China issues social interaction norms for military officials

By GT staff reporters Published: Jun 19, 2023 11:55 PM

China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) has issued a code of conduct for the social interactions of military officials, including behaviors on social media platforms.

Chinese experts believe the code of conduct highlights improving discipline of military personnel and strengthening their sense of confidentiality so as to better protect national security in the big data era.

With the approval of the CMC, the Political Work Department and the Discipline Inspection Commission of the CMC recently issued the code of conduct for the social exchanges of military officials,, the PLA’s website, reported on Sunday.

In order to implement the requirements of comprehensively and strictly governing the Party and the military, and focus on strengthening the education and management supervision of military officials, the code puts forward clear requirements and specific regulations for social behavior of the military officials in multiple aspects, according to the code of conduct.

The aspects include social exchanges with local Party and government organs and their personnel; with enterprises or public institutions and their relevant personnel; with social organizations; with media; with theoretical research and academic exchange institutions and their personnel; with ethnic minorities; with religious organizations and religious believers; with overseas organizations and their personnel; with military officials’ friends and relatives; and social interactions on social media platforms.

The code emphasizes that Party committees of the military at all levels should strengthen the management of social exchanges among military officials and fulfill their main responsibilities. Political work departments and discipline inspection and supervision organs are required to perform their supervision responsibilities, and promptly discover and correct violations of discipline and law.

According to the code, Party committees at all levels should seriously hold Party organizations and leaders accountable for dereliction of duty, strengthen their self-restraint, constantly purify social circles and consciously realize that exchanges have principles, boundaries, and rules.

Strict confidentiality and high-level management contribute to combat effectiveness, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Monday. He pointed out that these norms focus on improving the sense of organization and discipline of military personnel, and strengthening their sense of confidentiality – not talking about secret matters with unrelated personnel, establishing the awareness of national security and not doing anything that endangers national security.

The code makes clear requirements for social interaction over virtual communication on the internet, which is a new requirement made in the era of big data, Song said.

The norms highlight further strengthening self-restraint from top to bottom, with higher level military officials playing an exemplary role for other military personnel, Song said.

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