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August 21, 2009

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Army marches to the Internet

CHINA'S Ministry of National Defense launched its own Website yesterday, pledging to promote transparency in army affairs and defense policy.

The Website (, approved by the Central Military Commission, "mainly issues authoritative information on China's national defense and army building," said a welcome message yesterday.

The site, which also links to an English-language version, comes at a time when China is ramping up investment in its military and introducing new high-tech weapons.

"The aim of the Defense Ministry's Website is to let the outside world know about China's defense policies ... and show off the good image of the military's powerful, cultured and peaceful forces," the message said.

The Chinese-language home page is heavy on text, and many of the pictures concentrate on showing soldiers holding children, helping in disaster relief and attending political meetings.

A picture of President Hu Jintao, wearing a tailored olive green version of the uniform jacket the late Chairman Mao Zedong made famous, sits near the top.

The page is split into sections with links for "Military Building," "Military Education" and "Defense Technology," among others, as well as news.

The pictures in the English version include one of soldiers manning what appears to be an anti-aircraft gun, but there is also a link telling people about China's peacekeeping operations.

The Website currently is in trial operation. Its content, including defense news coverage, data and documentary materials and special columns, will be improved in the future, officials said.


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