China to update military conscription system

by Han Shasha

(27.10.2011) China’s Ministry of Defense held a monthly press conference on Oct. 26. At the conference, the spokesman Yang Yujun answered a question about reviewing the amendment to China’s military conscription law. Question and answer are as follows:

Reporter: Currently, winter recruitment has started. What problems in your eyes are outstanding in the recruitment? What measures will be taken to deal with these problems?

Yang Yujun: Military service laid a solid foundation for strengthening national defense and army building. Many provinces have issued some favorable recruitment policies to encourage and attract young people to serve in the army. There has been great interest in the draft amendment of the military conscription law. China’s military has featured compulsory service ever since the NPC passed the Military Service Law in 1984. And it was amended in the year of 1998 and 2009. With the rapid development of the society, China has made some changes in the military conscription system. The amendment to the military conscription law will further improve the military conscription system and promote better army building.”


The amendment seems to refer to an amendment presented at the end of June, which is aimed at recruiting more college graduates to the military. An article published on 28 June in reads:

“China’s top legislature Monday started reviewing a draft amendment to the country’s military conscription law for the first time in 13 years with the purpose of recruiting more college students.

The draft amendment submitted to the 11th National People’s Congress standing committee removed an article that stated that full-time students can defer their military service, reported Xinhua. China should attract more better-educated recruits to its armed forces, according to the draft amendment to the Military Service Law.

It also stated that college graduates recruits with outstanding performance in the army may be directly promoted to active-duty officer posts. College students enlisted for active service may resume their studies within two years of leaving the military, according to the amendment, which also raises the maximum age for recruitment to 24 years old.

China’s military has featured compulsory service ever since the Military Service Law was passed in 1984. The law states that Chinese citizens over the age of 18 must serve in the military upon being requested to do so, except for the disabled.

Currently, most of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s new recruits are high school graduates. Upgraded weapon systems and modern warfare techniques require soldiers with more technological savvy. This has prompted the PLA to seek recruits from the country’s booming population of college graduates.

The military started enlisting college graduates in 2001. By the end of 2009, college graduates accounted for 130,000 of the PLA’s soldiers.”

Han Shasha: China to update military conscription system. People’s Daily Online, October 27, 2011. Source:

Keywords:    ⇒ China   ⇒ Conscription   ⇒ Military