A new regulation by China’s People Liberation Army (PLA) bans China’s approximately 2.5 million soldiers (the vast majority of which are male) from online dating (including advertising for wives), social networking or blogging.
The regulation took effect on June 15, but according to one anonymous soldier quoted by the China Daily, ““We had the similar rules the first day I became a soldier. The ban just makes it official.”
The official ban was put in place apparently out of fear that soldiers would leak military secrets, including troop positions, as well as possibly leading to cyber attacks. A PLA colonel was quoted by the China Daily as saying, ““Soldiers should not take part in any Internet interaction, even if they try to cover up their military identities, because they cannot ensure they will not be revealing any information relating to their job, including something they may consider irrelevant.”
So what’s a lonely soldier in the 21st century in China to do? Well, go to bi-monthly dating socials, apparently, where they can meet “reliable civilians”. On the other side of the coin, PLA soldiers are also some of the most sought after husbands in China for a number of reasons, including financial stability, high social status, and well, because they’re tall (there is a height requirement), so all those well off, respected and tall soldiers just got a little harder for China’s women to get to know. Don’t feel too bad for the women, however – there are approximately 30 million more men in China than women.
On a more serious note though, the solider quoted in the China Daily also had this to say about not having full access to the Internet: “We are not familiar with current affairs or popular social topics, which makes it hard for many demobilized soldiers to blend into society,” which must certainly be true as a solider in the world’s largest army, in a country with the world’s largest online population.