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September 25, 2017

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China soldiers too big for outdated PLA tanks: report

BEIJING -- Chinese soldiers have become so much taller and fatter in recent years that they often find themselves cramped in tanks designed three decades ago, state media reported.

A survey found that People's Liberation Army troopers were on average two centimeters (0.8 inches) taller and five centimeters (two inches) fatter around the waist than 20 years ago, the military's official PLA Daily reported Tuesday.

As a result, it is harder for soldiers to squeeze into a tank designed for smaller personnel 30 years ago, it said.

Rifle stocks are also too short for some, limiting their accuracy, it added.

The findings of the survey, which began in 2009 and included more than 20,000 soldiers, suggested an upgrade to the military's equipment was necessary, the newspaper said, citing Ding Songtao, head of the poll project.

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