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China Boosts Subsidized Student Enrollment for National Defense Units
According to sources from the General Political Department of People’s Liberation Army (PLA), more than 4,000 students will be enrolled by 65 non-military universities for national defense units this year. This will include Tsinghua University and Peking University. The move is seen to strengthen the rapid development of PLA by introducing higher technology skills into the force.

The news issued via the Xinhua News Agency shows that more than 4,000 students will be enrolled in over 30 provinces and municipalities for China’s military sector.

Military units have been taking new recruits from non-military universities for several years in order to solve the deficient supply of military graduates. The recruiting number this year however marks a new record.

Every student who is to be enrolled for national defense units will enjoy a 5,000 yuan (US$600) grant each year by subscribing to a national defense subsidy agreement with the enrolling university and the national defense unit. The grant amount will be adjusted according to changes in university tuition fees and market prices.

Students enrolled for the national defense sector will have the same classes as normal university students; the only difference being that after graduation they will work for the army.

There are over 60 military colleges in China at present. They recruit freshmen from senior high school students each year. But this doesn’t fully fit the needs of China’s military reconstruction.

According to officials from the General Political Department of the PLA, it is necessary to recruit higher quality candidates to the army to guarantee its redevelopment and transformation. "The military will speed up training in order to develop more high quality military personnel," an official noted.

"In order to realize this rapid development and achieve the information and mechanization reconstruction of the PLA, a large quantity of new military talent is a must," he said.

It has been said that military authorities have made great attempts to attract and retain new talent by providing more convenient working environments.

(China.org.cn by Wang Zhiyong, April 29, 2003)

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