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Army Stresses Stable Food Supply for Soldiers
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The General Logistics Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) ordered all units to "take forceful measures" to ensure stable food supply for soldiers amid food price hike, according to a circular.


"All army units should take measures fit for their own conditions so as to offset the impact of price hikes and ensuring that soldiers' life standard would not drop," the department said in a recent circular.


All units could use surplus fund left from previous years to subsidize soldiers' food in accordance with local conditions, it said, adding they could adjust dietary as long as the food met the army's set nutritional standard.


The circular calls for closely monitoring the whole process of food supply from purchase to processing and increasing food safety supervision.


It emphasizes that soldiers stationed in tough or remote areas could have access to fresh vegetables and troops stationed in such places as southern China islands could raise livestock to improve food for soldiers.


China has decided to increase the food subsidy of its soldiery by 10 percent to 11 yuan per day (US$1.45) per person from 10 yuan.


"The rise will help offset the impact of price hikes and improve food for soldiers, as military training demands a lot of energy and a strong body," said Liao Xilong, director of the PLA General Logistics Department.


China's defense budget for 2007 is expected to hit 351 billion yuan (US$45 billion), 17.8 percent higher than last year.


According to Liao, the rise will be used to improve salaries, pensions, create new uniforms, and also on military training for China's 2.3 million servicemen.


(Xinhua News Agency September 3, 2007)

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