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Marginalised and misunderstood, China's Vietnam veterans fighting new battle

Published on Jun 10, 2014 1:58 PM

YIYANG, China (AFP) - Marginalised and misunderstood, Chinese Vietnam veterans - who fought in a little-celebrated war against their southern neighbours - risk beatings and prison in a new battle with government officials.

Teng Xingqiu is one of thousands of retired Chinese soldiers staging an increasing number of protests over unpaid benefits and unnerving Communist authorities.

"The police told me they hoped I'd die in jail," said Teng, whose activism resulted in him being sentenced to three years in prison in 2009.

A thin man whose body bears scars he says result from police violence, the 56-year-old scanned the streets for surveillance cameras before choosing a run-down restaurant as a safe meeting spot.

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