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China Curbs Minimum Eligibility As Military Recruitment Faces Shortage

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The Chinese military has decreased the minimum eligibility selection marks as it faces a big crunch in finding soldiers to serve in the nation’s military force.

As per a source, following a decrease in the trend for finding suitable candidates, “The National Defence University which used to recruit candidates for the military academies and schools has lowered its eligibility criteria to 573 marks from the earlier of 600 marks.”

While, China plans to modernize the PLA by 2035, aiming to make it a world-class force by 2050, its recruitment process has been reformed over the years, with a selection criterion for specialized military jobs. Along the same lines, China has also organized its entire country into five theatre commands. The recruitment also seeks academically sound candidates who could serve on the Information and Strategic Support front for China’s military might.

Another major step that China has taken is the ‘wartime recruitment’ plan. According to this plan, veterans could be recruited at various positions of both government and military as per requirements. As per a source, “The Ministry of Veterans Affairs issued a draft regulatory change in July this year which has proposed changes in the conscription regulations with first time spelling out how the authorities will enlist the veterans and the conscripts.”

China’s one-child policy, implemented in 1979 and scrapped in 2016, is now allowing couples to legally have a third child. As China’s working population continues to fall, the government has been making amends. New measures in finance, taxation, schooling, housing and employment were being introduced to “to ease the burden on families” to handle the third child. As per statistics, 12 million babies were born in 2020, which would be down 18% from 2019’s 14.6 million.

As per an army officer, the second major problem that China faces is the lack of motivation and morale, especially with the recruits, where soldiers try to finish off their tenure to leave for better avenues.

As reported by an Indian newspaper, Chinese officials and recruitment agencies were focusing on Tibetan youths to make up for the arising issues in finding the soldiers suitable to serve at high altitude on a prolonged deployment. The newspaper also reported that the first two batches were already enlisted with the first one with the 100 soldiers deployed into the strategic Chumbi valley which lies in between India and Bhutan. Currently, the Indian Army and China’s PLA are in a tense standoff posture at various points along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

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