Beijing: For the first time in 23 years, the Chinese military, the world`s largest, has changed its enrolment period to attract more talented people, officials said.
An online recruitment service run by the Ministry of National Defence (MND) will be ready for applications and will conduct recruiting procedures, including body check-ups, from August 1, a statement said.
The statement said that the new recruitment period follows the graduation season and will help attract more talented young people to the army.
Previously, recruitment period began in October, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Sources said the decision has been approved by the Cabinet and the Central Military Commission, which controls the 2.3 million strong People`s Liberation Army (PLA).
The MND asked conscription authorities across the country to prioritise admissions of better-educated young applicants.
The Chinese military started recruiting college graduates in 2001. More than 1.3 lakh PLA soldiers were college graduates as of the end of 2009.
To help the military recruit more students, the country`s top legislature amended the Military Service Law in 2011, raising the maximum age for recruits to 24. China has also relaxed restrictions regarding the height, weight and appearance of recruits since then.