Recently resurfaced footage shows Chinese children learning how to fire mortars under the supervision of what appear to be Chinese military instructors. The video went viral last year in China on the social media platform TikTok.
In the video, two young girls dressed in camouflage are seen preparing to fire a mortar. One of the girls holds the bomb while the other holds the weapon steady. The second girl appears nervous, flinching and covering her ears multiple times as the instructor laughs.
As the two girls fire the mortar, which explodes in a cloud of red smoke, a large group of Chinese children dressed in camouflage walk by in the background.
The video first went viral last year after the Chinese Ministry of Education announced that the “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” would be added to school curriculums, Chinese state-run media Global Times reported. Xi is the leader of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“Primary schools will focus on cultivating love for the country, the Communist Party of China, and socialism,” the outlet reported.
The lessons are designed to strengthen “resolve to listen to and follow the Party” and new teaching materials must “cultivate patriotic feelings” in China, the guidelines said, according to the Daily Mail.
As China emphasizes patriotism and military strength for both it’s military and general population, the U.S. is focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion.
The U.S. Army also missed its 2022 recruiting goal by 15,000 troops, marking a 25 percent miss from the 60,000 new soldiers it sought to recruit before the fiscal year ended on Sept. 30. It’s the worst miss on record for the service since the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force nearly 50 years ago.
The 25 percent miss is even worse than the Army had predicted during the summer. In August, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville predicted the service would end the year with 10,000 less recruits than it had planned, which would have amounted to a 16 percent miss.
The huge 25 percent miss for the Army comes as the entire military has struggled with recruiting in the 2022 fiscal year. While the other services all managed to meet their goals, they are already behind in the 2023 fiscal year recruiting race.