Air Force blog takes off mi­croblog­gers

China Daily (Canada) - - ADVERTISEMENT - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Air Force opened a Sina Weibo mi­cro-blog­ging ac­count on Tues­day, fol­low­ing a suc­ces­sion of open house events aimed at boost­ing its pub­lic re­la­tions and mark­ing the 66th an­niver­sary of its found­ing on Nov 11.

De­spite hav­ing only seven posts by Wed­nes­day night, more than 6,900 mi­cro-blog­gers had fol­lowed the ac­count on Sina Weibo, China’s largest so­cial net­work­ing web­site by the num­ber of users.

By press time, the lat­est post on the ac­count was is­sued on Wed­nes­day evening, in­tro­duc­ing the story of a daugh­ter of an Air Force of­fi­cer who died in line of duty.

On Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Colonel Shen Jinke, spokesman for the Air Force, an­nounced on the ac­count that air­craft from the Chi­nese and Thai air forces will con­duct the Yingji-2015, or Ea­gle Strike-2015, joint drill at a mil­i­tary air base in Thai­land from Thurs­day to Nov 30.

In ad­di­tion to the Sina Weibo ac­count, the Air Force also opened an ac­count on the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar smart­phone so­cial net­work­ing app WeChat, which boasts more than 650 mil­lion users. How­ever, no posts had been re­leased on the plat­form by Wed­nes­day.

Eigh­teen of the Air Force’s bases and units were opened to civil­ian visi­tors on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, with tens of thou­sands of avi­a­tion en­thu­si­asts flood­ing in to see air­craft and equip­ment.

Wu Peixin, a mil­i­tary ob­server in Beijing, said lead­ers of the PLA now understand that a good im­age and close con­tact with the pub­lic will fa­cil­i­tate the mil­i­tary’s re­cruit­ment ef­forts and im­prove the pub­lic’s con­fi­dence in its ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Cur­rently, the most in­flu­en­tial Sina Weibo ac­count op­er­ated by the PLA is that of its news­pa­per, PLA Daily. The ac­count was launched in Au­gust 2011 and now has nearly 9 mil­lion fol­low­ers.

The PLA Navy also opened a mi­cro blog on peo­ple.com.cn, the flag­ship web­site of Peo­ple’s Daily, in April.

As of Wed­nes­day, the ac­count had gar­nered more than 1.9 mil­lion fans.

LI ZHONG / FOR CHINA DAILY

Res­i­dents visit a PLA Air Force base in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, dur­ing an open day on Wed­nes­day mark­ing the force’s 66th an­niver­sary.

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