China Now Pays Troops Involved In Nuclear Tests

China Now Pays Troops Involved In Nuclear Tests
January 28th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: China Now Pays Troops Involved In Nuclear Tests

China Now Pays Troops Involved In Nuclear Tests
New York Times
January 28, 2008
Pg. 10
By David Lague
BEIJING — China has begun paying military personnel involved in nuclear tests, as part of its effort to improve benefits for veterans, the state news media reported over the weekend.
In the first public acknowledgment of the new benefit, the minister of civil affairs, Li Xueju, said that the government had started the “subsidies” to veterans of nuclear tests last year, the official Xinhua news agency reported late Saturday.
In a visit to a unit of the People’s Armed Police on Friday, Mr. Li said the government paid 15.12 billion yuan, or more than $2 billion last year, to more than eight million veterans and families of service personnel killed in combat or in public service, an increase of 34.8 percent over outlays in 2006, Xinhua said.
The total included payments to “some military personnel and civilians” who had taken part in nuclear tests, Xinhua reported Mr. Li as saying, without details.
China conducted 45 nuclear tests at its remote Lop Nur site in the western region of Xinjiang, including 23 in the atmosphere, from 1964 until it signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1996.
Beijing maintains tight secrecy about its nuclear weapons program, and access to the Lop Nur site and the surrounding region is tightly restricted.
Some foreign journalists have reported an increased incidence of cancers and other diseases in people near the test site, but China has never spoken officially on the possibility of health risks to staff members or local residents from radiation exposure.
The United States government has paid compensation to people suffering health problems as a result of exposure to fallout from nuclear tests, and veterans in Britain, Canada and Australia are seeking similar payments.
In recent years, Chinese veterans and demobilized soldiers have been more assertive in pressing for improved benefits, job opportunities and retraining.

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