Chinese navy seeks graduate students for warplane pilot roles
Candidates must be male with a clean "political history" and have no legal or disciplinary history
BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese navy wants to hire highly educated graduate students to fly shipborne aircraft, and is raising the age limit to expand its search, as it seeks to improve the qualifications of its air personnel and build a "strong army".
Besides upgrading its hardware from warships to warplanes, China is also trying to improve the calibre of its recruits, as the military is a career path traditionally favoured by the less educated.
In an advertisement on social media platform WeChat, the People's Liberation Army Navy said it was seeking graduate students who hold science and engineering master degrees and who are below 26 years old to pilot aircraft from ships, including China's growing fleet of aircraft carriers.
Just last year, it allowed undergraduates aged 24 or below to apply for the first time. It limited candidates to high school graduates aged below 20 before that.
"The need for high-quality military talent becomes more imperative day by day," the People's Liberation Army Navy said in the advert, published on Wednesday.
"The mission and tasks of the navy continue to expand. The speed of the strategic shift of the navy is being accelerated."
Candidates must be male with a clean "political history" and have no legal or disciplinary history, according to the advertisement.
Training will include three to four years of aviation theory studies and practical flight training. Successfully candidates will have free medical care for themselves and their immediate family, as well as government-provided housing.
China is in the final stages of preparing its third, but first domestically made, aircraft carrier - the Fujian - for sea trials, a key step before the warship goes into operational service.
China is aiming to modernise its military forces by 2035.