Chinese Summer Camp: Five Year Olds Learn Military Training at 'Boot Camps'

(AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

When America’s school children go back to school this fall, their “how I spent my summer” essays might include family vacations, days spent at the pool, and, if their parents are liberals, pride events. But for Chinese school kids, summer vacation takes on a whole new meaning. The Chinese military is training five-year-olds — that’s right, kindergartners — in boot camps across the nation to handle firearms and fight like real soldiers. The camps are for both boys and girls, and toy weapons, including knives, grenades, rifles, and shoulder-fired missiles, are being used to train the children in combat. The children are also being taught military-style behavior like saluting.

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It is well known that communist countries have long been bastions of the “get-em-while-they’re-young” mentality. And China is certainly no different. The Chinese Communist Youth League is an organization of Chinese youth ages 14-28 and numbers roughly 73.7 million. The kindergartners are part of another group, The Young Pioneers, ages 5-14; that organization numbers around 130 million. The uptick in Chinese youth paramilitary organization membership appears to come from pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee for an increase in “National Defense Education” beginning in 2019. Brandon Weichert is a U.S. Air Force consultant, and he speculated as to the motive behind Chinese President Xi Jinping’s push for a generation of seemingly combat-ready Chinese youth:

Xi Jinping is trying to inculcate not just a patriotic fervor among the next generation, but I think he’s trying to also create actual next soldiers for the inevitable campaigns that he plans on waging militarily.

So, while American kids are watching cartoons, maybe attending drag queen story hour, and being taught that America is a bad place, what are Chinese kids learning? Well, to start with, some basic military etiquette, followed by combat skills and even emergency medical training. Helping injured people might seem like something good to learn at a young age, but that is where the practical ends and the indoctrination begins. In May, at the opening of one of the summer camps, a large banner read, “INHERIT THE RED GENE, CARRY FORWARD PATRIOTIC FEELINGS, LOVE CHINA, LITTLE SOLDIER.” People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers then raised the Chinese flag, and the Chinese national anthem was sung. The children then pledged, “We solemnly swear to love the motherland from now on, to dedicate our hearts to working together to build the dream of a powerful country. Even if I fall to the ground, I will continue onward!” In addition to being taught how to salute, they are also taught how to stand at attention and at ease. Other basics that perhaps a large number of American parents might not have a problem with are taught, such as grooming and making their beds.

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It is here that summer camp ceases to be innocent, and there is little doubt as to who and what Chinese officials are prepping the children for: conflict with the United States. The kids are told to follow orders and act as a unit. This is where they “graduate” to weapons training. They then act out various “skirmishes” and pretend to shoot each other. Emulating the nation’s war heroes and martyrs is also all part of the lesson. The children watched an animated series entitled “Long March Hero,” which depicts the Red Army fighting Imperial Japanese forces prior to the 1949 revolution. And if there is still any doubt, they also watched a simulation called “Long March Exercise,” which simulates “a retreat under attack by America.” In the simulation, according to Solomon Yue, co-founder of Republicans Overseas, an organization that advocates for Republicans living abroad, the children are asked to “march 20 miles a day with food and blankets on ones’ backs for a week.”

Prepping Chinese children for military readiness gives China an endless stream of potential recruits for presumably a conflict with the U.S. It is no secret to the entire world that the U.S. southern border is wide open, and there are reports of more and more Chinese males of military ages coming across the border. China expert Gordon Chang says he believes the PLA is entering the U.S. through the southern border. It is a dangerous mix that could spell big trouble for the United States. Brandon Weichert seems to back that up and lays some cold hard truth down about some very big differences between what American and Chinese kids are being taught, saying:

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Their kids aren’t talking about boys becoming girls and vice versa. Their kids are talking about, ‘let’s go out with bayonets, play in the field and pretend like we’re killing Americans.’ That’s where this is headed.

 

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