I snapped these pictures from the bus as we drove by a government building in the town of Da Peng on the way to work. What’s going on? The Chinese firecrackers and ‘dragons’ are part of a rousing send-off for an enlistee into the People’s Liberation Army (the PLA , not to be confused with the Palestine Liberation Army).
From Wikipedia : The People’s Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People’s Republic of China. It is the world’s largest military force, with approximately 3 million members. It has the world’s largest (active) standing army, with approximately 2.25 million members.
Military service is compulsory, in theory, for all men who attain the age of 18; women may register for duty in the medical, veterinary, and other technical services at ages as young as 14. A draft in China has never been enforced due to large numbers of volunteers from China’s huge population. The star below is the emblem of the People’s Liberation Army.