China expands military draft to veterans and students

Lazy eyes listen


This week, China updated its conscription policy, stating that persons with military experience, as well as college students, will be prioritised on military draught lists if the country enters a war.

The amendments, prepared by the State Council and the Central Military Commission, aim “to provide institutional guarantees for consolidating national defence and building strong armed forces,” the government said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the statement, the new rules, which go into effect on May 1, will assist the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in “recruiting more high-caliber soldiers” and boosting the effectiveness of the conscription system.

According to the Chinese military daily, PLA Daily, prioritising the recruitment of competent veterans will allow the army to rapidly expand its combat capability in the case of conflict.

Conscription of educated college students would increase the PLA’s overall quality and ease its transformation into a “professionalised force,” according to Chinese military analyst Song Zhongping, who spoke to the Global Times newspaper.

The PLA Daily further emphasised that such an approach is consistent with the Chinese Armed Forces’ goal of “acceleration of mechanisation, informatization, and intelligentization.” According to a commander who talked with the media, the military is looking for both male and female students or graduates, particularly those with a background in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

China, which has the world’s largest military with 2 million personnel, intends to finish modernising its forces by 2035.

The modifications to the draught rules come amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington, following the downing of what the US claimed was a Chinese “spy balloon” in February, and discussions earlier this month in California between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

China responded to Tsai’s tour of the United States by conducting large-scale manoeuvres around Taiwan, simulating a blockade of the island.