CHINA / MILITARY
China's amendment of the military service law highlights the role of non-commissioned officer, 'key to modernization': expert
Published: Aug 23, 2021 01:28 AM
A convoy of truck-mounted artillery attached to a regiment under the PLA Xinjiang Military Command maneuver in speed en route to an assembly area for a round-the-clock field live-ammunition firing training in mid August, 2021.Photo:China Military

A convoy of truck-mounted artillery attached to a regiment under the PLA Xinjiang Military Command maneuver in speed en route to an assembly area for a round-the-clock field live-ammunition firing training in mid August, 2021. Photo:China Military


China on Friday updated its military service law with changes on the welfare of military personnel and the system of registration for military service. The amended law is scheduled to be enforced starting October.

One of the highlights of the amendment is the establishment of the predominant role of volunteers, or non-commissioned officers, in the military service system as this change will keep and attract more talented and professional personnel in military units that operate high technology equipment. This will then contribute to the modernization of the Chinese military, experts said on Sunday.

With 65 articles and 11 chapters, the most recent amendment of China's military service law was adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Friday, according to reports by Xinhua News Agency.

First adopted in 1984, the military service law has been amended in 1998, 2009, and 2011, Xinhua said.

Compared with the previous edition, the latest amendment made new adjustments to the welfare system of military personnel based on the economic and social development of the country as well as the development of national defense and the military, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

The new amendment made innovative designs and optimized the policies on military service, with a focus on attracting more to join the service, encouraging the enlisted, and guaranteeing the interests of veterans, CCTV noted.

The revised law relaxed age restrictions for well-educated personnel and made it clear that citizens will keep their household registration when enlisted.

Noting that institutions responsible for military service affairs shall be established in colleges and universities, the revised law also pledges to keep the confidentiality of personal information and strengthen the protection of the rights and interests of female military personnel, Xinhua said.

These changes are made mainly to attract people to join the military without worrying about treatment and welfare, an expert on Chinese military service policies who requested to remain anonymous told the Global Times on Sunday.

The updated military service law also highlights the predominant role of volunteers in the military service system. As non-commissioned officers, they will become the main body of the Chinese military, CCTV pointed out.

Compared with conscripts who can only remain in active service for two years, volunteers can generally serve no more than 30 years or to the age of 55.

Conscripts could become non-commissioned officers after approval and citizens with professional skills in non-military departments could also be recruited as non-commissioned officers.

By letting non-commissioned officers to become the main body, the Chinese military can attract more talented personnel and keep them for a longer time rather than letting them go after only two years, when they might just have mastered related skills, the expert said, noting that previously only a limited number of people could be approved to become non-commissioned officers.

With the goal of modernization, the Chinese military is acquiring more technology-intensive equipment, which requires stable, long-term service talents who are familiar with these technologies, the expert said, adding that by making this change, the latest amendment of the military service law will boost the combat capability and modernization of the Chinese military.


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