Uphold law in addressing veterans’ demand

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/6/27 23:15:01

Treatment of veterans has become a hot topic in China recently. Some retired soldiers complain about improper treatment and ineffective implementation of policies. Veterans from earlier eras are dissatisfied with their pensions, which lag far behind what today's soldiers receive when they leave the army.

China established the Ministry of Veteran Affairs earlier this year. Such effort reflects the great importance the government has attached to ensuring veterans' interests, and is expected to alleviate compensation and other similar disputes surrounding veterans.

The whole society should respect retired soldiers, support policies made to protect veterans' interests and encourage the comprehensive implementation of these policies. Sound treatment of veterans is a way to support the country's active military units, and a prerequisite to ensure a shared ease among military personnel.

Chinese society should strengthen its collective recognition of veterans. For years, China has placed more emphasis on the well-being of active duty soldiers than veterans, and thus has little knowledge of veterans' core issues. While some regard veterans as ordinary renewed citizens, others believe they deserve better treatment.

Most soldiers enter service at a young age and later return to normal life. They devote themselves wholeheartedly to the defense of China during their term of service, and in most cases, must make a fresh career start after retiring from the military. In addition, soldiers live a tough life and are required to thrust themselves to war in a moment's notice. For these reasons, society should be grateful and fairly compensate veterans.

But given the large number of retired soldiers - an official estimate of 57 million - the government is not capable of providing ideal arrangements for all its veterans. China has different policies regarding veterans in different periods, and these policies, in general, are attractive. In China, people enlist of their own volition and being a soldier is believed to be a good choice.

As China sees rapid development, a prominent problem has arisen. Allowances and other preferential policies for today's veterans far exceed compensation that soldiers in the early days of reform and opening up received. As a result, the latter demand more compensation from the government.

This is a sophisticated issue. Firstly, the government should attach more importance to protecting veterans' interests while distinguishing between their justified and unreasonable appeals. 

Secondly, China hasn't been involved in any war since the 1979 border war with Vietnam. Not all veterans have fought in a war. The public should take an objective and rational attitude on the issue, avoid misunderstandings and seek societal consensus.

Thirdly, veterans' appeals should be handled in accordance with the country's unified policy. Preferential treatment for individual veterans in an attempt to pacify them from protests must be avoided.

Fourthly, there are reports that some local authorities are corrupt in handling veteran affairs. This must be strictly investigated to ensure a comprehensive implementation of policies.

Fifthly, a restructured compensation for veterans, if approved, will derive from tax revenues, and therefore, will touch on the interests of the whole society. The public must stay calm and support the government in handling the issue based on law, China's financial condition and the principle of fairness.

We believe Chinese society can properly solve the issue, making the process a successful case of comprehensively implementing the rule of law.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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