updated 4/24/2006 11:51:06 AM ET 2006-04-24T15:51:06

No drug users, no tattoos, and no heavy snorers.

China’s military is tightening its standards for recruiting potential officers as it adjusts to changing social trends, ordering drug and psychological tests, among other new requirements, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Monday, citing a military health official.

The People’s Liberation Army headquarters released the new recruitment rules Sunday, it said.

Recruits with fashionable tattoos will be barred from military schools, although traditional tattoos of ethnic minorities will be allowed if they are not too obvious when the recruit is wearing summer shorts, army health official Li Chunming was quoted as saying.

“Tattoos will tarnish the military’s image, even the scars of removed tattoos,” Li said.

Heavy snorers also will be banned, he said. The report did not say how the army would test for that problem.

The report cited an unidentified official as saying that the army began requiring urine tests for drugs because of a surge in the number of young Chinese drug users.

The psychological assessment will involve a written test followed by an interview for those who perform well enough, said Miao Danmin, a professor with the Psychology Research Institute of the Fourth PLA Medical College.

“The army has specific requirements for its officials with regard to personality and mental health. The test will help teenagers make the right decision,” Miao said, according to Xinhua.

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