This year saw the largest recruitment of graduates ever from Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Xinhua reports that 19 graduates have chosen to join the army instead of pursuing a civilian career post graduation.
According to Chinese conscription authorities, of the 540 army recruits hailing from Beijing this year, almost 60 percent are university undergraduates or graduates.
In order to compete with Chinese universities, the PLA is now recruiting potential soldiers in the summer, in line with university practices, and not the winter.
The government has also introduced a number of new policies and measures designed to attract educated young men and women to the army. These tactics, along with new summer recruitments, has proved successful in satisfying the PLA’s need for educated soldiers to man its fancy new high-tech weapons and equipment.
The 19 graduates from Tsinghua, along with the other new army recruits, were dispatched to their barracks across the country from their homes on September 5 to begin their training.
The PLA is using these new soldiers to bolster its presence in Tibet. 635 additional service people, accompanied by veterans and psychologists with experience in Tibet, have been dispatched to the region. The recruits are joined by the veterans and psychologists due to the high tendency of altitude sickness and psychological challenges Chinese soldiers face while stationed in the mountainous area.
[By Ellen Huber // Image credit: Patrick Rodwell]