China: December 27, 2004


China is halting it's long term program of reducing military manpower. Current strength of 2.3 million will be maintained. Partly, this is to help with the unemployment problem. About 44 percent of the troops are conscripted for two years, the rest are volunteers for longer periods. However, there are problems recruiting capable officers. So officer salaries are being increased up to 50 percent. The lowest ranking officers (2nd lieutenants) will see their monthly pay go from $240 to $360. However, a colonel only makes $720 a month. Special allowances and bonuses double the pay for most officers in the navy, air force and ballistic missile units. The booming economy offers better paying, and more comfortable, jobs to young men with education and leadership ability.


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