Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"These aren't the 'droids you're looking for."

When I first saw headlines in the Western media about rumors of a coup or significant political struggle in China, I thought the the seriousness of the situation was being overblown. Now, I'm not so sure.

Chinese government tells military to ignore internet in wake of coup talk
China's top military newspaper has told troops to ignore rumours on the internet and steel themselves for "ideological struggle" – an apparent reference to talk of a coup as the ruling Communist party faces a leadership transition.

The Liberation Army Daily… in a front-page commentary left no doubt the party leadership wants to inoculate People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops against rumours that could erode the authority of President Hu Jintao, who also serves as head of the party and chairman of the Central Military Commission, which commands the PLA…

The paper exhorted soldiers to "resolutely resist the incursion of all kinds of erroneous ideas, not be disturbed by noise, not be affected by rumours, and not be drawn by undercurrents, and ensure that at all times and under all circumstances the military absolutely obeys the command of the party central leadership, the central military commission and Chairman Hu"…

The Liberation Army Daily… said the military must maintain a tight grip on troops' access to the internet in the middle of what it called an "ideological struggle" before the 18th Communist party congress late this year when Hu and his cohort will retire.

"Historical experience shows that whenever the party and country faces major issues, and whenever reform and development reach a crucial juncture, struggle in the ideological arena becomes even more intense and complex," said the newspaper.

"We must pay close attention to the impact of the internet, mobile phones and other new media on the thinking of officers and troops."

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