Tattoos no longer taboo for China's military recruits

Updated: 2011-11-03 11:45


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BEIJING - China has eased restrictions on young people who want to join the army but were previously denied due to their tattoos or pierced ears, making military service more accessible.

Starting this week, Beijing has relaxed restrictions on medical examinations for recruiting candidates, according to the municipal conscription office.

A candidate with a face or neck tattoo no larger than two centimeters in diameter, or with one no larger than three centimeters in diameter on other parts of the body that can be covered when the candidate wears short sleeves and pants can be admitted, according to the office.

Previously, a candidate with a tattoo larger than two centimeters in diameter and visible when the candidate wore short sleeves and pants would be denied admittance, and face and neck tatoos were completely banned.

The standards were relaxed according to the policy issued by the Ministry of Defense, according to a statement from the conscription office.

The new policy also stipulates that male candidates with pierced ears can also be recruited as long as there are no obvious scars or easily visible holes.

The previous restrictions on body decorations were lifted or relaxed to adapt to new trends that have emerged in recruiting candidates in recent years, said Shao Honggang, an official in charge of recruits in Chaoyang District.

The trendy elements are tolerable as long as they are kept in a proper balance, said Shao.

The new recruit policy also eased requirements on candidates' weight and height.

Beijing also offered more preferential policies for university students, promising to make more civil service vacancies available to them after they retire from the military, according to the municipal recruiting office.