Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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China Activates World’s Longest Ultra Secure Quantum Communication Network

Space dominance

(Photo : Xinhua) Micius military quantum satellite

The People' Liberation Army (PLA) reports the activation of a 712 kilometer-long  military quantum communication network linking its military units located in the region of Hefei, capital of Anhui province, with those in Shanghai within the Eastern Theater Command.

China state-run media boasts this quantum communications line is the world's longest secure telecommunications network. The quantum network features ultra-high security that will make it impossible to hack into PLA communications, or to intercept and decrypt information transmitted through them.

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The network within the Eastern Theater Command is the first part of a quantum network that will eventually connect all five of the PLA's war zones or battle zones on the Chinese mainland.

The jurisdiction of the Eastern Theater Command includes Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Shanghai and the East Sea Fleet of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) based at the city of Ningbo in Zhejiang.

The 712 km-long quantum network has 11 stations and took three years to build, said Chen Yu'ao, professor at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei and chief engineer of the Beijing-Shanghai quantum communication line.

The next node in the PLA's nationwide quantum communications system, the Beijing-Shanghai quantum communication line, is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Beijing-Shanghai quantum network will be connected to the PLA's Micius quantum satellite through an earth station in Beijing, enabling the space-to-Earth quantum communication to be used by the PLA.

In late September, the PLA said Micius established a "quantum channel" with its ground stations. This landmark is an important step in the quest of the PLA to develop ultra secure military communications and quantum encryption systems impervious to hacking by the United States and its allies in a coming war.

The satellite's true military nature is being disguised under the civilian name, Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, or QUESS. Publicly, QUESS is being billed as an international research project in the field of quantum physics.

The PLA plans a network of quantum satellites by 2030 that will augment a ground-based quantum computer network.

The choice of the Eastern Theater Command as the site for the PLA's first quantum network is significant because the Electronic Engineering Institute (EEI) of the PLA is located in Hefei. EEI conducts research for the PLA and is proud of its "excellent pedagogic method featuring military high-tech disciplines and stressing both on military studies and engineering."

EEI will play a key role in operation the PLA's quantum communication network in the Eastern Theater Command.

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