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China’s Military Recruiting Targets Science and Technology College Graduates

China’s Ministry of Defense announced that it will recruit more college graduates into the armed forces to boost its education quality.

At a Ministry of Defense press conference on August 25, Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, the military spokesperson, talked about China’s new military recruiting this year, “According to the recruitment order issued by the State Council and (the Chinese Communist Party’s) Central Military Commissions, the military will recruit soldiers twice this year. The second half-year recruitment started on August 15 and will end by September 30. The recruitment is targeting college students, focusing on college graduates at all levels, with priority given to science and technology students and skilled personnel who are needed to prepare for war. … The age limit for masters’ graduates and college students has been raised to under 26 years old (it used to be 24 years). To encourage high-quality youth actively and enthusiastically to apply for enlistment, the relevant departments of the military continue to implement a series of preferential policies for enlisted college students to retain their schooling or school enrollment status, receive state education subsidies, be able to switch their college major after retiring from the military (some colleges have restrictions on students switching their major), exempt from tertiary school to college entrance exam, and receive extra points in graduate study entrance exam.”

Some commentators said that Beijing did this as part of improving its military quality and part of releasing the unemployment stress for college graduates. China’s National Statistics Bureau reported the unemployment rate as 19.9 percent for youth who are between the age of 16 and 24.

1. Net Ease, August 26, 2022
2. People’s Daily, August 15, 2022