Article 25 of the Common Program
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Article 25 of the Common Program

Dependents of those who have given their lives for the revolution and of members of the revolutionary forces, who are in need, shall receive preferential treatment, from the state and from society. The people's government shall make appropriate arrangements for disabled or retired service men who have participated in the revolutionary war, providing them with the means of livelihood or with occupations.


May 15, 1950 The
RMC
October 20, 1949 People's Revolutionary Military Commission of the Central People's Government Front row from left: Su Yu, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Mao, Cheng Qian, Liu Shaoqi, Chen Yi; middle row from left: Nie Rongzhen, Gao Gang, Zhang Zhizhong, Deng Xiaoping, Zhang Yunyi, Liu Fei; back row from left: Lo Ruiqing, He Long, Cai Tingkai, Fu Zuoyi, Liu Bocheng
decides to reduce the PLA to 3 million soldiers. This process has to elapse in two periods. The first phase about 1,4 million soldiers have to leave service. This reduction has several goals, first of all to get rid of the ex GMD soldiers whose loyalty is unsure. Secondly in order to modernize the PLA and to establish the PLAN and PLAAF money has to be saved on salary and logistics. Army officers who are transferred to the civilian sector, are entitled to a post equivalent to their military rank in terms of salary, level, and additional benefits. Many demobilized soldiers are assigned to coercive institutions and to political positions that require only low-level technical competence, such as the political department in a factory or workshop.
During the implementation of these policies North Korea invades South Korea. See Article 54 The RMC decides to continue with the plans but a few months later the demobilization stops and troops are gathered near the border with North Korea.
Shen Zhihua (1998). China sends troops to Korea: Beijing’s policy-making process. In Li Xiaobing & Li Hongshan (Eds.), China and the United States: A new cold war history. University Press of America. Page 22
A demobilization committee has the task to organize the schema. Over 1000 Veteran Administration Offices are founded throughout the country. In mid October 1950 these Offices change in recruiting offices for the war in Korea.
"Many of the recently opened offices simply changed their signs from Veteran Administration Office to New Recruitment Office, using the same staff at the same location.” Li Xiaobing (2007). A history of the modern Chinese army. University Press of Kentucky. Page 87

Phase two starts as soon as the Korean War allows reduction. Between 1952 and October 1953 about 2 million soldiers leave the army and between 1954 and 1958 about 1,8 million. Most demobilized soldiers are women, ex GMD, elderly people and physical weak. Specialists and young intellectuals are moved to important industrial projects.

Resettlement....

The main characteristic of the general demobilization policy is resettlement. These means returning to the place of birth. This process is far from easy, because many recruits have joined the army to escape the poor conditions of their villages and they are unwilling to return.
Diamant Neil J. & O’Brien Kevin J. (2013). Veterans’ Political Activism in China. University of California. Page 12
Other veterans have lost their entire family during the wars and arrive as ‘strangers ’in their village, sometimes they are adopted as son by poor families because of the privileges they receive. 100.000 ex-soldiers are more or less deported to the province of Heilongjiang to exploit new farmland. Xinjiang is also an area where recruits are sent to. (See Article 2). Veterans who return home find out that their spouses have divorced or want to divorce. (See Article 6). During the civil war and Japanese war several women are raped which also causes many domestic problems. The ACFDW tries to arrange marriages between handicapped ex-soldiers and widows.

Preferential treatment,....

Officers have the right to a new job with the same status, salary and position. The ordinary soldiers who are often low educated but have a long history as party member receive jobs at the political section of factories and workshops.
“Given their superior political standing, the CCP has expected them not merely to rejoin civilian society but to take leadership responsibilities in all areas of activity, both inside and outside the state machine. As a result, soldiers and ex-soldiers have been granted priority access to Party membership and cadre positions in the state and collective sectors. Ex-soldiers assigned to ordinary jobs, moreover, were expected to play a special political role as " models " (mofan) and " advanced people " (xianjin renwu) and take the lead (daitou) as pioneers.”
White Gordon (1980). The politics of demobilized soldiers from liberation to cultural revolution. The China Quarterly, 82. Page 189
In addition, they get priority in training and during the Land Reform “'landlord exemptions' were given to dependent families allowing those already holding land to retain, or in some cases gain, additional land beyond that of what regular households could hold. Large landholding, once common among official families, became the domain of military families.”
Ross Jason W. (2008). Shaping the Chinese people's liberation army's image: Historical roots to modern trends. MA thesis, University of Oregon. Page 18
As we have seen in Article 20 about 30 percent of the PLA soldiers have a GMD background and to make things more complicated “During the Civil War, entire Nationalist units (many of whom fought very valiantly —and patriotically —against Japan) switched sides. These circumstances were quite complex, reflecting the chaos of war; shifting alliances between the CCP, Nationalists, warlords, and secret societies; and divided family alliances. Even death was complicated: as late as 1963 there were memorial sites that had Nationalist Party corpses mixed in with Communist Party martyrs.87 As a result, the PLA that emerged from the civil war in 1949 was a predominantly rural force but also included people who had a variety of class and social backgrounds, and so did its veterans.”
Diamant Neil J. (2010). Embattled glory: Veterans, military families, and the politics of patriotism in China, 1949–2007. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Page 121
At the first national civil affairs conference in July 1950 the following duties for Civil Affairs Departments are laid down: “…, preferential treatment, resettlement of demobilized personnel, social relief, work relief, hardship subsidy, land administration, household registration, ..”
Wong Linda (2005). Marginalization and Social Welfare in China Routledge. Page 44
and at December 11, 1950 the government promulgates 5 provisional regulations which concern;
1.The families of revolutionary martyrs and revolutionary military personnel
2. Disabled revolutionary military personnel
3.The posthumous commendation of revolutionary military personnel who died in action or from illness, and for compensation for their families
4.The commendation of injured or killed revolutionary workers and compensation for their families
5.Injured militia and civilian laborers and to the families of those killed These regulations were based on the measures of 1932
Already in 01-02-1932 Practical measures for carrying out regulations governing preferential treatment for red army members

