Member Opinions on discussing Geopolitical Matters.

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Staff member
I think we should keep the status quo.

On a forum like this where so many differing opinions and people from different backgrounds converge to discuss matters of a military nature there will always be political tangents. Those tangents are usually short, brief, and managed without much of a fuss. They are tolerated, up to a limit. That limit is usually to keep things from getting too heated and personal.

If political discussion is openly allowed, even in the member's club room area, I feel like emotions will run too high, and feelings will likely leak into other domains of the forum too, the important military related threads.

SDF is one of the top, openly accessible english speaking forums on PLA matters, I feel like allowing political discussion would damage our reputation, if nothing else.

Obi Wan Russell

Jedi Master
VIP Professional
I can only echo the thoughts of most of those who have already posted here, that is to say I am against allowing political debate on SD, as it would certainly lower the tone of discussion and sour the cordial and respectful atmosphere that has existed here for the nine years I have been a member. I have always had the greatest respect for Sampan's opinions in the past and hope to continue hearing his voice here for many years to come. I understand how passionately he feels on this matter but I have to disagree on this point. I'm sorry it has come to this but I honestly believe politics have no place here on SD.
Thank you Sampan for asking for our opinions.

Your interchange with Jeff, on the Ukrainian thread last Sunday caused me to pm BD, Jeff, and Webby:

I am very sorry to say, I have been very concerned for some time that your moderation of the Ukrainian thread in particular was "colored" by (in your own words) your "narrative" and your "anger", and that your definite anti -Western bent, was reflected by your "moderation" of pro-Western posters, possibly even flame-baiting or bullying those posters?

I am sorry that I didn't express my concern to you personally, but your lack of a positive response to Jeff's concerns? led me to conclude that I would meet the same response?

In light of my concerns, and in response to your request for opinions, I believe that the Sino-Defense Forum should not change the rules to allow political discourse. While I don't understand who or what prompted BD's leaving our forum, I can only conclude that he is leaving because someone questioned his very faithful leadership the Sino Defense forum?

Again, thank you for the opportunity to express our opinions, respectfully Brat


Junior Member
Personally I find discussion of military hardware, strategy and events of conflict most interesting when they include the full story of early developments, current situation and then the resulting geopolitical ramifications. It's a more holistic conversation that provides context. I think there are enough intellectually mature members of this forum able to handle this type of discussion.

Now, if the decision is to go the other way and ban 'political' discussion of any kind, then you need to remove any subjects of Territory, International Law, Political Leaders and Current Events. As they will inevitably draw out some peoples emotional or national bias - it will start with questionable editorial articles supporting their position with perhaps little supporting facts, and then grow from there. Others will then feel a need to rebut. Keep it to Military Hardware only in that case.

I would finally say that having observed this forum for many years and participating off and on over that time, I have found Sampan to be one of the most even keel moderators on the board. Where I have seen him participate in discussions he has been very fair to those who hold alternative opinions. He has asked only that people support their comments with the best facts available. Alternatively I have seen other moderators take part in discussions, come up against alternative opinions to their own, and ultimately use moderator power to issue warnings or suspension because the conversation has not gone their way or goes against their national/world view. The best forums I have seen have a simple rule: Moderators participating in a discussion do so as a member only. Moderation is only done by other moderators at their discretion; being less emotionally invested in the topic.

My 2 Cents & Thanks for opening this thread.


Junior Member
I don't post on here as often as I used or would like to anymore, but I will take a few minutes to express my opinion here.

No matter what we are looking at, we cannot look at it in a vacuum free from it's context. The context in which surrounds a nation's military is it's geo-politics.

Yes, we can talk and admire about the Liaoning and can debate about it's airwing. But if we ask slightly the deeper questions, like "Why does China want multiple aircraft carriers?" or "How / When would China use it's blue water navy?", we cannot get away from the context that the PLA is in.
Another example, it is almost impossible to seriously discuss the merits of Israel's Iron Dome without mentioning the situation Israel currently finds itself.

Am I in favour of stripping away all rules regarding "No Politics" discussions? No. What I am in favour of is loosening the rules slightly to allow some of this context in which all military is in to be discussed.

What solarz proposed in his post, IMO, is something that this forum should seriously consider.

After all, in order to truly understand something you need to understand it's context.


The Troll Hunter
Staff member
Thanks everyone for your feedback.

This already exists:

Am I in favour of stripping away all rules regarding "No Politics" discussions? No. What I am in favour of is loosening the rules slightly to allow some of this context in which all military is in to be discussed.
I will close this thread and post later if we're going to allow politics or not in discussions.


The Troll Hunter
Staff member
Hello Folks,

It seems that politics, whether you are discussing them or changing rules to allow political discussions on a forum, are a contentious topic. We all want to discuss politics but very few of us want to deal with them and issues which follow.

I started this forum as the place for Chinese defense and military issues. And we've built an exceptional team over the past 10 years to make this the top forum for chinese defense affairs. I cannot thank the moderating team enough and those who played a key role in shaping of SDF into what it is today... you know who you are. So far, our vision, goal and aspiration has been very clear and that is what makes SDF different and it is those rules and policies which allow our users to post quality and read quality content without mud slinging contests.

We all have political views and feel very strongly about them. Sure it would be nice to "create" more political content, attract more users and readership by allowing full political discussions with all their glory... but then we would be steering away from our purpose.

We already have some geopolitical discussions taking place. If you need to make a point, to support your argument, you are already doing that with political analysis of the situation/topic. Even with just limited geopolitical engagements we saw issues flaring up and users getting emotional. I just cannot waste my time in arbitrating political cat fights among members and sometimes within mods.

With that in mind, I've decided to keep status quo in place. You know the rules, follow them and respect each other as you want to be respected.

thanks and enjoy!
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