According to a report by Xinhua, the Chinese Armed Forces are due to start their winter recruitment on 1 November 2005, according to an order jointly issued by the State Council and the Central Military Commission.
It urges governments and military recruitment departments at different levels to take it as a serious political task and ensure a completion of the recruitment.
Those who are qualified to be recruited by the Army include rural youth with the least educational background of junior middle and urban youngsters with a schooling of high school or even higher. "It is essential to recruit as many high school graduates from the countryside as possible," it says.
The age group for male candidates ranges from 18 to 20 years, while for women, it spans between 18 and 19, according to the document.
Meanwhile, high school graduates aged 17 years could also be accepted upon their own will, the order says.
Theoretically, all citizens of the People's Republic of China have the duty of performing military service, according to Article 3 of the Military Service Law of 1984. In practice, military service with the People's Liberation Army is voluntary; all 18-year-old males have to register themselves with the government authorities, in a way similar to the Selective Service System of the United States. The main exception to this system applies to potential university students, who are required to undergo military training before their courses commence, according to chapter VIII of the military service law.
Source: CRI Online, 31 October 2005, Armed Forces to Start Recruiting