Post-90s Kids Do Not Take Military Training Seriously

Chinese student playing with cell phone during military training.

Playing with a cell phone.

From Tianya: “Post-90’s New Student Military Training

September 12th at Hubei University of Economics in Wuhan 4000 new students participated in the induction ceremony involving military training. These post-90’s generation kids displayed their fastidious nature by putting on sun lotion, playing with their cell phone, and wearing painted nails…the myriad of personal displays, makes one not help it but to laugh. Because it’s the first day of training, under the officers lead, many students indicate that they will follow the military code and work hard to complete their training.

Chinese student wearing hair tie and watch during military training.

Wearing pretty hair ties.

Chinese student with painted nails during military training.

Eye-catching display of painted nails.

Chinese student with China flag pin on her hat during military training.

“Love China” button on the cap!

Chinese student improperly wearing hat and writing 'I Love You' on the ground during military training.

Writing “I love U” on the grass

Chinese students during military training. Bags and bottles on ground.

A variety of cute hand bags and bottles.

Chinese student wearing long sleeve shirt during military training.

Wearing white long sleeves in order to protect against the sun.

Comments from Tianya:

Really cute~~~

Why indiscriminately blame it on post-90’s kids, what does this have to do with the 90’s generation. We’re living in different times now.

I don’t know what is the point of military training from middle school to college. Is it just for swindling some more uniform fees?

These girls are too tender, although we will never send them to the battlefield.

This is no big deal…

Us post-80’s gen are still good.

Comments from NetEase:

We all grew up drinking San Lu, forgive them!!!

Shit! These college students are a pile of trash. Creating or modifying military uniforms are illegal, especially when wearing our own soldier’s uniforms! They can wear whatever else that show their ass and I won’t care!

What is the point of military training? I don’t understand what those experts are thinking, military training is pointless, purely a waste of time and life!!!!

The forest is big; all kinds of birds are present (in reference to people)

One generation is worst than the next!!!

Life’s journey is not all smooth sailing, if you work hard while young, it will enrich you in the future.

Who cares, it’s no big deal.

The post 90’s generation grew up during China’s economic boom. To tell you the truth, I worry for them. I don’t know if they will put country above themselves. Our country’s future belongs to them; I don’t know where they will lead it to.

Flashing a ring in one hand.

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  • 无语~,我们以前这样早就写检讨了,现在的孩子真是大胆啊!

  • Veer Left

    Forcing powder puff kids to do military service is just so for indoctrination purposes. It has nothing to do with actual fighting.

  • will

    i wonder how much of a bootcamp these kids will go through….. or is this all just for show.

  • Jis

    rubble of an old fashioned ideology which by now had just become a parody of itself.

  • well, I guess 80s generation did the same things before, I am sure of it, it’s just the whole china is developing so fast that people can’t stop the network and those new stuff, I guess the young generation will be more mature one day, we just need to give them some time and set up a better example instead of critize them.

  • Jis

    That could has happened everywhere in the “western world” ,the only difference is maybe about “guts” (aka nothing to loose against something to loose or a lot).

    From this point of view chinese are becoming more and more “modern”, they are more concerned about themselves than the others, such as in capitalistic countries.

  • SniperWZ

    These military training were implemented shortly after 1989 (post-Tiananmen), correct? My cousin went through this as well in high school, this is really a physical exercise bootcamp, I don’t think you even learn how to fire a weapon…so not surprising these only childs won’t take it seriously…

  • Fuller

    Just because a kid is wearing a ring or a hairtie means they’re not taking military training seriously?
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but neither of those things impede you from firing a weapon, doing exercise, or really anything else. Who really gives a flying f#ck if someone is wearing a ring?
    This person is just being picky so that he can lambaste the youth of China…again.
    Is anybody else getting sick and tired of hearing about how “lost” the youth of China is?

  • krdr

    Can someone give a background on this trainings? In Serbia, we had something “defense and protection” as course from highest grade in elementary school (14 years) trough secondary school. We learned from first aid to disassembling and firing from rifles and grenade launchers, but nothing physical.
    It was standard in all communist countries, as “everybody was army”.
    It is better way to learn how to handle guns than let your father buy you semi-automatic rifle and let you to shoot cans.

    Military is far from “funny”.

  • Kai

    Disassembling and firing rifles and grenade launchers?


    Man, that’s hardcore.

