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How to join the PLA as an overseas Chinese


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The Humble Worker

So I'm an overseas Chinese born in Sweden, my dad was still a citizen of the PRC when I was born so I do count as a Chinese citizen by the nationality law of the PRC, even though I technically don't have it, but after some research and asking questions online it seems like I am able to get it by proving that my dad was a PRC citizen at my birth. However I'm wondering if I am allowed to join the People's Liberation Army, I was thinking about immigrating to China and start studying in a university there or something, and apply to join after. Will they recruit me even though I technically am a foreigner? 

 

I've asked this in other places in the internet but the answers were not so clear and they didn't explain why, so that's why I'm here hoping that you guys maybe can help me better since maybe you have a better understanding of this. And please provide sources for why I would or would not be allowed, thanks in advance.

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歐博思

Seeing as how China seems to me to be more focused on a bloodline based approach vs an immigration based one, I don't see any reason why you couldn't do this, but you'd definitely have to revoke your Swedish citizenship as the PRC doesn't recognize dual citizenship at all.

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Zbigniew

Can you tell us why you want to join the PLA particularly? It sounds like the sort of decision you'd be best making after living in China for a time and deciding you want to make the place your home. Do you know any people currently serving in the PLA and have you spoken to them? Someone I know served for over ten years. The meaningful career he'd been looking for only started after he quit the army.

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The Humble Worker

I want to join because I want to serve the Chinese party and people, China has a special place in my heart that no other country has. And I want to protect what is the last bit of socialist culture there is in this world! (even though China has turned kind of capitalist, it still has the culture of socialism there)

 

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edelweis

Regarding the PLA, my advice is to ask the Chinese embassy. If they can't help you, nobody can.

 

Regarding serving the party and people, there are alternatives to military service.

For instance you could become a teacher and volunteer to teach in rural areas, or set up schools for migrants children so that their parents don't have to leave them back home when they come to the cities for work.

Or become a health professional and volunteer to keep migrants healthy, or work in rural areas, and so on.

 

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I agree with Edelweis, I suspect that there are much more productive ways to serve China than by being in the PLA. Regardless, you clearly care a lot about the country. Perhaps consider first going there to study, either as an exchange year or on a language course. That will give you a better idea on what China needs and what you might offer it. It's quite possible that in the long term, what China needs is for you to complete your education abroad and then come back to apply what you learned there, as a doctor, a teacher, a soccer coach, a missile designer, or whatever suits your interests and abilities.

 

Good luck, I think you have plenty to offer China and the world!

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edelweis
2 hours ago, Lu said:

I agree with Edelweis, I suspect that there are much more productive ways to serve China

 

We don't agree. I wrote "alternatives", not "much more productive ways".

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The Humble Worker
8 hours ago, edelweis said:

Regarding serving the party and people, there are alternatives to military service.

For instance you could become a teacher and volunteer to teach in rural areas, or set up schools for migrants children so that their parents don't have to leave them back home when they come to the cities for work.

Or become a health professional and volunteer to keep migrants healthy, or work in rural areas, and so on.

 

I've always wanted to be a soldier though

 

 

6 hours ago, imron said:

When was the last time you visited?

 

Somewhere in 2015, I know it has turned capitalist after Deng Xiaoping, but it still has the socialist culture as I said, not system, for example they still have the communist party in charge and they still worship Mao Zedong.

 

 

5 hours ago, roddy said:

Does the PLA want you? I'm not aware of a recruitment crisis. Why is the recruitment guy going to want to put one Swedish-born kid who's only held a passport for a year in instead of yet another village kid.

 

I thought every Chinese citizen had the right to serve, and I am eager to.

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imron
10 hours ago, The Humble Worker said:

they still have the communist party in charge

That's like saying The Democratic People's Republic of North Korea has a 'democratic' party in charge. Calling themselves that doesn't make it so. 

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The Humble Worker
36 minutes ago, imron said:

That's like saying The Democratic People's Republic of North Korea has a 'democratic' party in charge. Calling themselves that doesn't make it so. 

