Mil­i­tary’s pub­lic face hangs up flack jacket

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG ZHIHAO zhangzhi­hao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Se­nior Colonel Yang Yu­jun, who of­fi­cially re­tired as a spokesman for the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense on Wed­nes­day, of­ten pep­pered his brief­ings with hu­mor and in­ter­net buzz­words.

Yang, 47, who joined the min­istry’s in­for­ma­tion of­fice in 2010 and was ap­pointed its di­rec­tor in 2015, stepped down due to the health is­sues of close fam­ily mem­bers.

Hailed by his col­leagues as an in­de­pen­dent and deep thinker, he also is re­garded as some­one who man­aged to con­nect with younger gen­er­a­tions.

In 2013, dur­ing a news con­fer­ence on the pos­si­bil­ity of China’s first air­craft car­rier, the CNS Liaon­ing, tak­ing part in a far-sea op­er­a­tion, Yang said the ves­sel was not a zhainan, a word com­monly used by ne­ti­zens that trans­lates as “in­doorsy man”.

He also sug­gested in Septem­ber that Ash Carter, then the US de­fense sec­re­tary, should not shuaiguo — a buz­zword mean­ing to throw un­wanted re­spon­si­bil­ity onto oth­ers — af­ter the United States crit­i­cized China fol­low­ing a nu­clear mis­sile test by the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Korea.

“I love my uni­form, and my job at the in­for­ma­tion of­fice, and I have given my heart and soul through­out my mil­i­tary ca­reer,” Yang told Global Times.

He re­ceived a thun­der­ing ova­tion from the jour­nal­ists in at­ten­dance at his fi­nal news con­fer­ence in April.

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