The Chinese Government has adopted a new policy since 2007 to pay subsidies to participants of nuclear tests, said Li Xueju, minister of civil affairs, during a visit to a unit of the Chinese People's Armed Police (PAP) on Friday.
It is the first time that a government official talked about nuclear test participants receiving the subsidies.
According to Li, the government paid a total of 15.12 billion yuan (US$2.07 billion, an increase of 34.8 percent year-on-year, to more than 8 million former service people and families of martyrs who died in wars or for public interests.
The official said that more than 8 million recipients included some military personnel and civilians who participated in nuclear test. But he did not specify the number of nuclear test participants receiving the subsidies and how much for each of them last year.
On October 16, 1964, China carried out its first nuclear test by exploding an A-bomb, and on July 29, 1996, the government announced that China will stop nuclear tests, temporarily, as a practical action to push forward the international nuclear disarmament.
On September 24, 1996, China signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Ban Treaty of the United Nations.
The minister, who visited the PAP unit before the upcoming Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, also said that last year the government allocated more than 1 billion (US$13.7 million) as subsidies for ex-soldiers who set up their businesses or received professional training, as well as handicapped conscripts who wanted to buy a residence.
(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2008)