On Jan. 30, the TV channel of 81.cn, the website of the People's Liberation Army, released a video unveiling the demeanor of soldiers who guard the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
Each year, 40 soldiers stand out among nearly 1,000 of their peers to qualify to take part in training for the position. In the end, only about 11 will be recruited for the prestigious job, says Yang Zixuan, the platoon leader, who was born in 1990.
Like Yang, most of the soldiers were born after 1990. Though they are young, they have served the military for years. Huang Hanting, the squad leader, said the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse is a political place, so they have to be very careful when carrying out foreign affairs missions.
To practice for the activities, the soldiers would do the same pose for thousands of times to guarantee it is absolutely accurate. Some of them have even got injured during the training.
Besides routine training, they have to memorize more than 800 license plates, 20 kinds of certificates, and the national flags and ambassador numbers of over 100 countries, in order to make sure there are no mistakes during major foreign affairs missions.
As a result of the rigid training, they are dubbed "living computers." From 1983 to now, the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse soldiers have carried out protocol missions during visits of more than 600 foreign state leaders and 2,700 foreign dignitaries.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton saluted the Chinese soldiers to show his respect and gratitude to them after wrapping up his visit to China in 1997.