The People’s Liberation Army has sent 10 female soldiers to join the garrison guarding the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, according to the People’s Liberation Army Navy.
This is the first time female servicemen have been stationed in China’s southernmost Spratly Islands, the Navy said at a news conference Monday afternoon. They officially started work on Fiery Cross Reef on Monday.
The 10 women are officers and sergeants with an average age of 23, the news release said. They all have university degrees, adding that they were assigned to a wide range of positions including staff, communications and medical services.
The news release quoted Zhang Jiahong, the political commissar of the PLA’s Nansha Islands garrison, as saying that the female members would be sent back to the mainland to recuperate every few months to ensure their health.
One of the women, Zhou Yaling, said that Nansha was even more beautiful than they imagined. “There are airports, ports, streets, hospitals and sports fields. All of these make the islands like a beautiful sea city,” she was quoted as saying in the press release.
A reporter from China Daily learned that before them, there were also female members of the People’s Liberation Army on the island, but their mission time was very short, and they still obeyed the orders of the unit that sent them to the island.