    LoL, but yeah, not too keen on American Midwesterners teaching their children how to assemble and shoot machine guns either. Kinda scare, that.

    • chabuduoxiansheng

      I’m from the midwest and find no problem with teenagers being taught how to fire weapons. By doing this parents are indoctrinating their children into respecting weapons and the risk they possess. Only watching reruns of NYPD Blue and hollywood films to get an understanding of the power of modern firearms does no justice to being out in the country firing off a few rounds at a target and seeing just how effective and devastating the damage really is.

      What’s so scary about that? There are probably more cases of people in China attacking each other with knives than there are of American stab and gunshot victims combined.

  • orangeking

    I was born at the end of 1988 and I wrote this exactly a week ago.

    When I was about to jog as usual this morning,the soccer pitch was crammed with freshmen in their military training.I went somewhere else to do my reading but was interrupted several times by their yaup,which made me shudder and silent.At noon,I rushed to the dining hall only to discover a sea of green uniforms,which made it impossible to characterize each and every one of the students.It was about 86 degrees,but the thick uniform covered nearly all of their body,from caps to sleeves,to trousers,socks and shoes.So it appeared they were all merged into “the collectivity” losing their individual distinctions,which is exactly one of the main goals of the military training mechanism.

    I’ve no idea when did “military training” become popular in modern China and I suspect it began in the Mao era,when our Red Sun periodically granted appearances to the young pilgrims,who felt enormously proud to put up an army uniform to see the Chairman, from all over the country in the Tiananmen Square.At that time,I’m sure,both the Great Leader and the Red Guards didn’t expect “Blood is on the Square” (MP3点击下载) just several decades later.That obviously didn’t matter,as blood had already been widely shed across the mainland during the Cultural Revolution,which witnessed masses of Red Guards dressed in the green uniforms violently fighting in gangs with one another,as well as innocent civillians ultimately prompting an estimated abnormal death of millions.That “armed conflict”,in addition to “verbal conflict” was not ended until also-uniformed military forces intervened,sometimes with heavy weapons like machine guns.

    The next generation might have abandoned military uniforms,after all,Mr. Deng Xiaoping had put up his Baseball Cap in the Free World.However,the uniformed–and the uniformity didn’t change.Tiananmen Square observed a second round of mass gathering years after Mao died,and,unprecedented bloodshed which would remain an indelible stain,if not a condemnation,of the People’s Liberation Army,for ever.

    Now this generation puts up uniforms,although barely in public.Obsessed in consumerist dressing,boys and girls endlessly displayed their fancy in weird designs and styles.They do take a break,forcibly or not,turn to the uniform once beloved by their fathers.

    As I heard their yaup and saw them taking goose-steps in the burning sun,not daring to wipe the sweat on the face,I was wondering how I spent these days last year myself.Regrettably,or probably not,I recalled little of that.It should have been easy for me to melt into the melting pot,which we Chinese used to describe the army.But I don’t remeber the joyful details introduced by friends when they finished their military training,as I don’t believe they will be missing their training officer much in the future.It was unclear to me–no offense–whether it is a kind of Stockholm syndrome.After all,when you were designated to a specific abominable circumstance for an awful period of time every day and would be disciplined at the warden’s discretion,completely deprived of personal freedom including drinking water at will,what’s the difference from being kidnapped?I wonder,part of the reason that the young do not resent this,is that they do live in the spiritual vacuum so collective training,the physical and psychological difficulties of which,will more or less fill in their vacancies.

    I always shudder at masses,as I did this morning.It would not be an enjoyment to see the North Korean mass performance as long as I know millions there are starving.Famine,which killed tens of millions in Mao’s era,has been long away from our land since the economic reform,which I doubt to be the only fundamental difference between us “closest allies”.One similarity,certainly,would be we both have this kind of military training mechanism.

    One goal of the mechanism is said to strengthen the idea of Collectivism.Do not tell me about Asian Values,introduced by a very dictator,that culturally we are inclined to collectivism.What I know is not “one for all,all for one” but the “invisible hand” that promotes the overall well-beings while every one fights and cooperates for the good of himself.Nowadays it’s teamwork and cooperation that dominate the time,not “collectivism” which actually undermines univesal values.Independent individuals do teamwork,a “screw of revolutionary machine” is nothing but rust.

