State enterprises in Xinjiang ordered to hire 25pc of new staff from local minorities

Authorities move to improve livelihoods of minorities and discourage support for terrorism

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 June, 2014, 4:56am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 June, 2014, 4:56am

State enterprises in Xinjiang are required to hire at least 70 per cent of new staff locally, Xinhua reported yesterday. At least 25 per cent must be from ethnic minorities.

The requirement is part of a central government campaign to improve economic conditions for Xinjiang people and assuage public grievances following a series of terrorist attacks that have rocked the region and some other cities recently.

Hou Lixian, deputy director of the region’s labour and social security bureau, said at least 70 per cent of new staff must be local people in order to ease unemployment in Xinjiang. He said a special fund would be set up to boost labour intensive industries, especially textile and garments.

Su Guoping, deputy director of the region’s state enterprise administration, said the 25 per cent staff quota for minorities was intended to create 30,000 jobs for non-Han Chinese residents of the region within three years. The administration will also start 292 projects to create up to 45,000 jobs in the less developed southern part of Xinjiang.

The region in China’s far west is home to about a dozen ethnic minorities, of which the largest by far are the Turkic-speaking Muslim Uygurs, who number about 8.8 million, or 45 per cent of the population.

The government will also start a system to monitor and gauge the number of unemployed in the region, Xinhua reported.

The measures follow a Politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping on Monday at which leaders vowed to improve employment and boost bilingual education in response to a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and elsewhere.

Xinjiang authorities announced on Friday that they had indicted eight people on terrorism charges in connection with an attack on Tiananmen Square last year that killed two tourists and three assailants.

The prosecutors’ office in the regional capital, Urumqi, accused the eight of “organising, leading and participating in a terrorist group and endangering public security”, according to a notice on its website.

Early reports said the eight were arrested within days of the October 28 attack, in which a man drove an SUV through a crowd of tourists before stopping in front of the gate and setting the vehicle on fire. A Chinese visitor and a tourist from the Philippines were killed, along with the driver, his wife and mother-in-law. About 40 people were injured.

Xinjiang police have also offered rewards to citizens who turn in guns and explosives or provide tips on such items. Residents will be paid 500 yuan (HK$630) for each military rifle, 300 yuan for each non-military gun, and five yuan for each bullet they hand in, Xinhua reported. It said the rules had been in effect since Tuesday.

Those who surrender long knives not use to prepare food or for personal use, and imitation guns, will be paid a reward based on their market value.

Citizens who provide tip-offs on large amounts of explosives, guns and knives will be paid rewards of up to 10,000 yuan, while information that foils a terrorist bombing could earn rewards of up to 30,000 yuan.

Xinjiang launched a campaign on May 23 to crack down on  terrorism  after attackers killed 39 people and injured more than 90 others at an Urumqi street market, in the deadliest attack in the region for five years.

Reuters, Associated Press