China military accepts heavier, tattooed recruits
Beijing: China's military is accepting
heavier recruits and will no longer reject people for sporting
prominent tattoos as it steps up a drive to attract young, new
entrants, state media said on Wednesday.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) already 2.3
million strong is on a major charm offensive to attract
recruits, particularly from a booming student population that
has become more wealthy and fashionable.
As such, the army has relaxed some of the stringent
standards governing health examinations for this year's winter
army conscripts, according to a Beijing News report posted on
the defence ministry's website.
It said that men sporting tattoos less than two
centimetres in diametre on their faces or necks would now be
allowed into the army.
The report added that male soldiers would be accepted
if they weighed up to 25 per cent more than the "standard
weight" compared to last year's 20 per cent.
According to Contemporary Medicine, a medical journal
managed by China's health ministry, a person's standard weight
in kilos is calculated by subtracting 110 from his or her
height in centimetres.
The changes come as the PLA targets young people --
and particularly educated graduates -- to bring skills the
army needs to modernise.
As the Chinese grow more and more affluent, their
waistlines have also expanded with richer diets. Many of the
nation's youth, meanwhile, have grown more fashion-conscious
Highlighting its drive to attract qualified youth, the
ministry has also decided to pay up to USD 944 every year to
university students who enrol in the army, to help them pay
off their education, the report said.
The number of graduates in China has grown from 3.38
million in 2005 to 6.3 million in 2010, colonel Jiang Jiping
-- in charge of recruitment in the PLA -- told reporters in