Authorities swiftly detained more than 100 former armed forces personnel for protesting on Sept. 13.
A total of 137 veterans were arrested for publicly criticizing the Central Military Commission’s Mail and Telephone Office in Beijing, China. A further 63 tried to join but were “stopped” before reaching their destination.
The group was charged with an “illegal gathering” for wanting the government to relocate them to different areas where there are better employment opportunities.
Since Xi Jinping took office in 2012, most of the nation’s 57 million veterans have complained about struggling to find work in state-owned enterprises and Chinese government agencies.
ANI News reported such protests have continued since 2012. They want to be resettled, and are increasingly dissatisfied with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In the past such protests would be limited to provincial government areas. This time they demonstrated in the nation’s capitol.
However, the CCP does not appear to be willing to listen to their concerns. The Chinese regime seemingly prefers to arrest and repress former military servicemen.
On June 19, 2018, thousands of inactive veterans went to Zhenjiang city, Jiangsu province to protest. However, authorities quickly stopped them. More than 500 people became injured, 15 comatose, and three died.
One week later, veterans protested in Zhenjiang. However, they were moved on and information about the gathering was blocked.
Between Oct. 4 and 6, 2018, veterans protested for fair treatment in Pingdu Town, Shandong province. However, local authorities responded with special police and tear gas grenades. Veterans used fire extinguishers to defend themselves and more than 10 protest leaders were arrested.
Radio Free Asia contacted many veterans and they declined to comment, because speaking on the phone would further risk their safety.
TFI Global News suggests the CCP is worried about a potential military coup. During the 2021 celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP Chinese soldiers were educated in staying loyal to the party and Xi.
The New York Times previously quoted a Chinese army major general admitting the military has to resolutely follow Xi’s orders, take responsibility before Xi, and reassure Xi.