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Liu Yazhou: The Internet Has Become the Main Battlefield of Ideological Struggle

Liu Yazhou, Political Commissar of the University of National Defense, published an article in the military newspaper PLA Daily calling for firm control of the battlefield of ideological struggle—the Internet. Liu started his article by quotating CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping’s statement that the Party’s ideological work is extremely important work that is related to the Party’s future and destiny. 

Liu commented, “At present, the overall situation in the ideology [battlefield] is that the West is stronger than we are and the enemy is in offense and we are in defense. The opponents have always been setting the default topic, creating trouble, and keeping us busy in our struggle to defend. If this situation continues, it is inevitable that something may go wrong. Therefore, you must strive to take the controlling position using great wisdom, great vision, and great strategy. … [We] must have counter-measures to deal with the ideological attacks emanating from all of the hostile forces from outside.” 

Liu stressed, “[We] must take control of the right to define public opinion (the opinion right). The essence of this ideological contest is the control of public opinion. Whoever owns the right to interpret and define those opinions will be able to guide the people. History shows that, for the country, the government, and the army, the ability to control the air, sea, and information is very important to winning the ‘hard battle.’ However, if one were to lose control of the opinion right, the country might already have split and the regime changed hands even before the ‘hard battle’ occurs. … Entering the new century, whoever controls the Internet, especially micro-blog resources, will have the greatest right to [control] opinions. Today’s Internet has become the main battlefield for ideological struggle. The Western hostile forces seek to advance this ‘biggest variable’ to "topple China.’” 
Liu continued, “From a regime’s perspective, to win the ideological battle, the ruling party must … occupy the moral high ground. If this is achieved, no matter how the hostile forces engage in peaceful evolution, it will be in vain.” 

Source: PLA Daily, October 15, 2013