Young Chinese Soldiers Viewed as Not Manly Enough

March 8, 2011 12:52 am Last Updated: October 1, 2015 5:26 pm

Chinese soldiers undergo a training session in Hami, northwest China's Xinjiang region on January 12, 2011.  (STR/Getty Images)
Chinese soldiers undergo a training session in Hami, northwest China's Xinjiang region on January 12, 2011. (STR/Getty Images)
Though China has greatly augmented its military expenditure budget, the one-child policy in China seems to be taking its toll on the quality of young soldiers being produced: the soldiers are being regarded by their superiors as becoming increasingly more “effeminate.” The parental indulgence or spoiling engendered by the one-child policy appears to be a serious contributing factor.

The Study Times is a publication of the Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party. It recently published an article stating that the boys of the post 80’s and 90’s generations tend to be “effeminate” and lack masculinity.

The article underscores the fact that much of the Chinese military’s rank-and-file is made up of the post 80’s and 90’s offspring of one-child families. China has not fought in a war in 31 years. Though peace is precious to a nation’s development, military experts fear it can also erode the fighting power of the military.

The article also repudiates the theory that modern day warfare does not require great physical strength. Using American troops in the Iraq War as an example, it states that U.S. soldiers had to walk hundreds of kilometers while carrying equipment weighing dozens of kilograms and living in tents in extreme temperatures.

Beijing Business Today reported that the post-80’s generation is spoiled and has been pampered from childhood, and are therefore very egocentric. Some college students have even dropped out to avoid going through military training classes.

A superintendent of a college in Beijing describes the younger generation as becoming increasingly enervated.

“They complain about back pain while standing, and leg pain while walking; they get dizzy from being in the sun and their throats burn just from shouting slogans.”

According to the report, half a month into the school year, 28 students wanted to drop out, despite having paid tuition; eight of the students gave their reason as being “unable to adjust to school life.”

New post-90’s soldiers anxiously inquire about military life on many Chinese websites. On, China’s biggest military website, a new soldier claiming to be born in 1991 and 185 cm (6.1 feet) tall said that his parents never let him play outdoors, for fear of him learning bad habits. Although his vision was good, his physical stamina was very poor: he would faint from long-distance running or vigorous exercise. His health exam results showed that he had low blood sugar due to lack of exercise.

PLA Daily had previously reported that the regime’s once rigorous military training programs have been altered, due to the current generation’s lack of strength and endurance.

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Read the original Chinese article.