Problems....

Although these regulations in theory improve the status and the compensation of the veterans “…but the general pattern suggests that “civilian” party officials either flatly refused to recognize, or at least pretended to refuse to recognize when it served their interest, veterans’ contributions (to fighting the Japanese or the United States), focusing instead on their anti-Communist history or (rarely existing) “class purity” as the most important method of evaluating political worthiness. In 1951, a report noted, veterans with “complicated” backgrounds languished without land, jobs, or housing for as long as a year; some lived in guesthouses and subsisted on welfare funds that were distributed to “ordinary” poor people,96 and in villages some of these veterans were immediately placed under surveillance.”
Diamant Neil J. (2010). Embattled glory. Pages121-122
Those veterans who acquired a job were “…usually (placed) at the lowest rung of the hierarchy— as apprentices and contract and temporary workers. Such placement meant that they earned less than workers who were younger but who had more skills and work experience, or were better educated. Veterans could have earned more to the extent that their units followed national salary regulations, which stated that veterans’ civilian job rank and salary scale should include their time in the army.cii”
Diamant Neil J. (2007).Veterans and the Failure of Martial Citizenship in China. EAI Working Paper Series II. Page 21
"Disabled soldiers, police, militia and civilian workers hurt in combat as well as cadres of the Minzhu dangpa1 get relief, This relief was previously given in grain (1950-52) and from 1953, in cash, with payment dispensed twice yearly. Rates varied according to degree of disability, cause and residential status."
Wong Linda (1992) Social welfare under Chinese socialism---a case study of the Ministry of Civil Affairs. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science. Page 170
Physical and mental problems are often not identified or treated “…lack of modern medical care and supplies also resulted in veterans with serious war-related disabilities, chronic diseases (…), posttraumatic stress disorder (then diagnosed as “insanity”), depression, or unexplained maladies.”
Diamant Neil J. (2006). The Stubborn Myth of `Rising Patriotism' in Modern China. (Working paper 2), East Asia Institute. Seoul. Page 12

Organization....

Remarkable is the fact that there is/are no national or local representative organization(s), unlike in other (socialist) countries for the veterans in the People's Republic of China. There is no established mass organization for these veterans. "The PRC does have an Army Day (August 1) during which the state celebrates the achievements of the military and "comforts" (naiwen) military dependents, family members of revolutionary martyrs, and disabled veterans; but it is generally seen as a day to support mobilized soldiers and their families, not veterans."
Diamant Neil J. (2008).Veterans, Organization, and the Politics of Martial Citizenship in China. Journal of East Asian Studies, 8,1. Page 149 note 2
"more-or_less standard pattern” in parades after 1951 gave representation to an honor guard. Young Pioneers, workers, peasants, government employees, urbanites, representatives from industrial and commercial sectors, students, artists and performers, and athletes." Hung Chang-tai (2007). Mao’s parades: State spectacles in China in the 1950s. The China Quarterly, 190, Pages 417-418

Conclusion....

