Beijing: China's military is accepting recruits who are heavier and have more visible tattoos, conceding to rising prosperity and individuality among the nation's young.
In keeping with a drive for better educated recruits, the military also will pay an additional CNY 6,000 (USD 944) annually to university students who take time off to serve and their university places will be reserved for them.
The changes announced by the Defence Ministry on Wednesday took effect during the military's winter recruitment drive. The People's Liberation Army is the world's largest with 2.3 million people in uniform.
The ministry said would-be recruits will no longer be failed for having face or neck tattoos as long as the body art doesn't exceed 3/4 of an inch (2 centimetres).
The changes also allow for body weight up to 25 percent greater or 15 percent lower than the military's standard, in contrast to the former limits of 20 percent greater and 10 percent lower.
China's educated youth are becoming increasingly selective about jobs at the same time as the military rapidly modernises.
First Published: Wednesday, November 02, 2011, 13:41