China relaxes tattoo, weight rules for army recruits

Updated: 2011-11-02 11:48

By Xu Pingting (

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China's annual winter army conscription is underway with lower standards set to allow recruits with small tattoos and excessive weight to enlist.

Under the new rules, youths with tattoos on the face or neck smaller than 2 cm in diameter will not fail the physical examination currently underway across all China's major cities until Nov 8.

Male enlistees with up to 25 percent more than the standard weight will also get a pass compared to 20 percent last year. The rule on underweight recruits has been eased allowing 15 percent less than the standard to join up, compared to 10 percent in 2010.

Three days ago, China's top legislature, The National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee amended the nation's Military Service Law, aimed at recruiting more well-educated young people into the army.

College students who suspend their studies to serve will get 6,000 yuan ($948) in tuition fees for each academic year.

In Beijing on Nov 1, more than 1,000 youths took the physical examination in hospitals across the capital.

China's military has featured compulsory service ever since the National People's Congress (NPC) passed the Military Service Law in 1984, but it is rarely enforced due to the number of volunteers. The law states that Chinese citizens over the age of 18 must serve in the military upon being requested to do so, except for disabled people.

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