 

Sorry for not making it clear, what I mean is that they still call it the chinese communist party.

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edelweis
12 hours ago, The Humble Worker said:

which section do you think I should send an email to?

You will have to find that out for yourself. I would first make a phone call to the embassy front desk to ask them.

 

14 hours ago, The Humble Worker said:

I've always wanted to be a soldier though

Remember the military doesn't care about individual and their rights and aspirations. The military is about preserving the interests of the nation and following orders.

It is always possible that you have some underlying medical condition that you are not aware of yet, and that will make you ineligible for military service.

The PLA may decide that the interests of the China are better served by rejecting foreign born applicants.

The PLA may have some basic requirements about fluency in Mandarin (including reading and writing).

The Swedish military may decide that the interests of Sweden are better served by rejecting applicants who have tried to join a foreign army.

==> If your priority is becoming a soldier, applying to join the PLA is a gamble with low chances of success and that might backfire and prevent you from being a soldier altogether.

 

So you may want to take your time considering these two questions before applying:

Which is more important to you, being a soldier or serving the party and the people of China?

What will you do if you are barred from serving in the PLA?

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roddy

If you tell the embassy you want to join the PLA they'll put you in the 'crazy' category and ignore your citizenship application, if you ever get to make one. Sort out citizenship, if you can (bad idea, but your call) and then worry about the PLA.

 

I'm torn with this one between the more responsible "Bad idea, forget it all, concentrate on your studies, etc" route and the more fun thought experiment of all the implications and hassles. You realize that as a member of China's armed forces you won't just be giving up your Swedish citizenship, you'll quite possibly be denied a Chinese passport? Overseas travel for certain categories of folk has extra controls. 

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imron
6 hours ago, The Humble Worker said:

what I mean is that they still call it the chinese communist party.

And what I mean is that they call themselves communist, but they are not.  They could call themselves the Chinese Astronaut Party and that doesn't suddenly make them all Astronauts.

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Shelley

I really don't think you have thought this through. As a member of the PLA your life will probably be very constricted, regimented and hard work. There will probably not be any concessions for the fact you are a foreigner and maybe it might even be harder for you as you are continually called on to prove your loyalty and ability.

 

The other thing is your language abilities, I have read all your posts and do not see you mention your chinese level. I would think that you are going to have to have very good if not near native chinese to function in an army. Just think what it would be like in the thick of battle or as is quite often done in the midst of rescue and help in natural disasters not understanding quickly barked orders under the worst possible conditions.

 

In China I have noticed that the army gets called out to deal with all kinds of things you might not want to do, earthquakes, floods, etc dealing with people at the worst time of their lives, again needing really good chinese and possibly knowledge of some of the dialects.

 

Why do you want be soldier?

 

If no one wanted to be a soldier then the leaders who declare war on each other would have to get in the ring together and I think they wouldn't be so keen:wink:

 

        When one man puts down his gun and walks away from war - I will smile,

         When ten men put down their guns and walk away from war - I will be thankful,

          When one hundred men put down their guns and walk away from war - I will rejoice,

            When one thousand men put down their guns and walk away from war - I will sing,

              When ten thousand men put down their guns and walk away from war - i will ring the bells

                When one hundred thousand men put down their guns and walk away from war - I will see the smiling faces of the children,

                  and the sun will shine down on the trees and lakes, the fish, birds and animals that share this great, green earth with us,

                    But it needs one man to put down his gun and walk away from war, walk away, walk away, walk, walk, walk away from war.

 

This is my poem/lyrics written to express how I feel about war. It is idealistic, but I hope it might happen one day.

 

If you would really like to help China, learn to be a doctor or a teacher, go to the rural parts of China and help the people who have less than you, teach them, heal them, this will do much more good than fighting for them, they can do that themselves.

 

This of course is only my opinion and you should do what you want, but please think long and hard about your choices and why you would want to do it.

 

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