BEIJING - The People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Ministry of Education plan to open an online recruitment service for the first time to mobilize college graduates this year, a move seen as an effort to sharpen the army's high-tech edge.
The PLA plans to recruit some 150,000 college graduates this year, according to a statement released after a meeting held Thursday by the PLA General Staff Headquarters and the ministry.
Last year, China announced a series of preferential policies to encourage more young people with higher education to serve in the army, including a one-off payment of up to 24,000 yuan ($3,500) for the student-turned soldiers. The money, paid by the central government, roughly equals the tuition cost of a four-year university education in China.
Some 130,000 college graduates applied to join the army in 2009 and more than 100,000 were recruited, statistics from the statement show.
Moreover, the age limit has been extended to 24 for those with a bachelor degree. The PLA recruits usually recruits men aged between 18 and 20 and women aged 18 or 19.