    Another objective is said to be physically training,and perhapschallenging students’ body and spirit,which apart from revolutionaryagenda could be associated with strong will and perseverance.There has been no study that confirms this point and nobody seems to bother whether this theory could be established.I’d like the word inhumane.Deliberate inferior treatment doesn’t necessarily constitute a test or chanllenge of people’s spiritual quality anyway,not to mention it could improve anything in such a short time.Fitness roadmap drawn on scientific evidence is credible and overstrain derived from revolutionary heroic doctrine is not.Perseverance?What about endurance of needless hardship?Besides,strong body and mind is accumulated day by day on one’s own rather than a string of forced torture.

    In fact I was just arguing two points that are irrelevant.To say the least,let’s assume all the benefits in the military training could be true,why don’t I have a choice not to?One of the reasons that Hunan TV’s Super Girl should be struck down is,say,the program is superficial and inferior.Come on ,don’t “we the people” have the right to superficials and inferiors?The suspicion that democracy doesn’t automatically lead to a great leader(let’s just pass the part of the definition) and may well slow down the pace of development is crap too.Aren’t “we the people” entitled to pick a bad(?) choice?If you’re confident,let us choose.People are rational and,they have every right to the good as well as the bad.My choice is to jog every morning rather than exercise eight hours in the militarty training for two weeks.I will customize what’s in my best interests,not you,let alone you do not have the right and are unable to.In this sense, “reeduction-through-labor” is very much comparable to military training mechanism,under which we may have somewhat bigger freedom.

    And my suspicion and resent toward the People’s Liberation Army contributed too.I will keep the videos and pictures of that night in my mind and do not condone them until there is a full investigation and clear apology.People’s Liberation Army massacred hundreds of “People”.I simply can’t live with it.Don’t you dare lecture me about what good service they had done to the people and nation.I’m sorry,they are paid by us taxpayers to do just that.I repeat,it’s their DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY to do disaster relief and whatever else.They are maintained to make a living by the taxes we paid.I’m not vilifying the troops,I’m just telling the truth.Much as I respect the individual serviceman who personally made great sacrifice for what he considers good,as a whole the PLA should not be titled “the most lovable people”.How cruel could it be to use machine guns shooting unarmed civilians openly?Instructing students to learn from such a force,where nationalistic hawks are usually bred,makes me sick and feared.

    Of course between the lines that set the framework of this thing,is the obsolete “tradition” which has a history of fewer than half a century.It survived the ups and downs of the past and became some political taboo no one dared suggest to abolish.Maybe our generation just don’t wear it on our body,but when I saw angry youth burning French flag outside Carrefour in hometown,I couldn’t help thinking of the uniformed Red Guards set the British Commission on fire amid the anti-imperialist climate.It is different nowadays,isn’t it?

  • Kit

    You are allowed to have a life outside of the army. Their waterbottles, purses, and hair styles are proof of that. If they were acting disrespectful (checking a cell phon during training IS) then that is different. I’m sure in the 80’s, people were like “ZOMG!? Pierced ears?!”

  • Chinamerican

    I wonder what kind of training this is. My female friends from Israel (and their mothers) said their requisite military training was more like home-ec and less like the basic training we would see in “Full Metal Jacket.”

  • Smith

    Why take this training seriously when the only purpose of this training is brainwashing 洗脑.

  • Haha

    You don’t fire weapon or learn fighting or anything in these military trainings. This is not for army recruit or anything. In real army, obviously this kind of things can’t happen, since they can be a lot harsher. And no this did not start after 89. I think this has always been a tradition. You go to it for a week or so in transition between elementary school to middle school and again in transition between middle school to high school and again between high school to college. You basically learn to not be so spoiled, experience living in less pampered conditions and do physical exercises. Not really any indoctrination going on, doesn’t teach anything and I would appreciate it for people who don’t know anything about this not commenting on how this is brainwashing. This is really a necessity for single child living in a spoiled comfortable life where your parents give whatever you want.

  • Lindy

    >< what do you expect, it’s the 90’s gen.

    there getting more and more fashionable.. and more open. lol

  • nagamas

    I think you should judge the younger generation by their action, rather than by what they wear. The younger generation are more independent in their thinking to us lao wai. True, some of them are selfish and self centered, but this also applies to the older generation!

