Soldiers assigned to an army aviation brigade under the PLA 72nd Group Army queue to board a Mi-171 transport helicopter prior to a fast-roping training exercise on September 19, 2020. The aviation brigade and a combined arms unit jointly conduct training subjects including force projection, fast-roping and firepower striking, so as to beef up troops‘ cooperative engagement and multi-dimensional defense penetration capabilities. (eng.chinamil.cn/Photo by Zhang Huanpeng)
The Chinese People‘s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command, responsible for the Taiwan Straits and one of the most exercise-intensive PLA commands this year, has disciplined a soldier for leaking classified intelligence by mobile phone, the command recently revealed.
The soldier, a private first class surnamed Chen, used to serve in an undisclosed coastal defense brigade under the PLA Eastern Theater Command Army. He bought a second-hand mobile phone without permission, and on several occasions during training and missions, used this unauthorized phone for discussing classified military information and sending photos involving military secrets via chat applications such as WeChat and QQ with family members and friends, and exposed his identity as a soldier in mobile phone games. These actions eventually led to the leaking of classified intelligence, media reported on Wednesday, citing a statement released by the Eastern Theater Command on Monday.
In accordance with the PLA‘s disciplinary regulations, Chen has been demoted and made to retire from active service early, the statement said, noting that Chen‘s superiors were also disciplined. The main military and political officers at his company received executive warnings, and the squad leader was transferred from the post and received a disciplinary probation of three months.
Soldiers and officers must have a strong sense of confidentiality, keep network security in mind and closely abide by related disciplinary regulations, the command said.
Responsible for the Taiwan Straits, the PLA Eastern Theater Command has been one of the most exercise-intensive PLA commands this year. In addition to many regular and routine exercises, the command has been holding large-scale military drills in the Taiwan Straits, including a series of real combat-oriented exercises since Friday, which are targeting the current cross-Straits situation, according to Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, spokesperson at the Ministry of National Defense.