BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's armed forces started its annual nationwide recruitment on Sunday, and college graduates are preferred candidates for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) 's two-year compulsory service.
According to a mandate jointly issued by the State Council and the Central Military Commission, the recruitment this year has new favored targets: graduates who finished their four-year or three year college studies in June.
The PLA and other branches of the country's armed forces used to rely heavily on senior high schools to supplement their new recruits. The new strategy has been expected to improve the military structure in terms of the education level for a better performance in dealing with modern warfare.
Recruiting offices in Beijing and Shanghai require applicants to have a senior high school degree or above.
The PLA usually recruits men aged 18 to 20 and women aged 18 or19, but the age limit this year has been raised to 24 for those with bachelor degrees.
Most of college students in China take part in month-long military trainings on campus or in military bases, usually in their first month of campus life.
China's State Council revised the government's recruitment regulations in September 2001 to enlist college students for the first time in a pilot scheme. More than 2,000 students were recruited that year.