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China troops eye $23,000 bonus for Tibet service

November 22, 2009

Reuters
November 21, 2009

BEIJING -- Chinese soldiers from the southern
boomtown of Guangzhou who are newly assigned to
Tibet will get a "special allowance" of up to
160,000 yuan ($23,440) for serving there, a local
newspaper reported on Saturday.

There are 240 soldiers from Guangzhou in a
contingent of 520 from Guangdong province
assigned to the restive Himalayan region, the
Guangzhou daily reported in a front page story
also on their website (http://gzdaily.dayoo.com).

"These new soldiers who are going to Tibet are
outstanding new soldiers who have gone through a
strict selection process," the paper said.

"The whole province has a laid down a
preferential policy for soldiers going to Tibet,
and soldiers registered in Guangzhou who are
posted to Tibet, will be able to get a special
allowance of up to 160,000 yuan."

The "special allowance" is paid by local
governments to the families of new soldiers to
compensate for the loss of their labour,
according to China Military Online, sponsored by
the People's Liberation Army Daily.

It varies depending on where the soldier is from, and where they are posted.

The Guangzhou paper gave no details of other
bonuses, but the potential payment for those
heading to Tibet is generous even for one of the
richest parts of China, more than what many
graduates would hope to earn as an annual salary.

The high-altitude Tibetan region was wracked by
deadly ethnic violence in 2008 and has seen
sporadic outbreaks of unrest since then. Besides
ethnic tensions, the climate is harsh and most of
the region is at a high altitude that can be hard to adjust to.

(Reporting by Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Sugita Katyal)
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