CHINA'S demobilised soldiers should receive preferential treatment under the civil service reforms, which are supposed to introduce equal competition in recruitment, a mainland personnel official said. ''Those soldiers who are seeking a job in the Government are special cases which should require special care,'' a spokesman for the Personnel Ministry told Xinhua (the New China News Agency). The central Government, since April, has repeatedly urged local governments to employ hundreds of thousands of demobilised soldiers, which has put pressure on an already saturated job market. The personnel official said recruitment examinations should be changed in accordance with instructions on job placement for soldiers that are being co-drafted by the ministry and a State Council department. ''We should encourage internal competition among the demobilised soldiers themselves in the examinations,'' a Xinhua dispatch yesterday quoted the official as saying. He added that if two candidates gained a similar performance, priority should be given to the demobilised soldier. These remarks run counter to the rationale behind the new personnel recruitment system launched by the State Council last October. The decree stipulated that all examinations of the civil servants should be held on an equal and open basis. The ministry spokesman said veterans included anyone who had received a second honour from the top brass and those who had served in the military for more than 15 years.