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China Shuts Down Social Media Accounts on Military Affairs

On March 22, China’s popular military Internet forum “Super Base Camp (超级大本营)” made a sudden announcement that it would permanently close four discussion boards, including the navy, air force, army, and aerospace and new concept weapons, starting from the early hours on March 23.

Afterwards, military public WeChat accounts, such as “Sina Military Affairs (新浪军事)” and “Military Sub-Dimension (军武次位面)” had also been shut down for “violations.” The victims also include Tencent’s own military channel the WeChat account “Military Lecture Hall (讲武堂).”

Some people pointed out that military fans often publish photographs of new military aircraft or warships under construction. As many of the suspended military forums are involved in discussions of weaponry, the recent move was likely to prevent leaks of secrets.

Overseas media observed and reported that some Chinese netizens commented that those social media sites or accounts often “create patriotic rumors” to incite people’s nationalistic emotions, resulting in the “Wolf Warrior sentiment.”

Zhuang Rongwen, deputy head of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Central Propaganda Department and Director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said at a January meeting in the year of the CCP’s 100th anniversary, that it is of special importance to maintain the order of network communication and ensure that the network space is full of “positive energy.” He demanded that cyberspace place “adherence to the correct political direction, public opinion guidance and value orientation” in the first place. Zhuang also called for an increase in the penalties for illegal accounts and their platforms.

By late January and early February, many self online publishers and public account operators had already received a notice that mentioned specifically that, if an account “does not have the relevant qualifications, it is recommended that it not publish, comment on and interpret information related to political, economic, military, or diplomatic fields and major emergencies, to avoid violating relevant laws and regulations, causing inconvenience to subsequent operations.”

Source: Central News Agency, April 8, 2021