'One-Child' Generation Brings New Vitality to the Military
A generation of "little emperors"They have higher educational attainment, cherish greater awareness of democracy and law, and are more capable of using computers, the Internet and state-of-the- art weapons, and quick to understand modern warfare in a hi-tech era.
Many of them were government staff, white-collar or blue-collar workers, or private businessmen, before joining the Chinese People 's Liberation Army (PLA).
They are youngsters of the "one-child" generation born in the 70s and 80s of last century, when the Chinese government adopted a family planning policy, encouraging couples to have only one child. Such children are usually known as "Little Emperors", for critics describe them as the real "dictators" in the families.
An army of higher qualityFor quite a long time, people, especially many senior officers, worried about whether these "little dictators" could become qualified servicemen, fearing they would not be able to adapt themselves to strict military discipline.
Their worries are unnecessary.
"In fact, the only-child recruits to the military in large numbers these years have breathed new air into the Army," said Major General Li Heng, commander of the provincial PLA area command of northeast China Heilongjiang Province. He contended that the quality of the whole armed forces has turned all-time high along with the arrival of these young people.
Many of them have soon become backbone technicians in the Army for their good knowledge of the computer and the Internet.
In recent years, the "one-child" generation has taken up an increasingly bigger share of the military recruits, accounting for 90 percent among those from big cities and 70 percent among those from smaller cities or rich rural areas. Major Wang Xian said one third of his battalion come from one-child families.
Currently, most Chinese parents are educated and have a good awareness of the importance of national defense. "China Defense News", a Beijing-based newspaper, reports that more than 80 percent of the one-child families interviewed are willing to send their children to the Army.
According to Li Xiaokun, a senior officer from the Navy, most of these one-child youngsters said they joined the military to defense the nation and peace, and some also said they planned to train and improve themselves through military life.
The PLA has 2.5 million officers and men, whose representatives made up nine percent of the Ninth National People's Congress, now holding its annual session in Beijing.
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