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Military Personnel to Undergo Psychological Tests
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Starting this year, Chinese citizens will need to pass psychological tests if they want to pursue a career in the military, the Liberation Army Daily has reported.

The tests, which have been piloted for two years, will become standard in June, when military academies start annual recruitment, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said the tests, which include computer-based written tests and face-to-face interview, aim to find out whether the applicants are suited to a military career.

Staff from 140 recruitment organizations and check-up agencies were trained in May in the Fourth Military Medical University in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, according to the newspaper.

A psychological testing recruitment center had been set up in the university with the approval of People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Headquarters and the PLA General Logistics Department.

The center is responsible for formulating and improving test standards, researching and upgrading the surveillance network, staff training and technical support.

Applicants for military strategy majors should finish 700 to 800 questions in a one-hour written exam, while applicants for technology majors should finish 400 to 500, before being granted an interview, sources with the medical university said.

Psychological tests have been used by the PLA since the 1950s to help select pilots and astronauts.

With China increasingly aware of the importance of good mental health among its armed forces, the PLA headquarters issued a set of new recruitment rules last year, requiring that China's military colleges carry out drug and psychological tests when recruiting would-be military officials.

Tests have been a part of PLA recruitment since 2006.

Earlier reports said the PLA recruitment office and research departments started piloting the psychological tests in 2002 in over 400 cities and counties. Over 100,000 applicants had taken the tests.

(Xinhua News Agency May 28, 2007)

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