Ask any soldier from any military background and they will likely tell you that combat effectiveness is not based solely on brutal training and strict militaristic protocol. Morale plays a major part in preparing the human psyche for violent confrontation. China has taken this axiom to heart and is now incorporating karaoke as a regular part of its training program for members of its People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
According to an article on Bloomberg’s Businessweek.com, the Chinese government is making improvements in “grass-roots army culture equipment” in order to “meet the spiritual and cultural needs of officers and soldiers.” Officials are planning to double expenditures on equipment such as boomboxes, electronic musical instruments, and karaoke machines.
According to the PLA Daily, activities such as karaoke will “boost combat competitiveness of troops,” and “promote a strong army able to achieve significant goals.” The new expenditures are part of a 12.2% overall increase in China’s military budget, placing it at 808.2 billion yuan ($130 billion). Of course, that’s just a drop in the hat compared to the US military budget which has reached an astounding $756.4 billion for fiscal year 2015! Wow! I wonder how many karaoke machines that would buy.