Join the PLA and kill, kill, kill!

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Over the years there have been many and varied ways for governments to persuade their citizens to join the military.

Last year the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) released a 4.5-minute video to attract recruits. Now the PLA has outdone itself with yet another recruitment visual bonanza, this time covering all the services.

The fast-paced video put together by the PLA and released on 2 May – available through a link on the Ministry of National Defense’s website – showcases personnel and equipment from all four services.

The video employs rap rock-style music as it seeks to draw in raw recruits to feed the PLA’s insatiable appetite for fodder. However, that appetite cannot be as large as it once was, with President Xi Jinping announcing on 1 September 2015 that the PLA would cut personnel numbers by 300,000.

However, the fact remains that the PLA must continue to recruit each year to fill the ranks of the world’s largest military force, which currently stands at 2.3 million.

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The video highlights the sophistication of PLA equipment, with J-10 and J-11 fighters, Z-19 attack helicopters, Z-8 helicopters, destroyers, modern tanks, ZBD05 amphibious assault vehicles, Type 92B APCs, short-range ballistic missiles, DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missiles and even space rockets featuring prominently, plus much, much more.

As snipers take shots from helicopters and special forces assault a terrorist lair, the lyrics intone, ‘Ambassadors of peace, we are the guardians of China. Ambassadors of power, we are the tiger’s teeth’.

Unfortunately, if you’re a female looking to sign up, you might be disappointed. The only woman in the whole presentation is a hostage held by the terrorists!

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Elsewhere, the lyrics say, ‘Always think about the mission; the enemy forever in your eyes.’ At one point the ad chirps, ‘Are you afraid? No! Are you afraid? No! Just need the order to kill, kill, kill!’

Actually, this should be alarming to most. While military recruiters in Western countries are heralding the benefits of gap years, improving oneself and perhaps finding adventure, the PLA is inviting its members to join up for the chance to kill.

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The slick three-minute PLA video asks the question, ‘Wars can break out at any time. Are you ready?’ Oddly, the video doesn’t say who that enemy might be.

All should be extremely concerned at such sentiments, as China seems to be reaching a fever pitch of nationalist sentiment.

Are you tempted to join up or, like me, are you concerned at the war footing China seems to be urging its citizens and military towards?

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China wants cadets who ‘with bullets through the chest will have missions carved on our hearts’, and who will pledge to ‘submit ourselves to Communist party directions’ in order to ‘defend our country’s dignity’.

The reaction on Chinese social media seemed muted. The BBC quoted one netizen responding to the call to arms, ‘In my town, only the kids who failed at school joined the military, and bribery was necessary to make your child a team leader.’

Another commented, ‘I feel relieved that it’s not as easy to brainwash Chinese people as it used to be.’

You can watch the video here. Please contact your local PLA recruiting office for more information.

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