China's armed forces will ramp up cyber-security and speed domestic software development, the country’s state media said today.
The revelations of former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last year gave details of US government spying and surveillance campaigns, including some targeting the People's Liberation Army.
The announcement underscores China's concern over the Internet and cyber-security, which it sees as dominated by Western powers and values, and suggests the world's largest military believes it needs to shore up potential technological weaknesses.
"Information security must be considered an underlying project in military battle preparedness," the official People's Liberation Army Daily said. "We will strongly advance the domestic and independent building of programmes, and strengthen the foundations of our information security."
President Xi Jinping, who also heads the military, himself heads a government body for internet security, which aims to turn China into a 'cyber-power'.
Foreign technology companies in China face challenges from a sharp drop-off in sales linked to increased awareness of cyber-security and the role of the US government in cyber-espionage. State media have also criticised American technology firms, in particular, over security concerns.
China and the US regularly trade accusations over cyber-espionage, and tensions between Washington and Beijing have grown since May, when a US grand jury indicted five Chinese military officers on charges they hacked into American companies for sensitive manufacturing secrets. China has denied the charges.