2012 RFA Translation: The Rights Protection Trend Among Retired Military Cannot Be Ignored


I saw the RFA article on the Tianwang website of the China Tianwang Human Rights Center in Chengdu at 64tianwang.com


The Rights Protection Trend Among Retired Military Cannot Be Ignored

by Wen Yuqing Radio Free Asia Cantonese Language Section March 31, 2012

In recent years rights protection activities by retired military has become more common throughout China. The authorities, in order to eliminate this unstable element, have recently been constantly carrying out stabilization work among old soldiers. In the Japanese government’s recent report on the East Asia strategic outlook, this trend could lead to social unrest.

RFA made inquiries with several retired military in Hunan Province. Some immediately hung up when our journalist called. Several said that lately many people had been warned by the authorities not to talk with the media outside mainland China and they are now all afraid. They refused to be interviewed.

He said, … “I can’t take a phone call now, I feel very anxious.”

Journalist asked, “Is this about something recent?”

He answered, “Yes”

Journalist asked, “Can you say why?”

He answered, “This is a very troublesome matter.”

Liu Zhihe, a retired Hunan soldier who served in Guangxi Province told the Rights Protection Network said that recently in Guangdong Province retired soldiers held mass meeting to try to get paid. This inspired the Hunan Province retired soldiers to also plan to hold a mass meeting to make their own appeals. On Thursday, the authorities in the name of preserving social stability informed him that ‘Now some retired military people are being stirred up by bad people and are doing some things that are not advantageous to social stability’ and said that Liu Zhihe should have nothing to do with them.

Qu Shitao, a transferred-from-the-military cadres in a Yentai City, Shandong Province company, said he had also received a warning from the government recently. He said that on Wednesday (March 28, 2012) the Public Security Bureau’s State Security Detachment (Guobao) asked them he not allow himself to be used by media from outside mainland China. Qu Shitao said, there are over 10,000 transferred-from-the-military cadres in Yentai City companies and if other categories of retired soldiers are added in, it is hard to estimate how many retired soldiers there are in Yentai City. The problems with their welfare benefits and payments have been outstanding for years and still have not been resolved. He believes that the authorities made their recent request that retired soldiers not accept interviews from media outside the mainland because they realize that in recent years retired soldiers have increasingly made their appeals in mass meetings and street demonstrations. The authorities fear that these appeals will become even more widespread and so made this warning.

He said, … “Two days ago, the PSB National Security Detachment came to see me and said that I may not accept interviews. They said so in obscure language — “If you are used by the overseas enemy forces in the media, you are breaking the law, and we can prosecute you.” I know I am getting myself into trouble, but how can anyone say that I am being used? I am just speaking honestly.”

According to statistics available online, there are several million retired soldiers in China. In recent years, petition groups organized by retired military transferred to enterprises have been repressed by local governments. They have been making their appeals for over a decade but these problems still have not been resolved. The Japanese Self-Defense Ministry Defense Research Institute on Friday (March 30) issued the 2012 edition of its “East Asia Strategic Outlook”  东亚战略概观 to analyze Japan’s security environment. The section on Chinese trends notes that China is making progress in modernizing its armaments but that demonstrations by retired soldiers may become a factor that threatens social stability.

Huang Qi, who assists in the protection of the rights of retired soldiers and is the Director of the China Tianwang Human Rights Center, said that since retired soldiers began making joint petition visits, some cases have been successfully resolved while at the same time there has been increasing repression of petitioners as their numbers have risen. The problem of retired soldiers appealing for their welfare and benefits has arisen because the authorities do not treat them fairly. In this away the authorities have buried many time bombs for themselves. The inflation in recent years has made the lives of the people much more difficult and so large-scale rights protection actions by retired soldiers are likely to continue. He hopes that overseas organizations will notice this matters and hopes that they will encourage the mainland local authorities to carry out the policies of the central government and improve the pay and benefits of these retired soldiers who have served their country.

He said, …”It is a very good thing that Japan has taken note of rights protection among retired soldiers and how soldiers are protecting their own rights. This is a sign that rights protection by the people of mainland China is being recognized overseas and shows that everyone understands this problem.

Huang Qi also said “Not only does the problem of the retired veterans need to be solved quickly, but also other problems such as those of the peasants across China who have lost their land, and the people who have been forced to move when their houses were demolished cannot be ignored. We need to resolve these problems and build together a harmonious society.”


[ 时间:2012-03-31 02:30:18 | 作者:文宇晴 | 来源:自由亚洲电台粤语部 ]
网上有统计显示,退休军人人数高达数百万人。近年来军转干部组织上访的过程中,不断受到地方政府的打压,他们的诉求十多年来一直没有解决。日本防卫省的防卫研究所周五(30日) 发表的2012版《东亚战略概观》,分析了日本周边的安全环境。其中在关于中国动向方面,指出中国大陆解放军装备现代化正在逐步推进,但退伍军人发起的游行有可能升级为社会不稳定因素。

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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