The star burst design of this medal corresponds to the types of medals made during the "warlord" era or pre-1928. In my opinion, if assuming the ribbon colors of blue white blue white blue, this would be the Order of the Striped Tiger. Probably 8th class judging from his enlisted rank. It would be very rare for enlistedmen, especially of another country, to receive this award! Maybe the medal was damaged, but he was still proud of the achievement to wear a damaged medal. You have to done something amazing and gained attention for a low ranking soldier to receive such high honors.