• Wed
  • Aug 20, 2014
  • Updated: 3:25pm

Job security for Urumqi soldiers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 November, 2009, 12:00am

More than 150 soldiers who helped quell ethnic unrest in Urumqi in the summer will be rewarded with jobs in the civil service after they leave the army.

The People's Liberation Army Daily said 158 men from the People's Armed Police, an arm of the PLA, would be recruited this winter for public security positions with the police, judicial bodies and township authorities in Urumqi.

All 700 soldiers from the local headquarters are to be decommissioned over the winter. Most were sent to quell the bloody unrest that erupted between Uygurs and Han Chinese in Urumqi in July. The violence led to the deaths of almost 200 people, with at least 1,680 injured. One member of the security forces was also killed and 31 were injured.

The mainland tried and convicted 21 people last month over the unrest. Nine were sentenced to death, three were given the death penalty with a two-year reprieve - a sentence usually commuted to life in jail - and the rest were given various prison terms.

Xinjiang's party committee and regional government decided to recruit some of the 'outstanding warriors' following their actions during the unrest, the report said.

'[All 700] are worth trusting because they left life and death out of their considerations when showing loyalty to the party and people in dealing with the crisis,' the report said, noting that nearly half of the 700 soldiers were Communist Party members.

The 158 recruits underwent strict written examinations, interviews, physical tests and police skill evaluations. The report did not state whether all 158 recruits were party members, but according to civil service rules, an investigation into each candidate's political background is required.

The People's Armed Police is charged with maintaining social stability, especially in restive regions such as Tibet and Xinjiang , with emphasis placed on dealing with the challenge of the 'three forces' of separatism, terrorism and extremism.

Meanwhile, more than 400 senior officials were sent to Xinjiang this month for research as part of efforts to develop a long-term strategy for social harmony in the region, Xinhua reported.

The officials were drawn from state planning authorities, propaganda and united front work departments, and even the central bank and Securities Regulatory Commission.

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