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HONG KONG—Nearly a year and a half after Donald J. Trump ordered the Pentagon to establish the U.S. Space Force—a whole new sixth branch of the American armed forces—he signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 20. At least on paper, the U.S. Space Force is now a reality.

香港——在美國總統特朗普下令五角大樓成立美國太空部隊(全新的美國武裝部隊第六分支)近一年半后,特朗普于12月20日簽署了《2020財年國防授權法案》。至少在紙面上,美國太空部隊現在已經成為現實。

But the United States is late to this game. The Russians have been organizing and reorganizing space force variants since the 1990s. And more importantly, the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army has had such an organization up and running for the last four years. It’s called the PLA Strategic Support Force, and it is something of a technological juggernaut responsible for space, cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare.

但是美國在這場比賽中遲到了。自1990年以來,俄羅斯人一直在組織和重組各種太空部隊。但更重要的是,在過去四年,中國人民解放軍已經成立了這樣一個組織,它被稱為中國人民解放軍戰略支援部隊(PLA Strategic Support Force),它是負責太空,網絡攻防,電子對抗和心理戰的技術力量。

China’s Looming Land Grab in Outer Space

中國正在急速占領外太空



China’s biggest rocket, the Long March 5, was loaded onto a launchpad a week ago and successfully launched on Friday, carrying an eight-ton satellite. The heavy-lift rocket previously failed to launch in 2017, but its successful launch puts China’s space program on track to send a probe to Mars and acquire rock and fine-grain “soil” samples from the moon next year. The Long March 5 will also deliver modules of the Tiangong space station, which is due to go online within two to four years.

中國最大的火箭,長征5號(Long March 5),一周前被裝載到發射臺上,并在星期五成功發射,運載了八噸重的衛星。該型號重型火箭此前在2017年未能成功發射,如今其成功發射使中國的航天計劃走上了向火星發射探測器的軌道,并將在明年從月球上獲取巖石和細?!巴寥馈睒颖??!伴L征五號”還將發射“天宮”空間站的模塊,該空間站將在2至4年內完成建設。

Even though China hasn’t sent any “taikonauts” into space since late 2016, it has been placing a lot of equipment into orbit. Its BeiDou system—an alternative to the American GPS—is set to be completed in June. And the Chinese space program already has a rover on the far side of the moon; it has been operating for about a year.

盡管中國自2016年底以來再沒向太空派遣過任何“太空人”,但中國一直將許多設備送入地球軌道。 北斗導航系統是美國GPS的替代方案,將于明年6月完工。中國的太空計劃已經在月球的背面有了一個探測器。 它已經運行了大約一年。

Civilian operations also are progressing rapidly. iSpace, a company based in Beijing, is similar to SpaceX. It placed two satellites in orbit in late July.

民間的行動也有了進展。 北京的iSpace公司在7月下旬將兩顆衛星送入了軌道,這個公司和SpaceX公司類似。

In Its Epic Sci-Fi Movie ‘The Wandering Earth,’ China Saves the World From Annihilation

在史詩般的科幻電影《流浪地球》中,中國拯救了世界。

How does the PLASSF operate?

中國人民解放軍戰略支援部隊是如何運作的?

The branch projects power in what it describes as “strategic frontiers,” specifically referring to areas that are not defined as part of geographical topology. China hasn’t been involved in large-scale armed conflicts since the 1970s, so the force has been contributing to training exercises where it plays the role of an adversary, deploying electronic and psychological warfare, preparing the PLA’s other branches for disruptive battle tactics.

該部隊在其所謂的“戰略邊界”中部署力量,特別是那些未被官方明確定義的部分區域。自1970年代以來,中國就再也沒有卷入過大規模的武裝沖突中。因此,這支中國軍隊一直在進行訓練演習,在演習中扮演對手的角色,展開電子戰和心理戰,為解放軍其他部隊采取破壞性戰術做準備。

Although outer space remains an untested domain for armed conflict, the PLASSF is busy formulating the Chinese military’s space operational doctrine. And China’s space warfare specialists have been conducting research and training as a unit for nearly four years to rival U.S. Space Command and the newly formed Space Force.

盡管未經過太空武裝沖突測試,但解放軍仍然忙于制定中國軍方的空間作戰理論。 中國的空間戰專家已經在一個單位進行了近四年的研究和訓練,以與美國太空司令部和新組建的太空部隊相抗衡。

In the meantime, the PLASSF has recruited hundreds of specialists and scientists whose expertise in deep tech will define China’s space warfare capabilities. The scenario that is of utmost concern is a long-range attack launched from, say, the United States. Only by controlling a chunk of outer space can the PLA conduct long range operations against the U.S. or other forces—or deter potential attacks.

同時,解放軍已招募了數百名專家和科學家,他們在尖端技術上的專長將決定中國的空間作戰能力。其中他們最關心的是如何應對美國發動的遠距離攻擊。而解放軍只有控制一大塊外太空,才能對美國或其他武裝力量進行遠距離行動,或阻止潛在的攻擊。

Xi Jinping and the CCP believe it is crucial to match and surpass the U.S. in technological prowess in all arenas. As Chinese entities bulk up their presence beyond the stratosphere, the Party is also harnessing other forms of cutting-edge tech, like big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing. In September, Xi appointed a big-data expert, Wang Yingwei, as the CCP’s new cybersecurity chief. And the People’s Bank of China—the country’s central bank—is redoubling efforts to create a digital currency, likely in response to Facebook’s proposed Libra, which may be rolled out in 2020.

中國認為,在各個領域的技術實力與美國匹敵并超越美國至關重要。隨著中國實體在平流層上的影響力不斷擴大,中國也在利用其他形式的尖端技術,例如大數據,人工智能和云計算。 9月,王英偉是新任網絡安全負責人。 中國人民銀行(中國的中央銀行)正加倍努力創建一種數字貨幣,這可能是對Facebook提議的天秤座計劃(Libra)的回應,該計劃可能會在2020年推出。



Beijing says it “always adheres to the principle of use of outer space for peaceful purposes and opposes the weaponization of or an arms race in outer space.”

北京表示,“中國始終堅持和平利用外層空間,反對外空武器化和外空軍備競賽”

The PLA’s readiness to co-opt China’s developments beyond Earth’s surface tell us otherwise.

這告訴我們另一個問題,中國人民解放軍愿意配合中國在地球表面以外的地方發展。