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Full Text: The History and Development of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (4)

(Xinhua)    12:03, October 05, 2014
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IV. Safeguard the Frontier, Maintain Stability, and Promote Ethnic Unity

Xinjiang has a long border, and safeguarding it is the responsibility the state has entrusted to the XPCC. A highly organized paramilitary force since its founding, the XPCC has for many years shouldered both production and military duties, every member assuming the dual role of soldier and worker. The XPCC has strong militia and armed police forces whose members are capable of both combat and production. Together with the army groups, police force, and local residents of various ethnic groups of Xinjiang, the XPCC has built a strong border joint defense system. It has played a special role in safeguarding the country's unification and Xinjiang's social stability and in cracking down on violent terrorist crimes.

Frontier regimental farms are important forces in border security. The XPCC adopts the production and defense liability system, in which regimental farms take charge of entire areas, companies take charge of subareas, and individual militias are responsible for their own lots. The XPCC also sets up the "four-in-one" joint defense system, wherein stationed troops, armed police, local militias, and XPCC on-duty militias work together to safeguard China's border security. The XPCC has constantly strengthened frontier regimental farms in accordance with China's strategic deployment. Since 2000 the XPCC has carried out the "Jinbian Project," which focuses on improving drinking water, transportation, medical services, broadcast networks, the environment and sanitation, promoting culture, and renovating dilapidated houses. It has made full use of geographical advantages to open up border areas and promote foreign trade and cultural exchanges. It has also improved local residents' working and living conditions, and increased the solidarity, attractiveness, and overall strength of border regimental farms.

The XPCC's crucial task to maintain Xinjiang's stability is also a factual need to realize lasting peace and stability. Since the 1980s the threat of the "three forces" - separatists, religious extremists and terrorists - to Xinjiang's social stability has grown. To confront this threat, divisions, regiments, companies, enterprises, and public institutions under the XPCC have established emergency militia battalions, companies, and platoons that enable it to respond rapidly to outbursts of violent terrorist activities. The XPCC has played crucial roles in fighting terrorism and maintaining stability, especially in the April 5 riot in Barin Township, Akto County of 1990 and the February 5 Yining incident of 1997. Familiar with the situation, and located close to these sites, the XPCC militias struck swiftly and joined hands with armed police and residents of various ethnic groups in cracking down on violent terrorist crimes, so maintaining social stability. In rapid response to the July 5 Urumqi riot of 2009, the XPCC sent militias to patrol the city and guard key districts from possible attacks. At present, the XPCC is focusing its efforts on forging a top militia force in China, and building a system of regular rotation training and standby duty, which combines production, training, duty performance, and emergency response.

Xinjiang is a multi-ethnic region, and ethnic unity has been fundamental to preserving long-term national unification and social stability in the region. Closely integrated with local communities, the XPCC lives in harmony with all ethnic groups, with whom it shares mutual support and assistance. Together they have formed an "embedded-type" social development framework under which all ethnic groups communicate on a regular basis and integrate. They have defended the frontier and the state at large, shared resources, made their respective advantages complementary, and realized common prosperity. Over the past six decades, the XPCC, abiding by the principle of serving all ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has proactively supported local construction, accomplished many good things for local residents, and resolved many problems in a down-to-earth manner. Medical institutions under the XPCC provide touring medical services to local villages and pasturing areas all year round, treating diseases and administering medicines. When building roads and water conservancy projects, the XPCC goes to great lengths to ensure that these projects are of benefit to both itself and the region. In the 1950s, to support industrial development in Xinjiang, the XPCC transferred, at no cost, to local governments a number of large-scale industrial, construction, transport, and commercial enterprises upon which it had embarked. In the mid-1960s the XPCC appropriated a special fund of more than RMB 8 million each year to aid local areas in farmland planning and construction. After its reinstatement in the early 1980s, the XPCC invested more than RMB 90 million over five consecutive years to support Kashgar and Tacheng's establishment of irrigation and water conservancy projects, and co-built with local governments more than 400 model institutions. Since the 1990s the XPCC has helped local governments to build bilingual kindergartens and schools and train bilingual teachers. Since 1999, 57 regimental farms under seven divisions in northern Xinjiang have provided training sessions and temporary posts to 15 groups of 2,156 grassroots ethnic minority officials from 32 counties (cities) in four prefectures in southern Xinjiang. Since the turn of the century, the XPCC has vigorously promoted "convergenomics," working together with the local communities in building 87 economic complexes and engaging in more than 200 cooperative projects. Throughout each year it has also assigned scientific and technological personnel to hold various training sessions on farming, animal husbandry, and agricultural machinery, and to promote a broad range of advanced technologies among local farmers and herdsmen of all ethnic groups. Mutual support and integrated development between the XPCC and local governments have promoted contact and exchanges among all ethnic groups.

The XPCC is a mosaic of people from 37 ethnic groups, including the Han, Uyghur, Kazak, Hui, Mongolian, Xibe, Russian, Tajik, and Manchu. The population of ethnic minorities has reached 375,400, taking up 13.9% of the Corps' total. There are 37 regimental farms inhabited predominantly by ethnic minority groups. With accelerating the development of these regimental farms as its top priority, the XPCC has enhanced policy support and poverty relief. In recent years the XPCC has launched 114 construction projects on these farms, with a total investment of RMB 1.08 billion, covering such fields as urban infrastructure, low-income housing projects, facility agriculture, and animal husbandry. In 2012 the total output value of these 37 regimental farms reached RMB 11.103 billion, up 42.8% over the previous year, and 24.4 percentage points higher than the average level in the XPCC.

The XPCC fully implements China's ethnic and religious policies, promotes religious harmony, respects and protects the customs of ethnic minority groups. It advocates harmonious development, common cultural prosperity, and respect for one another's folkways among all ethnic groups. Being a part of this essential mosaic of people from different ethnic groups enables the XPCC to disseminate advanced culture, develop Chinese culture, constantly absorb Xinjiang ethnic culture and so promote the integration of diverse components of the Chinese culture in the border areas. Cultural exchanges within the XPCC have increased mutual understanding among people of different ethnic groups, facilitated the development of an advanced Chinese culture in Xinjiang, and enhanced cohesion of the Chinese nation in China's border areas.

The seasons change fast, and 60 eventful years have passed since the founding of the XPCC.

At present, all Chinese people are striving to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and Xinjiang is at a critical stage of achieving lasting social and political stability. It has been a consistent policy of the central government to support the growth of the XPCC, and it has been China's long-term strategy to give better play to the unique role of the XPCC in maintaining stability and safeguarding the border. Under new conditions, the XPCC should never be allowed to weaken, but rather be strengthened.

Standing at a new historical starting point, the XPCC is presented with unprecedented opportunities. In the new historical period, the XPCC must play its part as a stabilizer of frontier security and stability, a melting pot of all ethnic groups, and a demonstration zone for advanced productive forces and culture. It must reinforce itself, further its integration with the local society, be devoted to social stability and lasting peace in Xinjiang, and perform all its functions as entrusted by the central government.

With the strong leadership and support of the central government, proactive assistance from all the people in China, the great help of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and all ethnic groups, and the solid foundation laid over the past 60 years of its development, the XPCC is sure to embrace a better tomorrow. 


(Editor:Kong Defang、Bianji)
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