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Notice issued to assist veterans

Jiang Chenlong
Updated: September 14, 2022 09:17    China Daily

In late August, the government issued a notice to improve care for senior retired military cadres.

Jointly released by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, the National Reform and Development Commission and four other departments, the aim of the notice is to help 267,000 retired army cadres-most of whom are above 60 years of age-as they face increasing challenges like living alone and becoming less able, according to an explanation issued by the ministries.

Under the notice, care providers, who are mainly government-funded, are tasked with cooperating with civil pension service agencies to provide daily care and other door-to-door services to retirees. In addition, facilities housing the retirees are urged to set up daycare rooms and canteens for them.

The notice also requires care providers, where necessary and feasible, to bring in community medical organizations to treat common illnesses.

It is the latest in a series of efforts made by the government over the past few years to care for millions of military veterans, as it endeavors to ensure that former military personnel are respected and revered by society.

Favorable employment

While some cadres retire at 55, the majority of soldiers and military personnel leave service while they are still young or middle-aged to take up new jobs arranged by local authorities or to find jobs themselves, while receiving an allowance from the government.

Since the Ministry of Veterans Affairs was established in 2018, some 1.85 million veterans nationwide have been offered government jobs at a variety of public agencies, according to Ma Feixiong, vice-minister of veterans affairs. Ma added that 2.26 million veterans have received various forms of assistance, including training to become entrepreneurs and helping reenter the civilian economic sector.

The ministry has issued a series of favorable job policies to help veterans find work in what it terms "appropriate industries" for ex-military personnel, including education, law enforcement, emergency response and seafaring, according to Yu Jingsen, director for employment and entrepreneurship at the ministry.

"Veterans affairs departments at all levels have signed agreements with 13,000 companies to offer more than 1 million jobs to veterans, and over 300,000 individuals have made a career shift," he said, adding that more adaptive training has been offered since 2019 to "help veterans address the major challenges" of learning the different skills needed in their post-military careers. About 520,000 veterans have participated in these training sessions.

Difficulty alleviation

Another emphasis of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs is to aid military veterans struggling with problems.

"We have worked with the Ministry of Civil Affairs to identify the number of veterans across the country who are having difficulties," said Liang Jingge, director for rights protection at the ministry, adding that in the last four years, the ministry has invested 6.5 billion yuan ($938 million) in aid to veterans.

In addition, a series of judicial assistance policies have been introduced to assist veterans, with 41 million yuan allocated to help them in handling their legal affairs.

An additional 30 million yuan has also been set aside by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs to help needy veterans deal with problems like urgent care and other emergencies, as well as to take care of the educational and medical needs of their children and grandchildren.

Liang added that 20 provincial-level regions have also set up specialized funds to aid retirees, raising a total of 9 billion yuan.

Special services

At the end of last year, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs began issuing new special privilege cards to millions of military veterans and the family members of martyrs.

As of late August, it had issued more than 8.56 million cards and said that it would try its best to finish issuing cards for all eligible by the end of this year, according to Cao Jun, the ministry's director of veteran benefits.

In addition to the prestige that comes from the possession of the cards, veterans enjoy benefits in many aspects of life, including finance, telecommunications, transport, culture and tourism and postal services. For example, cardholders receive discounts when filling up their cars at service stations run by the China National Petroleum Corporation and when they send packages via SF Express.

Veterans can also find some 600,000 veteran service centers and stations offering "convenient, high-quality and efficient services" on Baidu Map and Gaode Map, according to Liang.

In July, the role of veteran affairs assistant was added as a new career to the career system, the first role of its kind designed to serve ex-service members.

Currently, the country is setting skills standards and devising training for the new role.

"The new career will be significant in improving the quality and efficiency of the service guarantee system for veterans," Liang said.

"It will greatly improve the social awareness, recognition and credibility of practitioners of veteran affairs, helping to enhance their confidence and professional sense of belonging," he said.