In one his first Weibo posts, General Luo Yuan described social media as a critical “battleground” in modern society. As his first week on the service draws to a close, it seems that his comparison was spot on, though he appears to have misjudged the combatants.
His use of the service for bizarre and blatant self-aggrandizement was met with a quick and brutal response by critical Chinese netizens, as Offbeat China has observed. An ally account, Sina Military, came to Yuan’s defense by claiming he had been hacked, but this route of retreat was cut off with further criticism – netizens attacked the security practices of the famous general.
For the time being, it appears that Luo Yuan has retreated to the safety of rhetoric. Most of his recent posts have dealt with national defense issues, most notably the Diaoyu Island conflict. It seems, however, that his penchant for self-promotion might remain, albeit in more muted fashion. Here’s a recent post detailing strategic policy concerning the disputed islands:
《A Few Points Regarding the Protection of National Ocean Rights》（Proposals already adopted) First, to establish “National Oceans Day,” to strengthen all peoples’ awareness of oceans. Secondly, to make clear the “Six Existences” (Administration, Legality, National Defense, Law Enforcement, Economic Interests, and Public Opinion) for practical defense of sea rights. Thirdly, to accelerate naval modernization efforts. Fourth, to found a “National Sea Committee,” to facilitate the formulation of 《PRC Sea Strategy》.
The “Six Existences” theory serves as an excellent example of the delightfully vague CCP slogans so prevalent in Chinese politics. It also appears to have been invented by Luo Yuan himself in direct reference to the Diaoyu Island conflict, and has been propagated through his writings since mid-summer 2012.
It’s difficult to extrapolate from passing references such as these, but it seems clear that Luo Yuan continues to love the limelight, and remains extremely confident of his own ideas. The General continues to log daily activity on the microblog, and is sure to keep the world up to date with his next big idea. We’ll be sure to pass it along.