A Thousand Demobilized Cadres' Appeal for Denied Benefits

July 1, 2008 Updated: July 1, 2008

CHINA—Nearly one thousand demobilized cadres and volunteer soldiers in Yantai City, Shandong Province visited the Municipal National People's Congress at 8:30 a.m., on June 27. They demanded answers from the local government regarding noncompliance with the demobilized cadres' benefits policies. The local government, instead of conducting an official dialogue with the petitioners, responded with a 500-man police blockade, which resulted in a physical confrontation.

One of the petitioners, Mr. Zhao indicated that no one from the National People's Congress had shown up, except a few hundred policemen. Everyone was about to rush in and demand: “We urge the Government to fulfill the relevant policies and promises. Life has been very difficult and yet, we've been deprived of our benefits without reason.”

Greeted by 500 Police

Zhao told The Epoch Times, “People are trying to rush in but failed. There are 500 police guarding the main entrance. No one showed up to meet us, and we are not allowed to go in. They ignore our petition.”

Another demobilized cadre, Mr. Qu said, “We are exercising our legal rights to appeal, and yet, 500 police are here to stop us from entering the office. No leader would come out and meet us. Now there are so many people here, the situation is bad. This is not fair to us. Both sides are in a state of deadlock. People are very anxious. There was some physical contact. We are still pretty rational. We have around 1,000 people here.”

An Epoch Times reporter tried to call the Yantai Municipal National People's Congress for comment on the matter, but no one answered.

Mr. Qu said, “The purpose of the petition is to demand an answer and explanation. We would like the Shandong Provincial government to seriously practice the relevant policies to subsidize demobilized cadres' cost of living and to adjust wages.”

Public Servants Nowhere to Be Found

The entrance of National People's Congress at Yantai is open today, however, no one can be found. Mr. Qu said, “As the governmental office of Letters and Calls, the National People's Congress is paid by the people's tax, and is supposed to serve the people. However, these public servants would not adhere to their duty. You can't even find them. This is unbelievable.”

It is learned that since year 2005, there have been several public appeals by massive demobilized cadres and retired employee groups in Yantai. Accordingly, a total of 5,000 people have requested answers regarding benefits including unemployment, delayed paychecks, and issues such as welfare, housing, subsides, and so forth.

Police State Tactics

This January, a representative of the demobilized cadres of Yantai, Shandong Province, Qiao Yanbin was sentenced to four and a half years on unfounded charges. The Yantai Fushan Police Sub-bureau has monitored Qiao Yanbin for a long time because of his appeals for demobilized cadres' rights.

A local official in Yantai has taken measures such as phone tapping, surveillance of housing and restricting demobilized cadres from traveling to appeal to the national government. Many have been illegally reprimanded, detained and restricted in their personal and communication freedoms.