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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 May 2006, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
China seeks good-looking sailors
Chinese sailors during joint exercises with Russia in August 2005
China's navy has increased its exchanges with foreign counterparts
If you're ugly, short or rude, your career prospects in the Chinese navy don't look like plain sailing.

Officials say anyone joining the service in 2006 must be good-looking, tall and polite.

Manners and looks matter because navy vessels often visit other countries and host reciprocal visits, a spokesman has told the official Xinhua news agency.

Candidates will also be tested on their professional knowledge and physical and psychological stamina, he says.

Minimum height requirements will be 1.7m for men and 1.65m for women.

In recent years China has increased its participation in naval exercises with other countries.

In August 2005, China and Russia held large-scale exercises involving army, navy and air force troops.

The previous year, British and Chinese navies carried out their first joint maritime search and rescue exercises near the north-eastern port of Qingdao.

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