Chinese war veterans protest government's lack of support

Former Chinese soldiers gather in Beijing to protest missing pensions and other benefits

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Thousands of former People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers staged a sit-in at the petitions office under China's central military command on Tuesday to protest missing benefits, which they say they are entitled to.

Chinese military veterans gathered in Beijing to raise their voice against "the disrespect" as they say the government has failed to fulfill its promises on pensions, medical insurance and other benefits.

Chinese sources reported that about 3,000 former soldiers from around the country converged in the capital, while thousands more had been prevented from coming to Beijing by authorities in their hometowns.

The aged veterans posted a petition online to demand benefits promised to them by dozens of laws and decrees, as well as criticising the arrests and prison sentences given to the war veterans who previously complained about the failed promises.

"This is a show of disrespect to the veterans, a rank injustice, and black mark on the nation and a blow to the credibility of the law," the statement said.

During the latest protest, the veterans were taken to a detention center that hosts petitioners while their representatives talked with military officials, the US-funded Radio Free Asia said.

They were promised to be taken care of but also warned about protests, AP reported, adding the talks ended on an "unpleasant note."

The sit-in ended after the talks and veterans from more than 20 cities and provinces began returning their hometowns.

The veterans of China's 1979 war with Vietnam, the 1969 border clashes with the former Soviet Union, Korean War and other conflicts, have been protesting the shabby treatment they receive from the government more often in recent years.

It is a sensitive issue for China as the ruling Communist Party has total control over the army.

The protests has never been reported on state media as the government believes the plight of the former soldier may cause a public reaction, as they are seen the defenders of the country.

The Chinese army has also been the backbone of the communist rule.

TRTWorld and agencies