Can Hong Kong People Serve In The Chinese Army

Can Hong Kong People Serve in the Chinese Army?

The relation between China and Hong Kong is one that has been on the global radar since the handover of the latter to the former back in 1997. Over the years, several questions have been raised about the autonomy of Hong Kong and whether individuals from the Special Administrative Region (SAR) can serve in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). This article sheds light on the intricacies and implications of the question.

As for the legal basis ofHong Kong’s autonomy, it is important to note the content of the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed in 1984. According to this agreement, the nation of China promised to establish a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that would have its own executive, legislative, judiciary, and economic systems. Moreover, the document promised that “the enactment of laws related to defense and foreign affairs shall continue to be vested in the Central People’s Government”, while Hong Kong should be able to contribute to the “maintenance of regional and world peace and security”.

With regards to the question at hand, a common denominator among experts is that mandatory military service is not a requirement for Hong Kong SAR citizens. According to Hong Kong-based journalist Rachel Etter-Phoya, “the Basic Law, the mini-constitution that has been in effect since the Chinese took control in 1997, does not provide for conscription.” The journalist explains that “defense is the sole responsibility of the central government” and the SAR government has no power or authority over its own defenses.

William Itoh, professor at Meijo University in Nagoya,Japan, said that there are a few voluntary military programs that Hong Kong citizens can join,but there is no direct route to China’s military. This means that even if a Hong Kong citizen joins one of these voluntary programs, they are not automatically accepted into the PLA.Professor Itoh also stated that this idea of joining the Chinese military is not something that is actively pursued by the SAR government, and “Hong Kong citizens who wish to enlist in the Chinese military do not receive the same encouragement as enlisted mainland Chinese.”

When discussing the implications of this legislative framework, it is important to note that the lack of mandatory military service offers citizens of Hong Kong more options and possibilities. For instance, many young people can pursue their post-secondary education without being interrupted by compulsory military service.Furthermore, the Hong Kong SAR government does not require military service, which often leaves more room for citizens to focus on their individual development and social welfare.

Dr. Steven Ngai, a human rights and peace promotion expert, believes that the absence of military service might be a positive thing in Hong Kong. In his opinion, not having a military force “may give [Hong Kong] the freedom to explore other types of social and economic initiatives, since there would be fewer resources allocated to the defense sector.” Moreover, “no one is obligated to pledge allegiance to a foreign government, and so the government of Hong Kong can focus on building civic education and loyalty to the ideals already present in the territory,” he added.

In conclusion, Hong Kong citizens are not legally required to serve in the Chinese military. This has both positive and negative implications, but ultimately it is up to Hong Kong SAR citizens to decide if they wish to pursue a career in the military or pursue other areas, such as education and career development. Each individual must weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Impacts of not Serving in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)?

Not serving in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has both direct and indirect implications on the individual’s life. On one hand, it is not a requirement for Hong Kong citizens to serve in the PLA, and this offers them the chance to focus on education and career development instead. On the other hand, not joining the military also means that Hong Kong individuals do not have the opportunity to receive military related benefits and training. Thus, it can be said that not serving in the PLA can indirectly lead to a lack of job security and military career progression.

Moreover, there is also a social consequence for those who choose not to serve in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. For instance, in some families, military service is seen as a rite of passage, and not joining means that the individual loses out on that experience. As a result, they may be viewed differently not only by family members, but also by people in the wider society. This can be seen as both positive and negative, depending on the individual’s circumstances.

In addition, it is important to consider the implications of not volunteering to join the PLA. According to one survey, individuals who choose not to volunteer are seen as less active citizens by their peers. This can be due to perceived lack of patriotism and loyalty to the nation, though it might also simply be a perception since there is no concrete evidence to support this view.

Ultimately, not joining the Chinese People’s Liberation Army does have implications for Hong Kong citizens. However, it is important to remember that it is still an individual decision, and each person must consider the merits and drawbacks of joining or not joining before making a final decision.

Exploring the Different Routes in Becoming a Soldier in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army

Despite the lack of mandatory service for individuals from Hong Kong SAR, there are still various paths to becoming a soldier in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. One of the most common routes is enlistment through the voluntary military programs. These programs enable citizens of Hong Kong SAR to join the ranks of the PLA and receive military training. Moreover, enlisting in these programs allows individuals to gain an understanding of the military operations and culture, and other related skills.

In addition to enrollment through the voluntary programs, it is also possible to join the PLA through scholarships, internships, and other special programs. For instance, the PLA periodically offers internships to Hong Kong citizens and university students who are interested in gaining additional knowledge and experience. Furthermore, scholarships are available for citizens who wish to pursue their studies in the military. These scholarships often cover tuition and other costs, which can be a great help for individuals who are interested in advancing their studies in the military.

Moreover, it is also possible for individuals to join the PLA through networking and other sources. The PLA often conducts recruitment drives in universities and other educational institutions, and it is possible for individuals to approach the officers and seek more information about joining the military. This could be a great opportunity for those who are looking for a more direct route to the PLA.

Finally, the PLA often conducts recruitment campaigns in the media, such as television and newspapers. It is possible for individuals to access additional information about joining the PLA through these sources, and to contact the officers or other individuals who may be able to provide them with additional details. This could be a great way to gain insight into the operations and culture of the PLA.

Implications of Serving in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army

Serving in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has both positive and negative implications. On the one hand, the experience may offer the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in terms of military operations and culture. Additionally, soldiers are often provided with additional benefits, such as preferential treatment and higher salaries upon discharge. Moreover, military service can be a rewarding experience, as individuals have the opportunity to work along various individuals from different backgrounds.

On the other hand, it is important to consider the potential risks and drawbacks of joining the PLA. For instance, there is the potential for physical injuries and even death. Moreover, joining the PLA may pose a risk to the individual’s personal security, especially in the current political climate. As a result, it is important for individuals to think carefully before joining such a military force.

In addition, there are also a number of legal implications that come with joining the PLA. For instance, individuals may be expected to abide by military law which may be different from the laws of their home country. Furthermore, individuals may need to sign off on various official documents and contracts which could limit their freedom in certain ways. Individuals should therefore be aware of the legal implications before signing up for military service.


In summary, it is important to consider the implications of joining the Chinese People’s Liberation Army before making a decision. Joining the military could offer individuals a rewarding experience, as well as the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in terms of military operations and culture. However, there are also potential risks and drawbacks associated with this, including potential danger to personal security, and legal implications that come with such a decision. Individuals should therefore be aware of the potential implications before joining the PLA.

Letha Wimmer is a military expert with more than a decade of direct experience in the U.S. Army and National Guard. She specializes in researching and writing about the world's armies and their capabilities, equipment, capabilities, strategies, organizations, and operations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation from Middle Tennessee State University as well as an Aerial Firefighting Certificate and numerous other advanced aviation certifications. She also enjoys traveling to distant lands to gain firsthand knowledge about their military forces and has written extensively for various websites on the subject.

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