China's military turns on charm offensive

A soldier (left) serenading the camera, complete with a Korean "finger heart" gesture and superimposed emojis; and soldiers (right) performing a synchronised dance in -10 deg C weather. Light-hearted posts such as these are a hit on Chinese video-sha
A soldier (left) serenading the camera, complete with a Korean "finger heart" gesture and superimposed emojis; and soldiers (right) performing a synchronised dance in -10 deg C weather. Light-hearted posts such as these are a hit on Chinese video-sharing platform Douyin, with military accounts among the most popular government postings on the platform.PHOTOS: DOUYIN
From left: A soldier serenading the camera, complete with a Korean "finger heart" gesture and superimposed emojis; a soldier's military-themed wedding photo shoot featuring a dramatic underwater scene; and soldiers performing a synchronised dance in
A soldier's military-themed wedding photo shoot (above) featuring a dramatic underwater scene. Light-hearted posts such as this are a hit on Chinese video-sharing platform Douyin, with military accounts among the most popular government postings on the platform.PHOTO: DOUYIN

Light-hearted videos of soldiers win fans in PLA's social media push

Kneeling on the ground, a soldier in full camouflage lights a mosaic of tealights that forms the Chinese characters for "happy birthday".

He and his platoon mates then sing a hearty birthday song to his sweetheart.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 13, 2019, with the headline 'China's military turns on charm offensive'. Print Edition | Subscribe