4 Reasons Nobody is Joining China's Military

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In recent years, Beijing has undertaken serious military downsizing measures by cutting nearly 300,000 soldiers from its land-based forces in 2019. The PLA is still massive at 2 million personnel however when we consider the fact that their population is 1.4 billion…the percentage who serve is only .15% which is lower than that of the US and the majority of countries worldwide. At the same time China has invested billions of dollars in defense modernization initiatives.

Written by: Chris Cappy and Tony
Edited by: Michael Michaelides

So wait a second, if they are cutting forces why are they having recruitment problems? Partly Because having more modern weaponry means you need to be able to attract technologically skilled recruits. This is because your recruits need to be smarter and better trained in order to operate this equipment instead of just raw manpower. Higher standards means a smaller pool of recruits to draw from. This is especially true for advanced warships and fighter jets.

A national census in 2020 showed the proportion of pla personnel with higher education had increased to 57% from just over half in 2010. Still, that number was well short of the PLA’s target of around 70%. And to make matters worse the proportion of recruits with postgraduate degrees had declined. In fact, if the PLA just wants to recruit more infantrymen for the army, there will be no difficulties at all. As a former infantryman myself I can tell you when I joined they were accepting anyone with a warm pulse. How do you think I got in?

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