Chinese media recently reported that PLA Galwan martyr Chen Xiangrong’s elder sister Chen Qiaochai has been inducted in the civilian wing of People’s Liberation Army. The story was run only by CPC approved sites which got an overwhelming response as shown by Beijing to the world. However, according to a few Chinese bloggers, Qiaochai had to run from wall to wall to secure a job for herself and meet the needs of her starving family. PLA soldier Chen Xiangrong and his elder sister have been brought up by their grandmother and there is no other male member left after Xiangrong.

While Qiaochai was pursuing her studies to become a lawyer, Chen’s salary was the only source of income in the house. After Chen got killed in Galwan, the pension did not start for 08 months. A neighbour who knows the family from a long time revealed the struggle of Qiaochai who ran from door to door of CPC offices for help and support but nobody paid heed to the needs of a family whose son died for his country. There was a point of time when locals of Fujian took their protest to online social media groups. After 18 months of struggle, Political works bureau of the Fujian military region announced the induction of Chen’s sister into the civilian military department. Qiaochai was very passionate about her career to become a lawyer but the financial support received from PLA was not enough to sustain the family after the death of Chen Xiangrong.

Chen Qiaochai with her younger
brother Chen Xiangrong

The locals also reported that there is a stark difference in treatment between officers and junior ranks. Though Major Chen Hongjun and Chen Xinagrong died together in the Galwan clash, Major Hongjun’s family received all remunerations on time and are often visited by Lanzhou administration for any required assistance. However, Xiangrong was only a ‘Private’ in PLA. A lot of Weibo users who claim to have worked in PLA at some point of time said that they left the armed services due to partial treatment of people based on ranks. As per them, junior level officers of PLA do not get proper food and basic services while senior officers live like emperors.

Chen with his Grandmother

On 18 Feb 21, a wreath laying ceremony was held where locals visited the cemeteries of PLA martyrs in their respective home towns to pay respect to the soldiers who died in the Galwan valley while facing the Indian army. 19 year old Chen Xiangrong died along with three other officers, Major Chen Hongjun Battalion commander of the Mobile infantry battalion, 363rd Regiment of Frontier Defence company of the Xinjiang Military Region, Junior Sergeant Xiao Siyuan and Junior Sergeant Wang Zhuoran. The distribution of awards to the officially dead soldiers has also been addressed with anger by Chinese netizens. A few bloggers have said that while Col. Qi Fabao received ‘Head of Heroes of Border Guards’, and Major hongjun received ‘Heroes of National Frontiers’ along with PLA’s highest honor ‘The July 1stMedal’ (Posthumously), the other three junior ranks were only awarded with ‘First Class Merit’. This is the first incident where it has been reported by Chinese citizens who themselves have worked in PLA that there is a class difference between PLA ranks which is seen in the behaviour of local authorities too while dealing with the families of officially declared martyrs. Though CPC has hidden a lot of information about the killed soldiers, Mainland bloggers have mined information about them and shared it to be known by rest of the World. The profiles of the the soldiers officially declared by PLA who participated in 15th June 20 Galwan clash have been shared for reference.

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