In Chinese society the status of soldiers is traditionally low. In 1950 when a system of classification is introduced the soldiers receive the highest status of good-class origins: See Article 7
There were six basic categories, listed in descending order of political status: (1) Long March veterans; (2) anti-Japanese war veterans; (3) " Liberation struggle " veterans from the 1945-49 Civil War; (4) " new veterans " who were in fact " uprising personnel" … from the Guomindang army; (5) Korean war volunteers; (6) ordinary conscripts under the new draft system: "White 1980). The politics of demobilized soldiers. Pages 190-191
This does not mean people look up to them
“By discharging them the PLA “separated the bones from the meat,” a union official claimed. According to an investigation by the cadre section of a Shanghai firm, all veterans were said to have “physical or political history problems or else were purged by their units.”
Diamant (2006) Stubborn myth. Page 25
Although the veterans have a different image of themselves “At the ideological level they tended to believe the honorific things said about them in the official media and often displayed an arrogant sense of political superiority (gongchen zijude jiaoao) towards civilian cadres and masses.”
White, The politics of demobilized soldiers. Page 199 White remarks “Ordinary ex-servicemen who were Party members tended to look down on their civilian comrades, particularly in the countryside. They were quick to criticize civilian cadres, moreover, because their political prestige gave them " the right to speak out" (fayanquan), made them " bold in making criticisms, bold in raising opinions," and freed them from the fear of being accused of being " backward " or " making [political] mistakes."
Even in the parades there was no place for them. According to Chang-tai Hong, the “more-or_less standard pattern” in parades after 1951 gave representation to an honor guard. Young Pioneers, workers, peasants, government employees, urbanites, representatives from industrial and commercial sectors, students, artists and performers, and athletes. See his 'Mao's Parades: State Spectacles in China in the 1950's. The China Quarterly 190 (June 2007): 417-418. Note 4 149


Literature Notes Documents...

1. Shen Zhihua (1998). China sends troops to Korea: Beijing’s policy-making process. In Li Xiaobing & Li Hongshan (Eds.), China and the United States: A new cold war history. University Press of America. Page 22 Back
2. "Many of the recently opened offices simply changed their signs from Veteran Administration Office to New Recruitment Office, using the same staff at the same location.” Li Xiaobing (2007). A history of the modern Chinese army. University Press of Kentucky. Page 87 Back
3. Diamant Neil J. & O’Brien Kevin J. (2013). Veterans’ Political Activism in China. University of California. Page 12 Back
4. White Gordon (1980). The politics of demobilized soldiers from liberation to cultural revolution. The China Quarterly, 82. Page 189 Back
5. Ross Jason W. (2008). Shaping the Chinese people's liberation army's image: Historical roots to modern trends. MA thesis, University of Oregon. Page 18 Back
6. Diamant Neil J. (2010). Embattled glory: Veterans, military families, and the politics of patriotism in China, 1949–2007. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Page 121 Back
7. Wong Linda (2005). Marginalization and Social Welfare in China Routledge. Page 44 Back
9. Diamant Neil J. (2010). Embattled glory. Pages121-122 Back
10. Diamant Neil J. (2007).Veterans and the Failure of Martial Citizenship in China. EAI Working Paper Series II. Page 21 Back
11. Wong Linda (1992) Social welfare under Chinese socialism---a case study of the Ministry of Civil Affairs. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science. Page 170 Back
12. Diamant Neil J. (2006). The Stubborn Myth of `Rising Patriotism' in Modern China. (Working paper 2), East Asia Institute. Seoul. Page 12 Back
13. Diamant Neil J. (2008).Veterans, Organization, and the Politics of Martial Citizenship in China. Journal of East Asian Studies, 8,1. Page 149 note 2 Back
14. "more-or_less standard pattern” in parades after 1951 gave representation to an honor guard. Young Pioneers, workers, peasants, government employees, urbanites, representatives from industrial and commercial sectors, students, artists and performers, and athletes." Hung Chang-tai (2007). Mao’s parades: State spectacles in China in the 1950s. The China Quarterly, 190, Pages 417-418 Back
15. There were six basic categories, listed in descending order of political status: (1) Long March veterans; (2) anti-Japanese war veterans; (3) " Liberation struggle " veterans from the 1945-49 Civil War; (4) " new veterans " who were in fact " uprising personnel" … from the Guomindang army; (5) Korean war volunteers; (6) ordinary conscripts under the new draft system: "White 1980). The politics of demobilized soldiers. Pages 190-191 Back
16. Diamant (2006) Stubborn myth. Page 25 Back
17. White, The politics of demobilized soldiers. Page 199 White remarks “Ordinary ex-servicemen who were Party members tended to look down on their civilian comrades, particularly in the countryside. They were quick to criticize civilian cadres, moreover, because their political prestige gave them " the right to speak out" (fayanquan), made them " bold in making criticisms, bold in raising opinions," and freed them from the fear of being accused of being " backward " or " making [political] mistakes." Page 201 Back
18. Even in the parades there was no place for them. According to Chang-tai Hong, the “more-or_less standard pattern” in parades after 1951 gave representation to an honor guard. Young Pioneers, workers, peasants, government employees, urbanites, representatives from industrial and commercial sectors, students, artists and performers, and athletes. See his 'Mao's Parades: State Spectacles in China in the 1950's The China Quarterly 190 (June 2007): 417-418. Note 4 149 Back

Meetings....

06-06-1950: 3rd Enlarged Plenum of the 7th CC

15-07-1950: 1st national civil affairs conference

Continue to Chapter 4