July 24 (UPI) -- Chinese military personnel have been permitted to wear their uniforms when they go on leave, but an overwhelming majority of respondents to an online Chinese survey said they do not wish to be seen in their uniforms when they are off duty.
The restrictions that were first put in place in 2002 have been lifted following Chinese President Xi Jinping's signing of an amendment that includes an end to the uniform ban.
A poll taken on a military portal showed 75 percent of those surveyed said they do not want to be seen in their military gear when on leave, according to an article featured on Chinese news portal Sohu.com on Tuesday.
The PLA's relatively new guideline was enforced in April, and allows soldiers to wear their uniforms at weddings, award ceremonies and class reunions, according to Sixth Tone.
The ban that was enforced 16 years ago was put in place in order to prevent military personnel from becoming targets of mobs, or rioters, according to Chinese news reports.
Critics of the new rules say there are too many risks involved with wearing military uniforms.
While on one hand one could become a "star on the Internet" when caught engaged in a heroic act while in uniform, if they make a mistake or act wrongly, the uniform they wear could bring dishonor to the Chinese military, some online commentators said.
Earlier in April, a military official told the People's Liberation Army Daily the army will step up efforts to eliminate individuals posing in PLA uniforms.