The government of Jiangxi, one of the Chinese provinces devastated by heavy snow and freezing rain over the past month, has bought accident insurance for all soldiers taking part in the disaster relief work, according to military sources.
The premiums were paid by provincial finance department, according to the sources.
The Nanjing Military Area Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) deployed 12,000 officers and soldiers to seven Jiangxi cities including Ganzhou, Ji'an, Jiujiang, Shangrao, Wuzhou, Yichun and Pingxiang.
The PLA forces were mainly engaged in repairing power facilities damaged by the lingering bad weather.
Since mid-January, there have been reports of power company workers being either injured or killed when trying to repair damaged electrical towers and cables.
Jiangxi has attached great importance to logistic services for the troops, and civilians have been sent to assist the military rescuers.
It was the first report of a local government in China buying insurance premiums for servicemen. There was no detailed figures about the policies.
In 1998, the PLA issued a statute on insurance for service people killed or injured in peacetime work and military action, in addition to special subsidies for them. In the past, only injured servicemen or families of military martyrs received the special subsidies.
According to the statute, payment of the insurance is varied for servicemen of different ranks in accordance with their salaries. The PLA also buys medical insurance for ex-servicemen.
(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)