China will create new policies, enhance institutional reforms and provide more educational opportunities and services to veterans, officials said on Wednesday.
Last year, China helped find jobs for nearly 50,000 former officers and ex-soldiers, said Bao Fengyu, head of the job placement office at the Ministry of Veterans Affairs.
The ministry was established last year to better safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of military personnel and their families, improve the management system of retired military personnel, and make military careers more respectable in the eyes of civilians.
Around 123 central State-owned enterprises provided more than 15,000 positions for veterans last year, said Wang Zhiming, director of the ministry"s general office. However, there are still more than 80,000 retired officers and 400,000 retired soldiers awaiting reintegration back into the workforce.
"We need to find ways to expand channels for job placement services and help retired veterans find jobs or launch businesses through tax cuts or other means," Wang said.
Bao said the ministry is already working on increasing job placements by expanding positions open to veterans. Those who have served for more than a decade in remote or special posts and may therefore have trouble meeting employment criteria for jobs in big cities can choose to be employed close to their hometowns or their spouse"s residence, he added.
Wang said managing veterans affairs also requires robust legislative support. China will therefore speed up the process of creating various laws and regulations that can protect the rights and interests of retired veterans.
Furthermore, China will provide more services and education opportunities for retired veterans to sharpen their professional skills and increase their competitiveness in the job market, thus allowing them to find better-paying and stable jobs, he said.
For veterans who are struggling financially, the ministry will set up new mechanisms such as special priority cards for retired veterans, Wang said. The ministry will also enhance public education and understanding about veterans" affairs, and encourage society to treat them with respect, he added.
Chen Kunyuan, a 33-year-old retired soldier and now head of a food delivery service in Jiangxi province, said he was just an ordinary soldier hoping to protect the nation when he joined the military in 2002. He retired in 2010 and established Jiangxi Bingge Food Grocery Delivery Co four years later.
His company has employed more than 280 veterans and he helped over 30 veterans launch their own businesses, he added.
Zheng Lu, a 36-year-old retired military engineer, said he is now using his skills to repair and safeguard the national grid. "The Ministry of Veterans Affairs has an extensive network of local agencies that provide comprehensive services. So long as veterans convey their needs through legal and proper means, people from these agencies will do their best to help," he said.
Ma Feixiong, head of the ministry"s office responsible for protecting veterans" rights, said it is very important for the ministry to keep in contact with retired veterans and listen to their needs and opinions.
"We need to make our policies more accessible and transparent and make sure these policies are thoroughly implemented," he said. "Local agencies dealing with veterans" affairs should also shoulder their responsibility in hearing and solving the issues."
At the same time, the ministry encourages veterans to submit any petitions they may have online, which is less costly, more efficient, and easier to collect and process, he said.
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