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The Xibe ethnic minority (4)

(People's Daily)

10:10, August 12, 2011

Life After 1949

The founding of the People¡¯s Republic of China in 1949 ushered in a bright future for the Xibe people, who have since enjoyed political equality as one of the smaller ethnic minorities in China. In March 1954, the Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County was established on the site of Ningxi County in Xinjiang, where the Xibe people live in compact communities.

Since 1949, a series of social reforms have been carried out in the Xibe areas. Industrial and agricultural production has grown tremendously and people's living standards have gone up accordingly. The economic and cultural leaps in the Qapqal Autonomous County are a measure of the great success the Xibe people have achieved. As a result of their hard work, grain output in the county in 1981 was nearly four times the pre-liberation average, and the number of cattle three times as big. Small industrial enterprises including coal mines, farm machinery works, fur and food processing mills, which were non-existent before, have been built for the benefit of people's life. There are in the county 12 middle schools and 62 primary schools enrolling 91.3 per cent of the children. The Xibe people have always been more developed educationally. Many Xibe intellectuals know several languages and work as teachers, translators and publishers. Horse riding and archery are two favorite sports among the Xibe people. Since 1949, endemic diseases with a high mortality rate such as the Qapqal disease have been stamped out, and the population of the Xibe has been on the increase.

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