Opinion\Op-Ed Contributors

Timely news on military will boost public confidence

By Shen Jinke | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-16 06:56

The official micro blog or weibo of the People's Liberation Army Air Force has sparked a heated discussion online by posting a piece of news saying the air force's planes have flown on routes and over areas which they had never flown before.

While gaining likes from many netizens, the post has also prompted some to ask: Where has our air force extended the radius of its activities?

It is important to reiterate a few things here. First, under the guidance of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, our air force is determined to turn into a force capable of winning any war in the new era. Second, all our flights are in accordance with international law and international practices. Third, the air force is developing into a modernized strategic and powerful corps with Chinese characteristics that can fight on all of frontiers, and remains committed to safeguarding the nation's airspace security and strategic interests.

Its weibo account is the only platform where the air force releases its news. Since its opening on Nov 10, 2015, the account has published numerous pieces of news and information aimed at raising its capability to transmit information, and influence and guide public opinion.

The air force is on the fast track to build itself into a force that is always prepared for actual combat with a strategic air command and win wars. In this process, it has experienced historic changes. A series of activities conducted by the air force, including the training activities of J-20 fighters and Y-20 transport airplanes in formations, the several flights over of Miyako Strait by fighter jets, the patrols by bombers over Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, and the opening of new flying routes by air force surveillance aircraft, were all published first on the PLA Air Force's official weibo account.

These news releases have drawn a lot of readers, and many of them have been published or telecast by social and traditional media outlets, including news channels such as China Central Television and local TV networks. And some journalists keep a regular watch on the air force's weibo account.

The era of the internet is also an era of "information quest". Media outlets are always thirsty for information. However, the desperate and constant thirst for information usually prompts some media outlets to seek information through unsafe channels.

While supplying timely and updated developments of the air force, its official weibo account firmly abides by the principle of providing correct information to guide public opinion. And since there is a need to publicize troops buildup in the era of the internet, it is incumbent upon us to optimize the supply of correct and timely information. It is also important for us to strengthen and deepen information transmission so that we can solicit better opinion on military preparations and events through timely release of information.

Timely and correct transmission of information, especially those related to the military, is like a weapon that can enhance public confidence, and provide scientific guidance. Optimized information supply can also help the air force have a bigger say in and transmit positive energy to society.

To optimize information supply, we should first adhere to the principle of information safety. Online information that is applauded by netizens does not necessarily bring positive energy. We should evaluate those pieces of information that attract good opinions, especially those related to the military, cautiously. While supplying information on our military, we should judge whether such kind of information is conducive to the safety of our military moves and equipment, and whether it will help safeguard the country's national security and development interests.

More importantly, we should also adhere to the principle of guiding public opinion when it comes to military activities, so as to not lose ground to foreign sources of information.

The author is a spokesperson for the People's Liberation Army Air Force.

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