(CNN)A Brazilian striker is poised to become the first footballer without Chinese ancestry to play for China.
Elkeson -- who qualifies to play for China under FIFA's residency rules having played in the country since 2013 -- has been named in coach Marcello Lippi's squad for next month's 2022 World Cup qualifier against the Maldives.
The 30-year-old, who will use the Chinese name Aikesen, joined Guangzhou Evergrande six years ago and has helped his team win the Asian Champions League twice.
Players who are not ethnically Chinese can play for China under FIFA eligibility rules after five years of residency in that country.
Earlier this year London-born Nico Yennaris signed with Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC and swapped his British passport for a Chinese one, but Yennaris' mother is Chinese.
On Weibo, the popular Chinese social media app, netizens have generally responded positively to the decision of Yennaris and John Hou Saeter, a Norwegian with a Chinese mother, to naturalize, because of their Chinese roots.
But the idea of Elkeson becoming Chinese through residency, rather than having Chinese blood, is a more complicated issue.
In March, the Chinese Football Association decreed that all foreign players must be educated on Communist Party values, with clubs filing a written report on their performance each month.