China Suppresses Online Concerns Over Looming Taiwan War

Chinese Soldiers Stand at Attention / Photo by Brandon Atkinson via Flickr

(Nov 3): Chinese state media have sought to quiet online speculation that a conflict with Taiwan may be imminent, in a sign of how heated rhetoric between Washington and Beijing was feeding public concern about the risk of war.

Chinese social media networks have seen a flurry of chatter about a possible Taiwan crisis in recent days, seemingly fueled by Beijing’s call for citizens to stockpile food and an unrelated message claiming to show the nation was preparing to mobilize military reserves. The surge came after a report by China’s state broadcaster saying that Taiwanese were hoarding their own survival supplies.

On Tuesday, the Economic Daily published a commentary urging the public “not to over read” a Ministry of Commerce statement encouraging families to stock up on some daily necessities due to supply-chain concerns. Then, late Tuesday, a social media account affiliated with the official People’s Liberation Army Daily newspaper denounced the mobilization rumours as a “vile” and “malicious fabrication.”

“It will not only cause negative impact to the state, the military and society, it could also lead to severe consequences,” said the account, Junzhengping. One screenshot of a text message widely circulated on social media urged reserves to “get ready for being recalled at anytime” because “the Taiwan issue was very grim.”

Read more at The Edge Markets 

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