A Chinese lawmaker said the ceiling of conscription age should be raised to recruit outstanding college graduates into the armed forces.
The existing conscription law stipulates that Chinese male citizens between 18 and 22 years of age are subject to military recruitment. In this sense, most college graduates are kept outside the threshold.
"As more and more youths go to college, the number of recruiting candidates is decreasing," said Xia He, a deputy to the National People's Congress, the national legislature, explaining that students in full-time school education can be exempted from conscription.
He proposed that relevant clauses of the conscription law be revised to conform to the current situation, so as to absorb more outstanding young people into the army.
"The scope of conscription age should be readjusted from 18-22 to 18-25 to draft college graduates, especially those with expertise," said Xia, who is also a senior officer of China's armed police.
He said the government should also promulgate policies to encourage college students and graduates to join the army, allowing them to continue college studies after their services, exempting or reducing their tuition, and helping them find jobs after military service.
(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2006)