County in China’s troubled Xinjiang pays generous ‘stability’ rewards

Sixteen police officers and two civilians share just over 1m yuan for helping to maintain order in Hotan, scene of two attacks in recent months

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 10:11pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 April, 2017, 11:10pm

A county in China’s troubled Xinjiang province has given 16 police officers and two members of the public just over 1 million yuan (US$160,000 or HK$1.12 million) for their contributions to helping maintain stability.

Hotan county in the region’s south gave a total of 1.09 million yuan to the 18 recipients, who also included three police officers who were promoted and given a raise, the region’s official news website reported. The report did not elaborate on what contributions they made.

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Xinjiang, which shares borders with eight nations in south and central Asia and is home to a large Muslim population of mainly Turkic-speaking Uygurs, has witnessed a wave of violence in recent years that has claimed hundreds of lives.

The government blames the violence on Islamist separatists and extremist forces, while rights groups said the government’s oppressive policies on religion and discrimination against the Uygurs and their way of life has inflamed the situation.

Hotan prefecture, which administers Hotan county and where 96 per cent of the population of 2 million are Uygurs, has witnessed two violent attacks in recent months. Eight people died in a knife attack in February and five were killed in a bombing in December.

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The county’s Communist Party chief Lu Boran said cadres and members of the public who came forward at critical times to fight against terrorists and safeguard social stability should be amply rewarded, the report said.

In contrast, 14 other cadres were punished for dereliction of duty. The report did not specify their wrongdoings, but said they received various means of punishment ranging from being expelled from the party, removed from office, demotion or being handed over to the judiciary for investigation.

Earlier this month, 97 cadres in Hotan prefecture were punished for failing to properly monitor local residents.