Beijing, June 15 (ANI): Ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic in October, the Chinese military has said it wants a richer protein diet for its troops.
The protein project, which will revamp the menu for the 2.3 million servicemen and women of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) from July 1, will feature a sharp increase of more than 40 percent in meat and another 20 percent in overall calories, the China Daily reports.
The move is aimed at bringing the PLA's catering capability" closer to that of other developed nations, experts said.
According to defense analysts, the diet enjoyed by soldiers in the Chinese military, which costs around one billion yuan a year, still lags behind the nutritional programs offered by the United States and Russian armed forces for diversity and protein levels.
Even the US Army's compact "meals ready-to-eat for individuals", also known as MRI, have around 1,300 calories each - a Chinese soldier would have to eat a full meal of six dishes to consume the same amount of energy.
"It's easy to see the difference," a retired navy marine said.
The revised catering guidelines will be drawn up by the General Department of Logistics, which is responsible for the welfare of PLA servicemen and women.
It will address the lack of diversity in a Chinese soldier's diet by adding more seafood and milk to the menu, the department said.
The last improvisation in PLA's catering was done in 2007.
In another move, the military has also boosted the salaries of its servicemen and women. Low-level soldiers and officers got a 50 percent boost under the pay reform. (ANI)