China's Ministry of National Defense on Thursday released a military recruitment video for 2020, showcasing the country's military capability and its armed forces, domestically developed weapons and aircraft, which has already racked up millions of views on social media.
China's Army Day is marked on August 1 every year, the founding day of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Ahead of the anniversary on Saturday, authorities in several cities and provinces also released recruitment videos featuring local characteristics to motivate young people to join the army.
The video released by Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, home to the oldest ancient capital city in China, starts with the Terracotta Warriors depicting the armies of China's first empire, and is run through with a speech that a male performer of Qinqiang Opera gives to a group of young men, reminding them of the heroic spirit of ancient warriors and the revolutionary spirit of soldiers in modern history.
"Please prepare a few dried buns and a handful of loess [local soil] for me, mom, as your son is about to set out on a journey on the horse!" the young men shout with determination and passion in the video.
Shanghai adopted a more straightforward style for its army recruitment advertisement. Titled The Choice, the video shows two different lives outside and inside a military camp - music, beach and family union outside, while fire, dirt and sweat lie inside.
It highlighted at the end of the video the meaning of choosing a life in the military, which is to protect the peace and stability of the country and to ensure the wellbeing of people outside.
The theme is also echoed by the publicity videos of many other provinces, where a classic line is used to make the point- "the peaceful time you are enjoying now is earned by those who have been carrying the burden and fighting for the country."
The videos have got many netizens in various moods. Some saw excitement and pride from the videos, while others shed tears when seeing the footage of soldiers fighting day and night on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic and floods, which have severely hit the country this year.
"This country wouldn't be what it is today without the safeguarding of the army. Once a soldier, lifelong glorious," wrote a veteran on China's social media Weibo.
Chen Hongyu, a 20-year-old junior college student from East China's Anhui Province, registered online for the army recruitment on Sunday. He told the Global Times on Thursday that it was a big decision he made with his whole family.
"I have always been eager to become a soldier since childhood, and the country's preferential policies for joining the army is what drove me to finally make the decision," he said.
According to the preferential policies for college student army recruitment, junior college students who join the army will be directly admitted to full-time university without taking an exam when they retire.
The recruitment drive ends on August 15. Though the total number of people who have registered so far across the country has not been published, authorities in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region revealed that 5,800 people in the region had already signed up as of Wednesday.
In 2019, a total of 1.2 million college students in China registered online to join the army.