PLA: Engaging public called long-term commitment CHINA DAILY USA
However, while ad campaigns and TV shows eventually come to an end, the Ministry of Defense has said its work to engage the public through social media is a long-term commitment.
Wan Binhua, head of the ministry’s publicity statistics office, said the PLA values public opinion and has realized the importance of communicating its stance quickly and effectively.
For example, in December, the ministry posted on Sina Weibo about an incident in which it accused Japanese fighter jets of harassing Chinese planes. The message attracted more than views, Wan said.
“Social media allow us to directly deliver our stance to a wider range of audience in a timely manner,” he said. “It is now a crucial part of the ministry’s communication apparatus.”
Between October and December, the ministry tripled 17 million its followers on Sina Weibo to 3.25 million, thanks to “a series of influential and timely responses on hot topics, ranging from the US underwater drone to our carrier battle group making open-sea drills”, he said.
The ministry’s social media are not just outlets for official announcements, he added, noting that his colleagues also publish human interest stories about soldiers and officers to help the public understand service members’ lives, sacrifices and contributions.
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