The PLA and Student Recruits: Reforming China’s Conscription System
China’s conscription system has come into focus in recent years amidst changes in the regulations governing the enlistment of college student recruits into the country’s military forces. In 2001, in accordance with the amended Regulations on Conscription Work, the People’s Liberation Army began to enlist college students with 2,000 students being conscripted that year. Since then, the number has grown significantly to a yearly intake of nearly 150,000 in 2014. This paper accordingly examines the content of these changes, the reasons behind them, and their implications.
The author argues that the driving force behind the change in the system is that the enlistment of college students is urgently needed to rapidly advance the modernization of China’s national defense and the armed forces. According to the strategic objective of adapting to conditions of informationization and informationized warfare, increased demands are placed on the quality of personnel and the need for better-educated conscripts. While this need represents the primary driver behind efforts to recruit more students, other factors include the difficult labor market for graduates as well as the increase in the proportion of college students within a declining population of those of enlistment age.
Looking to the future, it is predicted that highly-educated college students will become an increasingly significant cohort within the PLA, playing an important role as it modernizes and adapts to the dictates of warfare in the twenty-first century.
Xi’s Visit to the Philippines: Implications for China-Philippine Relations
After participation in the 26th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea and a state visit to Brunei, President Xi Jinping arrived in Manila on 20 November 2018 for a two day […]
Made in China 2025
Summary MIC 2025 is an initiative which strives to secure China’s position a global powerhouse in high-tech industries. The aim is to reduce China’s reliance on foreign technology imports and […]
A “New” Chinese Foreign Policy Under Xi Jinping?
Summary The Belt and Road Initiative, increased foreign investment and a stronger maritime policy are just some of the ways in which President Xi Jinping is pursuing a more active […]
The Great Rejuvenation? China’s Search for a New ‘Global Order’
Executive Summary This Asia Paper explores how China, a ‘partial’ global power, can set the agenda and determine the rules in a global order dominated by a declining yet unyielding […]
A Balancing Act: the 16+1 Cooperation Framework
Since 2012, the 16+1 Cooperation Framework (hereby 16+1) has been the focal point of relations between China and Central Eastern Europe (CEE). However, this initiative is marked by various asymmetries […]
Gendered Globalization: Sino-Nordic Policy Solutions
Both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Nordic countries (Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Finland) view gender equality as a social justice issue and are politically committed towards achieving […]