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Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 09:13

WWII veterans to receive subsidies

By Xu Wei

China will honor veterans who fought in World War II with a subsidy of 5,000 yuan ($790), authorities said on Tuesday, weeks ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

The veterans include former People's Liberation Army soldiers, military officials and other servicemen who fought in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45), according to an announcement by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Finance.

Veterans of the National Revolutionary Army, the military arm of the Kuomintang, who fought in the war but later defected to the PLA, or those who fought in the war but retired before the civil war, will also be given subsidies, according to the ministries.

China has about 20,000 surviving veterans of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, according to estimates by the Shenzhen Longyue Charity Foundation, which is devoted to caring for Chinese veterans.

Many National Revolutionary Army veterans remain unaccounted for since they returned to their hometowns, some of them in remote villages. Statistics from ilaobing.com, an online volunteer community devoted to the welfare of veterans, showed the country has 3,000 to 4,000 National Revolutionary Army veterans.

Wang Shijun, son of 93-year-old Wang Weishan, a former officer with the National Revolutionary Army who retired before the civil war, said the family has not been notified about the rewards.

"I will be delighted if my father is put on the list. It is more of a recognition of his contributions than a financial award," he said.

Wang, who lives with his son in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, fought in the Battle of Guilin in 1944 against Japanese forces.

Wang said his father has received frequent visits from local authorities and volunteers in recent years. "We are glad that the government cared about my father, and recognized what he did in the past," he said.

Sun Mian, founder of New Weekly magazine, who leads a group of volunteers devoted to caring for veterans, said he is disappointed that the reward did not go to the National Revolutionary Army veterans who fought both in World War II and the civil war (1946-49).

"There is no reason why they should not be included in this list," he wrote on his micro blog.

Wang Xiaodong contributed to this story.

xuwei@chinadaily.com.cn

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