"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

30,000 Chinese Army Veterans Protest in Beijing

Screwing Over Vets
It's not just for Republicans and Democrats anymore.

(Radio Free Asia)  -  Thousands of People's Liberation Army (PLA) veterans staged a sit-in outside the military headquarters of the ruling Chinese Communist Party on Tuesday in protest at authorities' failure to deliver promised pension, medical and social security benefits.

The protesters converged on Beijing from around a dozen cities and provinces in a concerted bid to air long-running grievances from a group that has been identified by the leadership as one of the most politically sensitive in China.

Singing "In Unity is Our Strength" and other Chinese military choruses, the veterans sat outside the ruling party's military wing, the Central Military Commission (CMC), calling for basic pensions and healthcare in their old age.

Eyewitnesses said police were preventing journalists and bystanders from taking photos of the scene, and had restrained some of the more agitated protesters.

"There are people all along the street, from all over China," an anonymous eyewitness said. "It's so tragic, really sad."

"These people are all members of the party, demobilized, but they were let go with just 400 yuan (U.S.$60) apiece," he said. "The government won't do anything for them."

Many veterans say they joined the PLA on the promise of guaranteed civil service jobs after demobilization, but that the jobs never materialized.
Thousands of former Chinese soldiers protest near the Communist Party
Central Military Commission in Beijing, Oct. 11, 2016.

'We were unfairly treated'
Security was tight around the CMC compound, as the authorities sent in thousands of troops and armed police, although no clashes were reported.

One protester estimated that as many as 30,000 veterans were gathered at the height of Tuesday's protest.

"We had more than 20,000 here today, nearly 30,000," the protester, who gave only a surname Gao, said. "I saw this was happening so I came along. I have nothing to eat or drink. I don't know what to do."

"I signed up to the army in 1976 in Beijing, and was demobilized in 1988," he said. "It wasn't too bad to start with, but then they started laying people off in the factories, and we were just given 400 yuan and told to leave."

"That was never going to be enough. We have been unfairly treated," Gao said. "I gave my best years to the army, and I have nothing to show for it."

A fellow protester surnamed Hu said many of the protesters were from very different eras in China's modern history.

"There are many, multi-layered problems represented here," Hu told RFA. "Today we have here demobilized soldiers including lower-ranking officers, non-commissioned officers, and regular soldiers [as well as] soldiers who participated in nuclear tests, and the Vietnam War."
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Screwing Chinese Soldiers
"These people are all members of the party, demobilized, but they were let go with just 400 yuan (U.S.$60) apiece," he said. "The government won't do anything for them."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As if they care on then . Never one single day of democracy in the whole history of that Empire .What will be came from it ?