How to Join the Chinese Army

Students from 120 different countries study at the University of National Defense.

China's People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is the largest military force in the world. It is comprised of the ground forces, navy and air force. As of 2009, the PLA is nearly 3 million members strong. The PLA was primarily comprised of young men with a high-school education who hailed from China’s countryside. Since 2009, however, the PLA has made strides to recruit students from colleges across the country, trying to increase the quality of its army. The PLA’s goal is to recruit highly educated men and women to serve in a technologically sophisticated army.

Become a citizen or legal resident of China. In order to join the PLA, applicants need to be Chinese citizens or have permanent residency status in China. The country does not recognize dual citizenship, so applicants will have to give up their original citizenship if that citizenship is of a country other than China.

Attend college in China. The PLA seeks college-educated individuals to work with advanced technology in the army. In 2009, the army let go of 700,000 low-skilled, uneducated individuals in its armed forces to make room for technologically trained college graduates. College students spend one month at a time on campus or at military bases to train for the PLA.

Applicants have the best prospects of being recruited into the PLA if they study at the Chinese Military Academy. Or, applicants should become students at Beijing University-based National Defense University, a high-ranking military academy in China. National University of Defense Technology is another military-education opportunity.

Enlist in the People’s Liberation Army. The applicant must register with the Chinese government authorities. Prospects are especially better if applicants are college educated individuals who are either citizens or permanent residents of China.

Based in Chicago, Riya Aarini started writing professionally in 1999. Her work as appeared in "Cricket Magazine" and she also writes for several nonprofits. Aarini has a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from Benedictine University.