BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The People's Liberation Army (PLA) has elected 268 people -- a younger group that includes more women and grassroots soldiers -- to the 12th National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature.
According to a PLA statement released Thursday, 78 of the deputies are grassroots officers, soldiers and professional technicians, accounting for 29.1 percent of the total -- up 3.4 percentage points from the 11th NPC.
Meanwhile, 29 women deputies take up 10.8 percent of the total, up 2.6 percentage points. The number of deputies who come from ethnic minority groups and who are at least college graduates both increased slightly.
According to the statement, the 268 PLA deputies have an average age of 53.1, down from the 53.4 for the 11th NPC, and they are all members of the Communist Party of China.
The deputies include many renowned experts, academicians as well as outstanding soldiers. Among them is Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut. Liu entered space aboard the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft on June 16 with two male crew members and successfully conducted both automatic and manual space docking procedures with the Tiangong-1 orbiter.
On Wednesday, the 11th NPC Standing Committee confirmed the credentials of all 2,987 elected deputies.
According to the NPC Standing Committee, more migrant workers and women, as well as younger people, have been elected to the 12th NPC, while fewer government and Party officials have won places.
The first annual session of the 12th NPC is scheduled to start on March 5.
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