Monday, November 9, 2009

China: National Day Parade Inspires Women Recruits

From China Today:
The number of female army applicants has surged by 300 percent, with many women saying they were inspired by the National Day parade.

Ding Zhengquan, the spokesman for the recruitment office of Beijing municipal government, said more than 3,000 women from Beijing had applied to join the army.

About 1,200 girls had passed preliminary screening and begun medical examinations as of yesterday.

Speaking to METRO, Ding said the surge is linked to the performance of the women's squad during the Oct 1 military parade in Tian'anmen Square.

China is under tremendous pressure to find jobs for its 6.1 million college students that graduated this year. Of the 1,200 candidates in the medical exam yesterday, 90 percent were university students.

It is the first year that the People's Liberation Army has recruited directly from the public. In the past, women had to be recommended to become recruits. The criteria for female soldiers is extremely high. It is open to women aged 18 to 24 and they must have at least a high school degree.

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