Ministry of National Defense accounts on two leading Chinese social networking platforms will start operating on May 26, a move that one analyst said will give a further boost to China’s transparency on defense issues.
In addition, the State Council Information Office scheduled a news conference on the white paper “China’s Military Strategy” in the morning of May 26. A live release will be made through the accounts, the ministry said in a written statement on its website.
The new accounts were registered on the popular micro blog weibo.com, China’s leading social network, and WeChat, the country’s leading messaging app.
Earlier on May 25, the first post issued on the ministry’s micro blog account said, “There will be consistent exchanges and interactions with everyone in the future.”
Within the first six hours, the account attracted more than 18,000 followers, more than 1,000 comments and hundreds of “likes” for the first posting.
Previously, the ministry’s spokesmen, Geng Yansheng and Yang Yujun, interacted with Chinese netizens through the social media account of PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army.
Zhang Tuosheng, director of the Research Department at the China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies, said the use of such accounts is “a feasible attempt to address increasing public attention and interest in defense affairs” while honoring the government’s commitment to providing information to the public.
“In the era of new media, the PLA is also catching up with the trend. Its interaction and mutual understanding with the public will be deepened and this will facilitate China’s efforts in boosting defense transparency in the world,” Zhang said.
By the end of last year, 15 central and State-level administrative organs, including the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Education, had opened micro blog and messaging accounts, according to Beijing Youth Daily.
On April 22, the micro blog account of the PLA navy was officially inaugurated on Renmin Weibo, another Chinese social network.
As of May 25, it had issued 64 posts and attracted more than 532,000 followers.