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China to foster minority officials in ethnically-diverse regions

Updated: Dec 22,2014 8:42 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — In a document publicized on Dec 22, the central government promised “great effort” to cultivate and appoint more officials from minority groups and to ensure they were given “full trust”.

The document -- “Opinions on Strengthening and Improving Ethnic Work under the New Situations” -- noted that special attention should be paid to the cultivation of intellectuals in ethnically-diverse regions, especial those from minority backgrounds.

“Vigorously foster, audaciously select, fully trust and use officials from ethnically-diverse [backgrounds], and cultivate experienced Han officials in ethnically-diverse regions,” said the guideline, which was jointly released on Dec 22 by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.

The document called on ethnic minority officials to master Mandarin Chinese, while urging Han officials, the dominant ethnic group in China, to learn the local dialect of the area where they work.

Stressing an overall language education boost in ethnic regions, the guideline encouraged favorable policies for bilingual teachers who can teach students to “basically master” Mandarin Chinese while fully respecting and ensuring education in the local tongue.

China boasts 56 ethnic groups which speak more than 80 languages. Ethnic autonomous areas account for 64 percent of the country’s total land territory.

The guideline does not miss the opportunity to talk about the rule of law in ethnic affairs. Regional autonomy law must be implemented; laws and rules concerning ethnic minorities must be revised and improved; issues in ethnic affairs must be addressed within the boundaries of the law. Civil and criminal problems cannot be classified as ethnic issues nor can ordinary conflicts in ethnic areas.

“China is a country built by all ethnic groups of the nation; Chinese culture is made up of the culture of all 56 ethnic groups; Chinese civilization is created by all ethnic groups; and the Chinese nation is a community of all ethnic groups,” said the guideline.

Financial policies, including greater support from banking, securities and insurance sectors, were urged and support was called for ports, infrastructure construction and better connectivity in ethnic regions.

During a conference in September attended by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, leapfrog development, mixing policy incentives with regions’ natural strengths, was proposed for ethnic regions.

A statement after the conference said different regional policies should be applied to border areas, impoverished regions and ecological preservation areas.