    The majority of the younger generation (one child family), even those brought up in oppulence , are well mannered. In China, there is still a lot of respect for their elders, and they are still innocent to the nastiness in this world

    I would like to think that the majority of these younger generation are idealist as their minds have not been corrupted by games adults sometimes play to advance their business/career. Notice the volunteers particularly the blood donators) in the eartquake disaster and olympic by these young generation! There was not one bad word from the international visitors for these vounteers. These are the next generation of China and as a hua ren I feel so proud of them!

  • chris


  • Green

    I really don’t think they should be wearing accessories, it is an army and people should respect the rules instead of making it a fashion show. Just like at school, students accessorise themselves too much, there needs to be uniform rules in order for everyone to feel equal.

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  • luhai

    who said you don’t fire a weapon, my cousin did her train in China and fired Type-81 (Improved version of AK-47) in full auto as well some old SKS. And I envy her, since automatic weapons are illegal in California.

  • Haji

    Well, when we have to go to war with china… it will be just as easy as fighting untrained somalians

  • SniperWZ

    @Haji, you mean as easy as fighting untrained Iraqi’s, but with nuclear missiles instead of road side bombs, right?

    • Simon

      F’cken owned :)

  • onelastwarning

    Hey, I have to teach these freshmen when they get to college in 2 weeks and a few days. Maybe they’ll heckle me, maybe they’ll be disciplined, maybe they’ll just get back into their cell phones and computer games. I think the 3rd choice is best.

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  • Ray

    In the great words of Nelson Muntz
    “Ha Ha”

  • Somethin Somethin

    I wouldn’t worry too much. All my friends have done this and its pretty much a total circle jerk. They learn hardly anything (there isnt a test later) and only a few even get to play with the AK’s. Most of the girls just hit on the PLA farmboys and after 2 weeks to a month they go back to life as before and show people pictures of it on their cell phones 2 or 3 years later.

  • John

    More meat for the grinder

  • Rolling

    What the heck is this, it seems like the OP of this article is trying to troll us, I thought these were actual Chinese soldiers but it turns out to be nothing but a bunch of froshmen at orientation with a military theme.

  • Alejandro

    This is just the beginning. I’ve been living in China since January 2008 and it’s amazing how things have changed since then. And now I am starting to realize what has been growing here since the economical boom in the late 80’s. So all these small changes are part of a bigger change to come… Of course you can’t give money, cars, computers and fancy shopping malls to people and expect them to be the same as they used to be ! It’s the wonderfulness of Capitalism (or it’s curse).
    I am about to turn 30 and I hear what my chinese girlfriend friends and old classmates say: “These children don’t care about the great cause” . I also read a comment here from someone who worries about his country’s future. They sound exactly like their parents and worse of all, they’re all afraid of not getting married and not buying a house and a car before they turn 30 (I am afraid I just made a bold statement there). Let’s put things this way:

    Year 1960, when comunism was rising all over the world, A chinese university student (not easy to get to university in the 60’s) thinks: “We are the glory of our country, we defeated the japanese and every other ‘Yangui” who tried to conquer us, and because of that glory I will do my best for my country and our communist party regardless of how small my part is, because I MUST do it.”
    These were characteristic thoughts of that time.

    Year 2011, A 29 year old-male thinks: “I got my contract with the government because that way plus my family helping me I can afford a house and a car for me and my wife, and then we will have a Son who will go to university and will bring greatness to our country just like we’re doing now” and his wife thinks : “I am so happy we got married, my parents bought us a car and his parents will buy the house for us” I am studying for the government exam, if I pass it my salary will be better and I can give a better life for my family. We got married a month ago and we are already thinking about having a son, I know our parents are waiting for it. I hope it’s a baby boy, in china we all like to have a baby boy.”

    Year 2011, A 20 year old chinese female who didn’t make it past middle school thinks: “I have a job and I will keep it, but I will find a husband with money (or at least a loving one with a fair monthly income) so I can leave my parent’s house and go live with my husband, then we will have a child and when all that is done, my parents will stop bothering me and I will go shopping and traveling happily”.

    Year 2011, a 19 year-old female who’s parents can afford her decent university studies thinks: “I don’t care about getting married. My parents say I must but I prefer to follow my career and get as much as I can for myself. They let me chose what I want to do with my life. I will get married if I find the right one, but that doesn’t matter now. Studying has been painful since middle school and now it’s worse. But now it is for me. When all this is done, I will get the best job I can and hopefully a nice, honest and loving gentleman to spend the rest of his life with me.”

