High myopia rates among Chinese teenagers influence defense security

Senior Colonel Dai Xu:

According to a recent media report in the UK, in a study involving about 4,700 primary and junior middle school students in Guangzhou, a city located in southern China, that 12% of students from Grade One in primary schools were found to be suffering from myopia. This number shockingly goes up to 67% among students of Grade One in junior middle schools.

My colleague in charge of the PLA Air Force pilot recruitment sector and I visited a senior middle school in South China three years ago to study the vision problems of students. Based on our investigation, we found that only 8 – 10 students in a class of 40 students did not wear glasses, and there was a high rate of myopia of about 80%.

According to my colleague, some students without glasses might be wearing contact lenses. Combined with other indexes, in a senior middle school with almost 10,000 students, it was difficult to select a student who could qualify to be trained to become a pilot.

I was shocked. Was this the real condition of our military talent reserves supporting our modern and powerful Air Force? Based on later investigations, I found that this was a universal result. Undoubtedly, a high rate of myopia has already greatly influenced national defense security.