A Manchu military officer in the mid-18th century. Chinese rulers had multiple ways of forcing men to fight, but they could be distilled into three main methods. Picture: Getty Images
A Manchu military officer in the mid-18th century. Chinese rulers had multiple ways of forcing men to fight, but they could be distilled into three main methods. Picture: Getty Images
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

How China got men to fight wars before the 20th century, and how reluctant soldiers devised ways to dodge the draft

  • Recruitment, the institution of military families and conscription were the three main methods Chinese rulers used to supply the regime with military men
  • Chinese men wanting to avoid the draft could attempt to bribe conscription officials, or flee to remote areas or other parts of the country

A Manchu military officer in the mid-18th century. Chinese rulers had multiple ways of forcing men to fight, but they could be distilled into three main methods. Picture: Getty Images
A Manchu military officer in the mid-18th century. Chinese rulers had multiple ways of forcing men to fight, but they could be distilled into three main methods. Picture: Getty Images
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