Soldiers need to remain alert to possible espionage and strictly protect confidential information as other countries try to learn more about China's military units, a Chinese expert warned, following an incident in the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) Northern Theater Command reportedly involving an attempt to acquire information over the phone.
Some unspecified persons claiming to be a senior officer and someone attached to an officer contacted the Northern switchboard, asking to be connected to some departments and required about some confidential information on the units and their combat readiness, the PLA Daily reported on Tuesday.
This attempted espionage was quickly halted thanks to the alertness of some officers who intervened, but it also caught the attention in the Northern Command, PLA Daily noted.
"China is undergoing major reforms in its military and some countries are eager to scoop up any information they can get. All soldiers need to be on alert for such activities, especially in telecommunication," Li Daguang, a professor at the PLA'a National Defense University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Li said that all rules on dealing with confidential information need to be strictly followed and the army needs to educate soldiers more on how to deal with spying.
According to the report of the PLA Daily, the Northern Command started some education programs on confidentiality, spying, and countermeasures.
Soldiers are not allowed to reveal personal information on social media, send or receive mail or packages via their army unit, opening GPS on their phone, or keeping any information on military officers on their phone, the report said.
PLA Daily reported in May that the military's Rocket Force opened a mobile phone security platform to protect smart phone use.
The Northern Command also tightened its management of core personnel, improving their political awareness. The education programs on confidentiality have been expanded to personnel working in logistics.