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Women empowered by PLA careers

Updated: 2014-02-10 00:39
By Zhao Lei on board the Changbaishan, Indian Ocean ( China Daily)

Women empowered by PLA careers

Yong Ronglan (second from left), a sailor from the Xibe ethnic group, takes part in physical training on the Changbaishan, an amphibian landing craft of the Chinese navy. Gan Jun / for China Daily


Personal development

E Teng, a Mongolian woman who also hails from Bole, has also benefited from the disciplined naval lifestyle.

"I didn't like restrictions and regulations before I joined the navy, so it took me quite some time to get used to the rigorous discipline of the PLA. Now I am a competent servicewoman," the 22-year-old said.

"I am the youngest child in my family, so my parents pampered me a lot," she added. "But my father didn't think I was able to do anything remarkable, and that spurred me to prove myself."

It was the drive to prove herself capable that helped her pass through rounds of tests, and she outperformed nearly 2,000 women in Urumqi who competed for 12 naval posts.

She signed up with the military in 2012 right after receiving an associate degree in finance from a vocational college in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang.

When asked by draft officers whether she wanted to stay in Xinjiang or serve at sea, she answered: "My grandpa was a soldier in the army, and my dad was a paratrooper with the air force, so I am going to be a sailor with the navy."

She operates equipment in the ship's helicopter section and has fallen in love with her navy career. She is determined to continue with it despite the well-meaning advice she is often given by relatives.

"What I do in the navy is definitely irrelevant to my major in college, which enabled me to land a high-paying job in a bank. My mother, brother and sister keep trying to persuade me to leave the navy as soon as my service ends," she said.

"In addition, my boyfriend, an army artillery specialist in Xinjiang, spares no effort in trying to get me to retire on schedule so we can get married. But I've made up my mind that I will stay in the navy, even if it means breaking up with him.''

Another woman who feels herself empowered by her PLA naval career is Yong Ronglan, a member of the Xibe ethnic group from the Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture in Xinjiang.

She said the navy has transformed women who did not know much about life at sea into self-assured and confident people who can answer their country's call.

"What really counts is that the navy has given us more than just military skills, it has given us a sense of team spirit and opportunities to see the world."


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