“Good iron isn’t used for nails, and good people don’t become soldiers,” the old Chinese phrase goes. That’s changing, and at the speed of warfare. Worldwide, a reliance on raw manpower has given way to a focus on advanced systems and high-tech weaponry, making the education of personnel a prerequisite for any advanced military. That is not lost on Beijing. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has undergone a massive makeover to mint educated soldiers – and it’s working.