Can you leave Chinese military? Here is how PLA punished a young man who left it

No jobs, no education, no insurance, No right to start a business and a ban on travel by plane, train and bus -- that's how China punished a young man.

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What will happen to you if you are a Chinese soldier who wants to quit the military? The story of a young man who walked up to the generals in the People's Liberation Army and told them he wanted to stop serving is becoming viral. Zhang Moukang from southern Hainan province learnt that a host of penalties would be slapped on him if he quit the army. The punishments were detailed by the PLA's English language website.

The eight penalties Moukang faces even include bizarre punishments like a ban on domestic flying. Other punishments include a blanket ban on foreign travel for two years and ban on long-distance travel on trains. More outlandish punishments include ban on buying real estate and availing of loans and insurance. He can't also open a business.

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Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) march past Tiananmen Gate during the military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015 Reuters

No jobs, no insurance, no freedom

The young man who left PLA will never ever be eligible for any government jobs. He is also proscribed from working for any government-run commercial enterprise. Zhang Moukang cannot work for any of these establishments even as a temporary worker. The unfortunate 'deserter' will be publicly shamed, and he will have to incur a huge financial cost in the form of hefty fines. The fine is equal to $4,000 while the reimbursement of training costs and board and lodge will be another $3,750.

And a public shaming

As part of public shaming, the details of the young man's punishment will be "published to the society via networks, television, newspapers and social media," the report says. China Military online said Moukang joined the military in September but said he can't cope with the life there by the next month. He was removed from the PLA in November. "Zhang Moukang has been unable to adapt himself to the military life for fearing hardships and fatigues," the report said. "Despite the troops' patient exhortation, he still persisted in dropping out," the outlet said.

This article was first published on December 16, 2019