Veterans' Political Activism in China

Modern China, Vol. 41, No. 3 (May 2015), pp. 278-312

35 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013 Last revised: 16 May 2015

See all articles by Neil J Diamant

Neil J Diamant

Dickinson College

Kevin J. O'Brien

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Date Written: May 1, 2015

Abstract

This article examines protest, petitioning, lawsuits, open letters, blogging and other forms of activism by Chinese veterans. Moving beyond images of heroic soldiers in the official media, and the near absence of reporting on veterans’ problems, we draw mainly on blog posts and military websites where veterans share their experiences of post-army life. We find that, overall, veterans have had difficulty adjusting to the economic, social, cultural and political changes of the reform era, with many of them finding themselves left behind as other groups have forged ahead. Veterans complain about poverty, unresolved medical problems,small pensions, and lack of respect for their contributions to the nation. Not a few have experienced terrible indignities at the hands of security officials and a leadership that is bent on preventing any interest group formation that might ameliorate veterans’ problems.

Keywords: veterans, People's Liberation Army, repression, protest, disability, pension, Vietnam War

JEL Classification: K42, N45, P20, P39

Suggested Citation

Diamant, Neil J and O'Brien, Kevin J., Veterans' Political Activism in China (May 1, 2015). Modern China, Vol. 41, No. 3 (May 2015), pp. 278-312, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2353994

Neil J Diamant

Dickinson College ( email )

PO Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

Kevin J. O'Brien (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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