context: Difficulties in post-military job-seeking and patchy supervision of the distribution of benefits cause disgruntlement among veterans-turned-civilians and have made them a vocal source of social dissatisfaction. Xi Jinping promised veterans better treatment at the 19th Party Congress and this guideline, if enforced, may help raise morale among the armed forces. The fact that the edict had to be issued, however, points to continued problems.

12 ministries, including the Ministry of Veterans Affairs set up in the March government restructure, issued Opinions on help veterans find employment and set up businesses. The Opinions call for

  • job training at all levels
  • lowering hiring requirements and raising quotas for veterans seeking government jobs
  • allowing business that hire veterans to be eligible for tax benefits
  • reserving space for veterans in start-up incubators and industrial parks, and giving entrepreneurial veterans financial and tax benefits
  • setting up an employment and entrepreneurship guidance team to support veterans

The Opinions stress that helping veterans set up businesses and find work is foremost a political task. Work mechanisms should be improved, tasks should be divided clearly and integrated into performance appraisals of government officials. Supervision should be strengthened to ensure that policies are effective. Beijing warns that extra conditions or exceptions tacked onto central policies will be rectified and those that act in violation of policy will be punished.