The major task for authorities in charge of veteran affairs this year is to help military retirees land civilian jobs and improve their standard of living, according to a senior official.
Sun Shaocheng, China's minister of veterans affairs, said in a ministry meeting last week that President Xi Jinping and other top leaders talked about veteran affairs and gave specific instructions during the third sessions of the 13th National People's Congress and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, both of which were held in late May in Beijing.
The minister urged officials to learn from the attention and care Xi gives to veterans and fully implement the president's instructions. They should focus on improving veterans' employment and boosting their overall well-being, he said at the meeting, which was held to brief ministry officials about the two sessions.
The government must ensure veterans' employment and improve their treatment, according to this year's Government Work Report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang to the NPC.
The premier also urged government departments to take concrete measures to fulfill policies on retirees' treatment when he met reporters after the NPC annual session last month.
Zhang Jun, procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said in the annual report of the top procuratorate delivered to the NPC that prosecutors will establish a "green channel" across the country to offer expedited and prioritized services to veterans.
Meanwhile, Wu Changde and Wei Changjin, national political advisers from the military, called for better vocational training and increased pensions for retirees during the recent session of the CPPCC National Committee.
China has taken a host of measures over the past two years to improve benefits for veterans and military members' families.
In March 2018, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs was established. The National Veterans Service Center was set up in February 2019, and since then, veteran service centers or stations have been established at every administrative level, from community to provincial.
Guidelines listed in a document published by the government in January cover almost all elements of daily life, ranging from medical care, housing and education to transportation and leisure activities.
Under the guidelines, members of the armed forces, military retirees and other qualified people should be given priority and favorable policies at designated elderly-care centers or hospitals. They should also be given free admission or discounts at museums, parks and other tourism sites.
Currently, each veteran is eligible for two years of free vocational training and will receive a living allowance during the training period.
Employers are urged to give preference to veterans in recruitment, set lower requirements for job applicants who have served in the military and arrange periodic training for any veteran they hire.
Enterprises that hire veterans can be eligible for tax benefits if they meet certain criteria.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, more than 58 million military personnel have re-entered civilian life, according to official statistics.