Battle Declaration: China Uses Rap Video To Lure People Into The Army


What better way to encourage people to give their lives up to service for their nation, with a high possibility of being killed on the fields of battle than to lay a track and drop some bars? Personally we think; any other way, but China obviously has a different viewpoint.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has released an online recruitment video last Thursday that resembles a hip-hop music video. Titled ‘Battle Declaration’, the song melodiously espouses the honor one receives upon joining China’s armed forces.

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Battle declaration begins with a soldier donning his uniform as a loud voiced narrator delivers the lines;

There is always a mission on your mind.
There is always an enemy in your view
There is always responsibility on your shoulders
There is always passion in your heart
War could erupt any time
Are you ready?

And on and on a rapper raps about the challenges and merits of joining the PLA, over images of tanks, planes, and soldiers. Now we know that an appeal from the army is undoubtedly being directed at young people, but is that all it takes to lure young people these days?

As I watched the video, I could not help but remember Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, dropping bars as part of his campaign to be re-elected, so China is not the first to have this idea.

Battle Declaration

The chorus for China’s recruitment rap is even more morbid, considering it is a recruitment video. Opening with a reference to getting shot at, it goes thus;

Even if a bullet passes through my chest
My mission remains carved in my heart
Brothers, let’s follow this path
[Roar! Roar! Roar! Roar!]
Roar with animal spirit
Look to the bravest general of them all
Walk from here toward the site of combat
Even if a bullet passes through my chest
My mission remains carved in my heart
From the center to the borders
Let’s go to war, let’s fight to win
When we follow the commands of the party
The country honors our guardianship
The rising head of a loyal patriot
If I don’t bear the burden, who else will?

The Chinese government seems especially convinced about the power of rap to entice people as the past year has seen various other agencies releasing similar online videos touting certain aspects of state policy. I had wondered how a state policy rap would go though, so thanks China for that December released animated rap video extolling the virtues of president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, it was an education.

Battle declaration

One PLA spokesperson had told state media outlet China Daily that the video is not only an attempt to attract younger recruits but also a show against any notions that the army doesn’t stack up against other countries in technological prowess. The display of rockets and fighter jets should show that the PLA is not poorly equipped but a powerful force as modernized as the United States military.

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According to China Military Online, the PLA offers some of the lowest salaries of any forces in the world and it is therefore not so surprising that it has long faced difficulties recruiting and retaining top talent. So your guess is as good as mine as to whether Battle Declaration will have people falling over themselves in a rush to sign up, but would you sign up to join your country’s army because of a rap video?