By Phillip Orchard
Every reform creates winners and losers. But in the case of military overhauls, the losers sometimes command the loyalties of men with guns.
More than a thousand veterans of China’s People’s Liberation Army from several provinces took to the streets in protest over the weekend in the Chinese city of Zhenjiang. The outpouring of discontent appears to have been triggered by an incident earlier in the week, when security personnel reportedly assaulted a veteran outside the local government office after he tried to submit a petition asking for greater pension and health care benefits for vets. By June 24, hundreds of armed police had arrived in the city and reportedly dispersed the rally without major incident. It’s doubtful that the issue has been resolved altogether.
The Zhenjiang protests are just the latest bout of unrest involving disgruntled PLA vets. Since 2016, China has seen periodic protests by veterans, including a smaller demonstration in Henan