The Chinese Communist Party loves to paint its history more as one of glorious revolution that saved China, rather than a bloody mess that killed tens of millions of people. That’s why young children in schools are no stranger to playing “dress up.”
Aww, look! They’re dressed like the Red Army—a guerilla Communist army dedicated to overthrowing the government, and stealing everyone’s stuff so they could redistribute it as they saw fit. (Not the current government of course.)
To carry on the communist revolution, the Chinese regime made military training for students mandatory in 1955. But it really picked up after 1989. Because revolutionary fervor is great! Except when it might be directed toward the Chinese Communist Party.
Universities were now seen as a problem for the Party—hotbeds of counter-revolutionary protest. That’s when a comprehensive patriotic education campaign was started. By 2001, military training had become mandatory for all high school and college freshmen.
And if, after all the hard work of ideological education in school, you decided to enter the Party’s army, you can get even more ideological education!
According to China’s Military Service Law, anyone between the ages of 18 and 22 must serve two years in the People’s Liberation Army. They won’t take just anyone though. You have to be healthy, and you have to hold the correct political views.
For example, according to the Diplomat, for an officer, 30 to 40% of his career is spent not on training, but on political work. That is, “studying CCP propaganda, singing patriotic songs, and conducting small group discussions on Marxist-Leninist theory.”
So when middle school students are dressed up like this…
And it looks like something from the super popular, super patriotic Chinese movie Wolf Warrior 2…
You know, it’s all part of the same plan.