Wedding goes ahead despite absence of groom serving in PLA
Timing suggests soldier was called up over Sino-Indian border stand-off
A woman has chosen to go ahead with her marriage to a PLA soldier despite him having to miss their wedding because of an emergency summons to serve on the country’s “west side”, a local newspaper reported.
The Chongqing Commercial Daily article on Monday did not say exactly where the soldier was going, but the report comes as China is engaged in a stand-off on its western border with India.
“It is the duty of soldiers to obey orders. The country’s interest should always come first,” the bride’s grandfather was quoted as saying during the wedding ceremony last Friday.
According to the article, 25-year-old Fan Piao was called to duty on July 6, the day after the foreign ministry demanded that Indian troops retreat from what it claimed was the Chinese side of the border.
The soldier’s female cousin, Fan Liqun, stood in for him at the wedding ceremony with the bride, Long Jinlian.
Zeng Zhiping, a military observer at the Nanchang Institute of Technology in Jiangxi province, said the fact that troops were being called up for emergency mobilisation suggested that Beijing was making the border dispute a priority.
Zeng said PLA personnel were not exempted from their duties even for important personal matters like weddings or funerals.
The report said the couple only started face-to-face dating last month, when Fan was released for his annual holiday from the army. They were introduced through a friend last November.