Saturday, May 14, 2011

China inches towards openness with monthly press briefings

Despite the long history of the Chinese military, the organization only held its first regular press conference on April 27, and will now do so once a month. As the PLA unveils ultramodern platforms like the J-20 stealth fighter, the need for better communication can no longer be ignored. How much valuable information will emerge from this exercise remains to be seen 

The Chinese Ministry of National Defence will hold a regular monthly press conference to enhance openness and communication with the rest of the world, Chinese media have reported.

The press conferences, which will be held on the last Wednesday afternoon every month, will be hosted by ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng or Yang Yujun, deputy director of the ministry’s Information Affairs Office. The first regular press conference was held on 27 April.

‘Our press conference aims to spread important information about China’s national defence and military buildup in a timely matter and to help the world better understand China’s armed forces’, Xinhua quoted Geng as saying.

My article, published today in Jane’s Defence Weekly, continues here, with reactions from the Pentagon and Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (subscription required). My Taipei Times piece on the same subject, published on May 16, can be accessed here.

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