Securing Xinjiang’s Development and Prosperity

2020-02-10 04:02:13 China Pictorial 2020年1期

by Wang Hongli

Public security and social stability deeply affect the 25 million people living in Chinas northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Stability is in their fundamental interest and part of the guarantee for their rights to subsistence and development.

For some time Xinjiang has been plagued by terrorism and religious extremism, which pose a serious threat to the lives of the people in the region. Since the 1990s, thousands of terrorist incidents involving bombings, assassinations, poisoning, arson, attacks and riots have happened in Xinjiang. Many innocent people were killed and several hundred police officers died in the line of duty.

A response to the Xinjiang peoples urgent demand for protection of their lives and property, Chinas counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts in the region strive to use the law as the weapon to fight violent and terrorist activities that violate human rights and damage public security.

Among these measures, vocational education and training has achieved remarkable results. The overall quality of trainees has improved, which helps them gain stronger competitiveness in the labor market and greater ability to prevent the infiltration of religious extremism. Over the past three years, no terrorist incidents have occurred in Xinjiang.

Security and stability have laid a solid foundation for rapid economic and social development in Xinjiang. The living standards in Xinjiang are improving and local peoples aspirations for better lives are growing.

From 2012 to 2018, the annual gross value of production in Xinjiang grew by 8.5 percent on average, reaching 1.2 trillion yuan (US$170.5 billion). The per capita disposable income of urban residents in Xinjiang increased from 17,921 yuan(US$2,546) in 2012 to 32,764 yuan(US$4,655) in 2018.

The employment market continues expanding. Xinjiang has always considered employment the most important factor to improve peoples livelihood and worked to guarantee a job for at least one person in each household who can work.

Public service has also progressed rapidly. Education has become the top priority in Xinjiang. In the four prefectural-level areas in southern Xinjiang, which are home to 80 percent of the regions poverty-stricken population, the government provides 15 years of free education from kindergarten to high school. Medical and health service facilities in Xinjiang have also significantly improved with the establishment of a network for maternity and childcare. Throughout agricultural and pastoral areas, qualified medical centers and clinics in towns and villages have been set up.

Xinjiang has harvested fruitful results in poverty reduction, with its poverty incidence dropping from 22.84 percent in 2014 to 6.51 percent in 2018. The government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has pledged not to leave a single poor household or person behind and complete building a moderately prosperous society in all respects along with other parts of the country.

Security and stability serve as the cornerstone of Xinjiangs development and prosperity. Without effective anti-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, the Xinjiang peoples aspirations for a better life would be only a daydream.