PLA marches to a new beat to lure re­cruits

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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 De­fense Min­istry has posted on its web­site a mu­sic video show­ing new re­cruits walk­ing in camp, fighter jets ma­neu­ver­ing 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,

We hope this in­ter­est­ing video can show young­sters that a mil­i­tary ca­reer is not as dull and tor­tur­ous as some might imag­ine.” WANG A STAFF OF­FI­CER AT THE XI’AN CON­SCRIP­TION OF­FICE

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.

ZHANG JIE / FOR CHINA DAILY

Soldiers dance to the pop­u­lar song Lit­tleAp­ple in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, on Wed­nes­day.

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