Oddly Enough

China bans online love for soldiers

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s military officers have added matchmaking to their duties, after the government banned troops from online dating over fears that lonely hearts might let sensitive information slip, state media said on Monday.

Commanders of the 2.3 million strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are studying how to help single service members find love, the official China Daily said in a report on new rules governing what troops can and can’t do online.

Blogs are out, along with internet dating, online job hunts, and even making friends in the virtual world under the Internal Affairs Regulation, which came into effect on June 15, the report said, citing a military newspaper.

“People with ulterior motives may make use of the soldiers’ personal information and pose a threat to the safety of the army,” Yang Jigui, an officer in Tibet, was quoted by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily as saying.

His team in the town of Shigatse is seeking matchmaking help from local government offices and the Communist Party’s women’s federation, the report said.

The China Daily said an internet search had turned up personal sites with information about single soldiers and articles containing sensitive military information.

Thousands of kilometers away, in the southern island province of Hainan, a paramilitary police officer has organized a party for older unmarried cadres to meet women working at the local China Mobile branch, the PLA Daily said in a separate report.

Reporting by Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Jeremy Laurence