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Hundreds of women fail army enrolment

[ 2009-11-10 11:27]     字号 [] [] []  
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Sixty percent of female applicants who took part in the first two days of a recruitment drive for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have failed, the army’s recruitment office in Beijing said yesterday.

Stringent health rules, which will include physical and psychological examinations, have already upset hundreds of the 1,200 Beijing women who were asked to take the exams, starting Sunday.

This is the first year in which women can apply to the PLA without being recommended externally.

The drive was exclusively for Beijing residents and students based in the city. Men and women were both eligible.

Those women who failed were mostly college students disqualified due to eyesight and weight problems, and other minor health issues, the office said.

Thousands of women applied for an unspecified number of vacancies within the PLA. Just over 1,200 were asked to take part in health screenings.

The health tests are being conducted at several designated hospitals under PLA guard. Doctors follow a checklist with items such as “No more than one piercing in one ear” and “Not qualified for submarine crews if their teeth are not straight”.

“Most of us don’t have much hope for the final result,” said 18-year-old Du Shuang, who was told that neither her height nor weight met army standards during a health check yesterday.

The 1.56-m, 50-kg second-year student from the elite Renmin University of China said she had stopped snacking over recent days to lose weight.

“I was informed that this was probably it for me,” a disappointed Du told METRO yesterday.

Health screenings have become stricter every year, according to Lieutenant Colonel Ding Zhengquan from the recruitment office. After adding a test for HIV/AIDS in 2006, type-B ultrasonic tests for female organs and psychological exams were also included.

The recruitment office said only female applicants who were notified of success before tomorrow would be eligible for the next round of analysis.

The health screening will continue this week, followed by face-to-face interviews from the middle of November.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Hundreds of women fail army enrolment

About the broadcaster:

Hundreds of women fail army enrolment

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.