Midfielders Zheng Zhi and Zhou Haibin are among a handful of more experienced players in an otherwise youthful China squad for next week's international friendly against Germany.
Midfielder Zheng, 28, is likely to captain the side in his first appearance for his country since last August's Olympic Games when the Germans visit Shanghai on May 29.
The squad, which also includes PSV Eindhoven midfielder Zhou, was the first named by China's new coach Gao Hongbo, who took over earlier this month.
"It is the foundation of a new team after our failure to qualify for the (2010) World Cup, so we have to display our fighting spirit, morale and unity," Zheng, who plays in England with Charlton, told Sina.com.
Around a third of the 31-man squad, which is also for the friendlies against Iran in Qinghuangdao on June 1 and Saudi Arabia in Tianjin on June 4, are uncapped.
"Our goal is to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals, when the under 24 players I have chosen will be at their peak," Gao told local media.