About 90 percent of the more than 100 demobilized soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Macao garrison signed work contracts with civilian employers on Friday upon their return from the Special Administrative Region (SAR).
"The PLA Macao garrison has paid great attention to the cultivation of an all-around quality of officers and soldiers and encouraged them to develop specialties in accordance with their own interest," said a Macao garrison spokesman.
He said the troop organized professional training courses, such as computers, maintenance of household appliances, literature and special courses in dancing, writing and music, among others. They were also encouraged to attend courses in both military and civilian colleges and to gain academic degrees.
About 60 percent of the soldiers slated to transfer to civilian work before the end of the year have attained professional certificates in computers or domestic maintenance. In addition, 30 percent earned college degrees while in service, according to the garrison.
The soldiers were transferred to civilian work at a time when the PLA Macao Garrison made its eighth rotation of troops since 2000. The troop rotation was carried out in the early hours on Friday, to avoid disturbing residents, according to military sources.
This year's rotation has not brought about any change to the amounts of personnel and military equipment.
In December of 1999, China resumed its sovereignty over Macao and began deploying troops there.
China has transferred about 256,000 members of its 2.3-million-member military to civilian work over the past three years. It has also rearranged jobs and residences for more than 60,000 of their family members, according to the Ministry of Personnel.
(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2007)