China’s government has revised its conscription laws, allowing retired service members to re-enlist and increasing space and cyberwarfare-focused recruitment.
The amended regulations, which were ratified by the state council and the central military commission, went into effect on Monday and covered all aspects of China’s military recruitment and deployment processes for domestic emergencies and wartime.
According to state media, the reforms are intended to provide “institutional guarantees for consolidating national defense and building strong armed forces.”
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China has undertaken a major overhaul and modernization under the leadership of Xi Jinping, who has accelerated Beijing’s expansionist activities in the region and its long-held ambitions to annexe Taiwan. According to US intelligence, Xi has instructed the PLA to be capable of a full-scale invasion by 2027, although this does not imply that this is his intention.
About 35% of China’s 2 million military personnel are two-year conscripts.
The new amendments contain specific wartime provisions, such as measures to rapidly increase troop numbers. According to a new wartime regulation, retired soldiers can be recruited primarily to supplement former active-duty units or comparable posts.
Returning soldiers will be given recruitment priority and will be expected to reconstitute their original unit or a similar unit in order to capitalize on their experience, the document stated.