Veterans’ Political Activism in China
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1177/0097700414533631
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 leapt ahead. Veterans complain about poverty, unresolved medical problems, 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.