PLA guide­lines to open units’ doors

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­

The Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army has pub­lished guide­lines on how and when bar­racks of some units can be opened to the pub­lic, aim­ing to boost aware­ness of na­tional de­fense.

The guide­lines were made and pub­lished by the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion’s Gen­eral Of­fice and have been put into ef­fect. The idea is to dis­play the PLA’s “new im­ages”, strengthen the pub­lic’s pas­sion for the mil­i­tary and their re­spect to­ward ser­vice mem­bers and en­cour­age of­fi­cers and soldiers to ded­i­cate them­selves to build­ing a strong mil­i­tary, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the of­fice.

This is the first time the Chi­nese mil­i­tary has is­sued spe­cific rules re­gard­ing open houses at its units. Pre­vi­ously, PLA units con­ducted such ac­tiv­i­ties in ac­cor­dance with their own plans and sched­ules.

Fight­ing branches, such as the PLA Ground Force and PLA Navy and large mil­i­tary in­sti­tutes like the Acad­emy of Mil­i­tary Science, will se­lect which of their units can be opened and then sub­mit their choices to the com­mis­sion’s Na­tional De­fense Mo­bi­liza­tion Depart­ment. The depart­ment will then work with other agen­cies un­der the com­mis­sion and re­lated the­ater com­mands to re­view and ap­prove the se­lec­tion.

Units to be opened to the pub­lic should be suit­able di­vi­sions, brigades and reg­i­ments sta­tioned in or near cities or towns. On cer­tain oc­ca­sions, bat­tal­ions and companies near ur­ban ar­eas also can hold open houses. Se­lected units must re­ceive ap­proval from se­cu­rity man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties of higher units be­fore host­ing an open house, the reg­u­la­tions stip­u­late.

Open houses will mainly be held on na­tional hol­i­days, in­clud­ing Na­tional Day and May Day, as well as dates per­tain­ing to the mil­i­tary such as the Na­tional De­fense Aware­ness Day each Septem­ber.

Vis­i­tors from the pub­lic must be Chi­nese na­tion­als un­less the units are per­mit­ted to re­ceive for­eign­ers. Af­ter se­cu­rity checks, they will be given a guided tour to the unit’s his­tory mu­seum, non­clas­si­fied train­ing ses­sions, and soldiers’ res­i­dences and en­ter­tain­ment venues. Fa­cil­i­ties and ex­er­cises con­cern­ing com­bat com­mand, in­tel­li­gence, com­mu­ni­ca­tions, sen­si­tive doc­u­ments, weapons and fu­els will not be opened, ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion.

“An open house can of­fer vis­i­tors a good op­por­tu­nity to see the mil­i­tary’s bar­rack cul­tures, troops’ high fight­ing spirit and achieve­ments gained through the on­go­ing re­forms,” an of­fi­cer of the PLA Na­tional De­fense Ed­u­ca­tion Of­fice said in the re­lease. “It can also en­hance the pub­lic’s un­der­stand­ing and con­fi­dence in our armed forces.”

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