    Year 2011, a chinese female who’s parents can only afford a middle/average university thinks: ”My parents said I had to study to be an english teacher, so here I am, cheating on my exams… I really don’t care, you know, I had a dream (eyes getting wet, sighs) I wanted to be a… (doctor, artist, engineer, accountant, lawyer,etc). But I couldn’t because my parents said this is what they can do for me and I have no other choice. Once I finish, I will get a job and I will leave my house, I don’t care if they don’t like it because I am tired of doing what they say. I hope to find someone that I can spend the rest of my life with, and live in peace”.

    Year 2011, a recently divorced 36 year-old female thinks: “Was I right or wrong? He didn’t love me, I married him because my parents thought he was the best for us. He used to get drunk with his friends two or three times a week and come home very late… All I had from him was money, so since I had my own job I decided to divorce him and move out and take my daughter with me. He took everything except our child, now I had to start again, living in a small apartment. My parents and his parents think I am a horrible person, a woman with no honor, but I am doing all this for my daughter. After all this I don’t think I will find the right man for me, maybe it’s too late”.

    If you took the time to read all these statements, let me tell you they’re all true and I’ve heard them myself many times from different people (the goodness of learning the local language). Note the first two, how these people think. Then compare them with the following 3. And then look at the last one. The last one, she thought like the first two, but then she changed her mind and acted like the following three.
    Come on, people. These children know the high divorce rate, know the corruption, Know that money can bring independence, know that Traditions are important but not obligatory. And I didn’t mind writing about the super rich people’s sons and daughters. They know they have money and they can get anything. So they don’t really care about studies or political issues. Or the poor contryside children whos parents will put them to do anything in order to get a cut (I won’t give examples of the female ones, but it’s very clear).

    It is meant to change and the Chinese government can’t control it, because in the end, all big changes come from below, not from above. These children have options and wether you show them these options or not, they will find them sooner or later. Coloured fingernails and cute pins are just the beginning. As we say in my country, all bad comes for good.

  • Bill

    No big deal, really!

    Besides, wearing sun tan lotion is compulsory in many Army’s around the world. Nobody should ever be subjected to the risk of skin cancer. (The post 90’s mob may very well just be a bit smarter)!

    Same goes for water. Water discipline is a BIG problem nowadays with many people never leaving an airconditioned environment. Take them outside even for just a short while and they fall over from dehydration! (Today, you have to physically make them drink)!

  • Dr SUN

    Any reason why they should ?

    to be slaves to corrupt Govt running dogs ?

  • Opalivian

    I think I broke a nail…

  • Sea_Horse_Mirror

    I have military friends in Canada that said we should all do military service so we can finally respect our soldiers on the front. However i point out in China captains can barely get their university recruits to take things seriously enough to stand up properly. You can put people into uniforms, but you can’t make them soldiers. The only serious people are the people who stick around next year as volunteers, mostly brawny looking tall guys who are actually good at athletics.

    Also cue people shunning this practice when certain democratic countries around the world also have this practice for various reasons. Israel is under unstable political pressure all the time. Switzerland…I don’t know, still holding off for WW3 and and making sure the world knows they’ll still kill anyone who dares fly over their airspace without asking.

    • Jose

      Word, I still don’t get why every male in Switzerland is legally required to have a rifle, who’s going to invade them???

      • Wingsofwrath

        Well, this IS one of the big reasons why nobody wants to invade them. In 1940, the Germans were considering “Operation Tannenbaum”, the annexation of Switzerland to the “Thousand Year Reich” just like they did with Austria, but finally decided against it, because the Swiss not only had an impressive array of bunkers and universal conscription but they flatly informed the Axis that if invaded they would move directly to guerilla warfare, retreat to the mountainous and heavily fortified area known as “National Redoubt” and destroy the all important alpine tunnels that were the main rail link between Germany and it’s ally Italy. Since the Germans needed them to transport troops and military equipment (and control over them was one of the major reasons for wanting to invade Switzerland in the first place), in the end they struck a deal with the Swiss – they would be permitted to move their military convoys through Switzerland, but the train cars will be sealed and not a single German soldier would touch Swiss soil. Which they did. Of course, that’s only partly the reason the Swiss remained unmolested. The second reason was that both sides in the conflict actually needed a lot of stuff that was produced in Switzerland, such as jewel bearings (used for watches, but also for bombsights and other parts that need precise, low tolerance movement), and also used the Swiss Banks…

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