Starting July 1 the Chinese army doubled the salary for members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), initiating the largest wage raise in the history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The increase has been most pronounced for middle and low level military offices. It is believed that the Party is taking this action as a means to maintain loyalty among an increasingly dissatisfied populace.
After the army reported a salary increase, the Communist Regime's central headquarters in Beijing also promised to raise the income of government workers. The two groups, making up millions of people, account for those who are in direct service to the communist authorities.
The basic salary for officers and soldiers was nearly doubled. Raises according to position were also doubled while raises according to rank increased by three times. The new raises create a sharper delineation between what officers in the military and those in the civil sector can be expected to earn.
Wages as a whole have quadrupled for military personnel over the past five years. On top of Hu Jintao's July increase, former president Jiang Zemin raised the salary for servicemen by three to four times within three years.
Granting Military Ranks in Large Quantities
Mr. Chen Pokong, editor and critic for the website hybsl.cn, has also pointed out that recent communist Party leaders have been the awarding ranks to gain loyalty among the military. When Jiang Zemin was the chairman of the Military Commission, he promoted a total of 79 generals. The second day after taking over as chairman of the Military Commission, Hu Jintao suddenly promoted two officers. During the period of raising salaries, Hu also promoted ten more generals. Hu wants to replace those generals put in place by Jiang so he can be sure his generals are loyal to him.
Mr. Lin Zhengyang, head of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), said that the CCP tries to hold on to servicemen through corrupt means. Zhengyang said they give out as many high military ranks as possible, creating a rank inflation among military officers. He said that it has become so common that people in China are no longer fooled.
Rebellion and Revenge
Li Zhengyang said that the CCP would only pay someone if it needs something from him. The CCP has been raising the military's salary because it feels it has no other choice. The party is very worried, added Zhengyang, because there have been a series of transportation mishaps. Airplanes and ships have been getting into accidents that some believe are not accidental.
In June, a KJ-2000—a large early warning airplane—crashed into a mountain area when flying over Guangde County, Anhui Province. The 40 military experts and two major generals on board all died. This was the beginning of a series of airplane crashes, killing those on board. Some speculate that this is the revenge by soldiers who were transferred to civilian work prior to the July 1 wage increase, making them ineligible for the raise. It is estimated that these types of “accidents” will continue to occur.
In the 1960s, soldiers were disgruntled, but what is happening today is flat out revenge. Into the mid 1990s, it was uncommon for veterans to appeal for unawarded benefits. The majority of those appealing to the Beijing government were those who wanted compensation for harm they suffered during the Cultural Revolution. Now, ten years later, it is not uncommon to find groups of several thousand appealing together. Since soldiers have been transferred to civilian positions, rebellion is starting to surface
The Motivation Behind the Salary Increases
Chen Pokong has pointed out that the reason the CCP is raising military salaries is to maintain control. In order to accomplish this goal it must have the loyalty of the military. Historically, the communist party has relied on violence to maintain power. Only after soldiers' hearts are firmly under the control of the communist regime can the Party's dictatorial rule be stabilized. Mass protests and strikes continue and become more intensive in the country. Recently, the number of such protests has reached as high as 80,000 yearly. Control and stability have become increasingly sought after by the party, and increasingly illusive. In its search for security, according to Pokong, the communist regime is trying to imbed itself in the military.
'Being Bought off'
Mr. Wu Fan, chief editor of China Affairs, a U.S.-based internet magazine, pointed out the Party's plot is quite transparent to the majority of servicemen in the Chinese military and to the greater public as well. They understand that they are being bought off. In their hearts they know that their obligation is to protect the people and land of China, not to do the CCP's dirty work. Wu said that the salary increases would only further displease the veterans. There are millions of veterans in China; several million of them are retired officers. Their economic situations are by no means stable.
He said that the people can sense that the military is becoming more and more unstable—the rapid, unjustified raises are just one more symptom of the greater illness.
Voices From inside the Military
An article written by an anonymous soldier was published in a Chinese newspaper last month entitled, “How to Disintegrate the CCP.” It called for a veritable coup d'etat against the CCP regime. It called for an end to military violence and violent control of the people and a beginning of peaceful reform.
The author also called on the Chinese people to widely spread the Epoch Times ' Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party , a book that details the crimes of the CCP since it took over rule of China.
Wu Fan credits The Nine Commentaries with catalyzing the new movement to replace the CCP regime with a legitimate democracy. Wu, along with several of his colleagues, have created The Future China Forum—an open, round table discussion about the future of China after the CCP falls.
Gao Dawei, director of the Global Center for Quitting the CCP, said that The Nine Commentaries has, “successfully dispelled the Chinese communist culture of brainwashing and propaganda. In its place are arising Chinese people that are able to think clearly about its future.”