By Ma Huaqing
Ren Jie, a 27-year-old colonel in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Department, recently became something of a minor celebrity on the Chinese web.
Ren’s claim to fame was that, according to her Weibo profile, she held the deputy division rank of colonel, a remarkable achievement for such a young woman.
Ren also claimed to be the “No.1 Woman in the General Staff Department” and recipient of the title “National Achievement of Individual Excellence” in 2011. Justifying her high status for her young age, she said that she joined the PLA as a soldier athlete, and therefore had to enlist when she was only 3-years-old.
Ren’s profile irritated many netizens, both those who saw her as a sham and sought to expose her, and those who believed her story and despaired at the apparent corruption of the PLA:
If you paid 13 cents and bought a captain’s badge to wear, I might believe it. But claiming that you are only 27-years-old and a deputy division colonel, you are simply insulting my IQ as well as my level of understanding of the Chinese military.
Guo Meimei destroyed the Red Cross Society, and now Ren Jie is destroying the Army?!
With her looks, she dares to call herself the “No. 1 lady”?! I think she’s not even qualified to be a prostitute in the army.
What a corrupted army! Even China’s last line of defence has collapsed. How to be patriotic? Love whose country?
Ordinary people are not aware of the darkness, bureaucracy and corruption in the army.
This account existed 2 years ago. Back then, Ren Jie claimed to be the “assistant commander” of the 38th Army as well as a member of the “Whistling Arrow SWAT Team“. I have contacted these two units and they have no records of her. The police have also investigated her for fraud, so please stay alert, especially Weibo editors in charge of account verification. Even if her identity is real, her verified account may have violated the law and revealed state secrets.
On the same day, relevant organs from the PLA confirmed that Ren Jie was not an enlisted soldier, and the information on her profile was completely fabricated. Military authorities and the local police are currently investigating the matter and may take legal action against Ren for fraudulent misrepresentation. Her Weibo account has now been closed.