BEIJING – China's armed forces have shut down newspapers published by the country's seven military regions as part of a program to downsize and streamline the world's largest standing military.
The papers, including "War Flag," "Vanguard," ''People's Frontline" and "Comrade in Arms," have been gradually superseded by official news and propaganda television and websites for soldiers whose access to the Internet and smart phones is restricted.
The military's People's Liberation Army Daily said all the publications ceased publishing last week. The oldest, "Soldiers News," dated from 1930.
China is cutting 300,000 personnel from the 2.3 million-member military, reorganizing its command structure and jettisoning non-essential functions such as arts troupes.
The reforms also aim to strengthen Communist Party control over the military, as China becomes more assertive in pressing its maritime claims.