A full-page spread on what to do in the event of a nuclear weapons attack published in a provincial newspaper Wednesday has been shared widely on social media across China.
The five-part guide was published in Jilin Daily, a state-owned newspaper serving Jilin province in China’s northeast, which borders North Korea. The feature explains how nuclear weapons work, what safety precautions people can take, and what happened in past attacks around the world.
“Once you see the flashing explosions and gathering smoke … everyone both indoors and outdoors must take rapid, precise action to survive,” one paragraph reads, alongside illustrated instructions. Another part urges residents to prepare an emergency kit for a quick escape.
The article comes amid increased tensions with North Korea over the state’s nuclear program and missile tests. On Monday, South Korea and the U.S. began large-scale military air drills over the Korean peninsula that will continue all week, and South Korean president Moon Jae-in is scheduled to visit China on Dec. 13.
Wang Sheng, professor of international politics at Jilin University, told Sixth Tone that the publication of nuclear warfare information at such a sensitive time could easily trigger public confusion and panic.
“Many people in China are prepared for the worst-case scenario,” Wang commented. But if nuclear war ever came to pass, he noted, the northeastern region of China would be most at risk. “In this sense, it helps the public protect and save themselves if they’re equipped with basic knowledge about nuclear radiation or nuclear weapons,” Wang said.
Established by the Communist Party in 1945, Jilin Daily has published material on nuclear education before. Xu Yucheng, the deputy director of the Jilin People’s Air Defense Office, which authored the guide in today’s newspaper, told The Beijing News that the article aims to strengthen national defense education. Compared with countries like Japan, Xu said, China hasn’t “done enough” to educate people about nuclear warfare and radiation.
Editor: Qian Jinghua.
(Header image: Archive Photos/VCG)