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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 28, 1959

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE INTERIOR MINISTRY, 'REPLY TO THE LETTER FROM THE KOREAN SIDE PROPOSING THAT FORMER CAPTIVES WHO ARE CHINESE CITIZEN KOREAN NATIONALITY PEOPLE’S ARMY SOLDIERS BE GIVEN VETERAN’S BENEFITS'

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    The Chinese Interior Ministry devises a policy to accord veterans benefits to Chinese Koreans who served in the North Korean army and have since returned to China.
    "Cable from the Chinese Interior Ministry, 'Reply to the Letter from the Korean Side Proposing that Former Captives Who are Chinese Citizen Korean Nationality People’s Army Soldiers be given Veteran’s Benefits'," October 28, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-00942-02, 43. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/198177
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11-009-12-02

People’s Republic of China Ministry of Internal Affairs

Reply to the Letter from the Korean Side Proposing that Former Captives Who are Chinese Citizen Korean Nationality People’s Army Soldiers be given Veteran’s Benefits

(59) Ministry of Internal Affairs Benefits Section No. 254

To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Affairs Department:

We received your letter of June 16 (59) First Consular No. 6/21 with annex Chinese Embassy in Korea (59) Consular No. 012.

We considered the proposals raised by the [North] Korean side to accord veteran’s benefits to those former POWs -- who came to China having either crossed the international border illegally or, holding a Korean passport, came to China but have not returned to Korea -- who had been PRC citizens of the Korean nationality and later served in the Korean People’s Army. According to the principles and rules proposed in July 18, 1956 report approved by the State Council by Comrade Gan Siqi “Report and Request for Guidance on Arrangements for Chinese Citizen Korean Nationality Solders from the Korean People’s Army Returning to China,” we agree with the opinions on handling this matter from your Department and from the Chinese Embassy in Korea.

Those returning Korean People’s Army soldiers whom the Mobilization Department of Korea has issued a demobilization certificate and who have followed the procedures for returning to China should be accorded the veteran’s benefits of a Chinese veteran. Those among the returnees who illegally crossed the international border or do not have a Korean Mobilization Department issued demobilization certificate need not return to Korea to apply for them. They can apply at the [North] Korean consulate in China designated by the Foreign Affairs Department for assistance in apply for demobilization documents. Once they have received their demobilization certificate and have completed their citizenship procedures, our side can accord them veteran’s benefits. If they encounter difficulties in working or in their daily lives, the local authorities will be responsible for finding a suitable solution.

Those among them who by their actions betrayed China and went over to the enemy side will not be accorded veteran’s benefits. Official reply for the record.

[seal] People’s Republic of China Ministry of the Interior

October 28, 1959

Distribution: Civil Affairs Departments of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang; [unclear] Mobilization Department; [unclear] Mobilization [unclear]; People's Liberation Army General Political Department