Karaoke army: PLA to double troops' entertainment budget to 'boost combativeness'
News of the PLA's latest budget increase will surely be music to the ears of its troops.
Soldiers will soon get new jukeboxes and musical instruments as the People's Liberation Army doubles its annual budget on entertainment equipment in an effort to enrich troops' cultural life and "boost their combativeness", the PLA Daily reports.
Other new equipment includes loudspeakers and cameras, the official media outlet said, citing a recently amended document on standards for "cultural equipment" for grass-roots troops.
The document was amended to increase the types and quantity of such equipment, as well as the budget for them, to "satisfy solders' spiritual and cultural demand" and "strengthen the army's sense of cohesion and fighting capacity".
The purchases would be coordinated by the PLA General Departments and implemented by military units at the regional level. Brigade-level units can buy their own equipment.
The government increased the defence budget by 12 per cent in March, slightly higher than the annual average of 10 per cent. The document on "cultural equipment" standards was amended as part of President Xi Jinping's efforts to show more care to grass-roots soldier, the PLA Daily said.
It was amended after several rounds of meetings with soldiers and experts, the report added.
Communist Party leaders announced plans to slim down non-combat operations of the People's Liberation Army in the policy blueprint released after the key third plenum in November.