Screenshot shows an extension quantum communication landline connecting East China's Anhui Province and Central China's Hubei Province. (Photo: Cao Siqi/GT)
An extension quantum communication landline connecting East China's Anhui Province and Central China's Hubei Province was put into service on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone in China's quantum infrastructure construction that scientists say makes China the new leader in quantum communication.
The Wuhan-Hefei landline was launched on Tuesday at the Third Optics Valley Aerospace Laser and Quantum Technology International Forum hosted by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, the network's major builder.
The company, which primarily develops and produces missiles and carrier rockets and also invests heavily in laser technologies and weapons, said the network is now connected to the world's first quantum communication landline opened between Beijing and Shanghai in September 2017.
Quantum communications feature ultra-high security. Information running through it is impossible to tap, intercept or crack, experts said.
An insider who declined to be named told the Global Times that the quantum communication network plays a crucial role in military operations in the information age.
"In future combat, the competition lies in the speed of transferring information. The network could help transmit classified information to the command center and then quickly instruct a combat unit. It is fast and free from outside disturbances," he said.
China's quantum communication ground network is connected to the world's first quantum satellite launched by China in August 2016. The satellite is called "Micius," after a 400 BC Chinese philosopher and scientist credited as the first person to conduct optical experiments.
Wu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Fourth Institute of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, said the network can also be used for financial and energy purposes and other government fields.
Meanwhile, it is also expected to be used in civil communications such as on mobile phones and networks, Wu said.
According to Wu, the extension quantum communication landline will build 11 stations in cities in Anhui and Hubei provinces, and could reach 609 kilometers long.