The Chinese military traced the reasons a growing number of would-be recruits fail its stringent fitness test to masturbation and computer games.
The Peopleâ€™s Liberation Army (PLA) chiefs have said that they are currently working to ensure that applicants are in tip-top condition to join the rank and file of the worldâ€™s largest military force.
According to its media arm of the Chinese Army, PLA Daily, in one city alone more than half the candidates were rejected after failing to show they were fit and healthy enough.
The newspaper said in another city, 20 percent was overweight while eight percent were refused because they had an enlarged testicular vein.
It, however, did not spell out how army officers knew about the vein issue but said the problems were caused by too much masturbation, too many video games and not enough exercise.
Obvious or oversized tattoos were also a no-no, it said, pointing out that others failed the test because of liver problems associated with too much alcohol.
PLA Daily also quoted Chinaâ€™s Defence ministry as insisting in a statement that
â€œChinaâ€™s recruitment process has strict rules and procedures.
â€œThe quality of our recruits is guaranteed and the headwaters of our military will flow long and strong.
â€œYoung people nowadays are living too comfortably, theyâ€™re turning
into couch potatoes; going online everyday on the computer or phone,
late-night gaming and masturbating, it would be weird if they were
actually healthy and fit.â€
It is not the first time this month military officials have railed against modern lifestyles.
The same army newspaper said officers were worried about young soldiers getting so addicted to the online battle game â€œKing of Gloryâ€ that they would struggle to remain focused during an actual war.
â€œOnce a soldier is cut off from the game for an urgent mission, he could be absent-minded during the operation if his mind remains on the game,â€ the PLA Daily warned gravely.
Since coming to power in 2012 President Xi Jinping has trumpeted the need to build a stronger combat-ready military, while leading efforts to centralise the Communist Partyâ€™s control over it.
Chinaâ€™s military budget had seen double-digit increases for several years until last year, when it was raised 7.6 percent.