing and Training Base
  • Xichang Satellite Launch Center / 27th Testing and Training Base
  • Wenchang Aerospace Launch Site
  • Space Telemetry, Tracking, and Control
  • Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center
  • Xi’an Satellite Control Center / 26th Testing and Training Base
  • Telemetry, Tracking, and Control Stations
  • China Satellite Maritime Tracking and Control Department
  • 23rd Testing and Training Base
  • Aerospace Reconnaissance Bureau
  • Satellite Main Station
  • Aerospace Research and Development Center
  • Project Design Research Center
  • Astronaut Corps

Network Systems DepartmentEdit

The PLASSF Network Systems Department [zh] is the integration of all PLA's information warfare capabilities.


  1. ^ "The PLA Oath" (PDF). I am a member of the People's Liberation Army. I promise that I will follow the leadership of the Communist Party of China...
  2. ^ a b PLA Strategic Support Force: The 'Information Umbrella' for China's Military The Diplomat 1 April 2017
  3. ^ a b The Strategic Support Force: Update and Overview Jamestown Foundation China Brief Volume: 16 Issue: 19
  4. ^ a b "China Takes Bold Steps Toward Military Reform" (11 January 2016)
  5. ^ Costello, John; McReynolds, Joe (2018). China’s Strategic Support Force: A Force for a New Era. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  6. ^ Expert: PLA Strategic Support Force a key force to win wars