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Monday, Aug 4, 2014

Asia

China army marches to a new beat to lure recruits

China Daily/ANN | Monday, Aug 4, 2014

Clothing stores and restaurants in China are really good at using popular songs to lure passers by, which often proves effective.

Now they have been joined by the People's Liberation Army.

In an attempt to attract young people, the Defence Ministry has posted on its website a music video showing new recruits walking in camp, fighter jets manoeuvring in the sky, tanks rolling during the Tian'anmen parade and an aircraft carrier sailing the ocean.

The video features several groups of male and female soldiers dancing to Little Apple, a song produced by Chinese pop duo the Chopstick Brothers that has been popular with young people and those who like dancing in public squares.

This version of Little Apple is a charm offensive made by the conscription office in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, and the provincial brigade of the Armed Police Force in an attempt to recruit soldiers.

Accompanying the bright music and romantic lyrics, the video reminds viewers that "every boy has had a dream, which glitters with glory of struggle", while asking, "Do you remember how excited you were when seeing the national flag raised, or the parade? Do you remember your childhood pledge of safeguarding the motherland?"

It encourages young people to "enlist with the PLA so you can bring warmth to every peaceful dusk and dawn".

The music video has triggered an enthusiastic response from viewers, with many saying the use of Little Apple has changed their image of the PLA's conscription efforts.

"I always saw serious-faced soldiers holding weapons in their arms on the military's recruit posters and never expected they could make such an interesting and hilarious music video," wrote a Sina Weibo micro-blogger under the name luntankong.

Another micro-blogger, shanghaidaV, who appears to be a university student, said, "The video makes my roommates and I want to join the PLA because the life of those in the video seems to be very cool."

Wang Taili, one of the Chopstick Brothers, said on his Sina Weibo account: "Comrades, follow me. Let's answer the call and serve our country."

This sentiment is exactly what the video makers want to achieve, said a staff officer at the Xi'an conscription office, who wanted to be identified only as Wang.

"We hope this interesting video can show youngsters that a military career is not as dull and torturous as some might imagine," he said.

"Instead, it tells them that young servicemen and servicewomen can have a colorful life in the PLA."

The office entrusted an advertising firm to produce the video and invited soldiers from several PLA units to perform the dancing in it, Wang said.

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