China’s military newspaper, the People’s Liberation Army Daily, warned on Wednesday that China must “resolutely protect ideological and political security on the invisible battleground of cyberspace.” The call to arms against “Western hostile forces” on the Internet comes amidst a broader push for tighter Internet controls, including experiments with offensive cyber capabilities against websites that have been banned in China.
The piece begins by repeating a claim China has made often: that Internet or cyber sovereignty is a manifestation of national sovereignty. Over the past year, China has called attention to this concept in media articles and official speeches, seeking to win international recognition of its conceptualization of how the internet should be governed. The PLA Daily piece makes it clear that China’s “cyber territory” must be defended as vigorously as physical territory. The article warned that if China doesn’t occupy and defend its “cyber territory,” then nameless “hostile forces” will use it as a “bridgehead” to attack China. Continue reading
In a growing sign of how twitchy the Chinese government is as the Communist Party prepares for its leadership transition this year, the country’s military has been warned to prepare for an “ideological struggle.”
A commentary in the top official military newspaper, Liberation Army Daily, said the People’s Liberation Army must “resolutely resist the incursion of all kinds of erroneous ideas, not be disturbed by noise, not be affected by rumors, and not be drawn by undercurrents, and ensure that at all times and under all circumstances the military absolutely obeys the command of the Party central leadership, the Central Military Commission and Chairman Hu,” Reuters notes.
The call comes as the government struggles to tamp down persistent rumors of instability, or even a violent power struggle, at the very top of government. Last month, the Internet in China lit up with rumors of a coup, as stories ricocheted around social media sites like Sina Weibo that tanks and armored cars had taken to the streets in Beijing and other major cities.
Full article: PLA Must “Prepare for Struggle” (The Diplomat)