Chinese troops warned of infiltration by 'hostile forces'

 Chinese military has barred soldiers from blogging and online chatting and will toughen political background checks on them in a bid to prevent "penetration" and "sabotage by hostile forces".

Beijing: Chinese military has barred soldiers from blogging and online chatting and will toughen political background checks on them in a bid to prevent "penetration" and "sabotage by hostile forces".

The People's Liberation Army Daily, the official mouthpiece of the military, carried the full text of a guideline issued by the Central Military Commission (CMC), headed by President Xi Jinping, stressing the need to run political background checks on officers and soldiers to "prevent penetration, sabotage by hostile forces or erosion by corrupt ideas and cultures".

The CMC also ordered tighter management over mobile phones and the Internet, forbidding personnel from blogging, online chatting or job hunting in an official capacity.

The guidelines encouraged other measures to improve the management of servicemen, including better psychological services and banned officers from imposing corporal punishments on soldiers, encroaching on soldiers' interests and taking bribes from them, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The guidelines, which took effect on Sunday, identified training, political and ideological education, as well as building grassroots Communist Party organizations as other measures to improve the army.

The new set of guidelines came amid the biggest anti- corruption crackdown in which hundreds of officers of the world's largest 2.3 million-strong army had been reprimanded, demoted or removed from their posts for problems exposed by military auditors.

Last year, 15 high-ranking officers including Xu Caihou, former vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Gu Junshan, former deputy head of the PLA General Logistics Department, were placed under investigation on suspicion of corruption.

The crackdown was also aimed at weeding out the officers loyal to the disgraced senior Communist Party leaders, Zhou Yongkang and Bo Xilai.

While Zhou is facing investigation, Bo was sentenced to life in 2013 for various charges including corruption and abuse of power.

Recent reports said a total of 4,024 officers with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or above, including 82 generals, have been the subject of scrutiny by?PLA?auditors since January 2013.