Beijing: After replacing the hard-line
Communist Party Chief and modifying the language policy, China
tried to reach out to the restive Muslim Uyghur majority
Xinjiang province with a massive development package.
The Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region which witnessed
violent clashes between Uyghurs and Chinese Huns settlers last
year will receive more than 10 billion yuan (USD 1.47 billion)
in economic aid next year from 19 provinces and municipalities
designated as partners - part of the central government`s
latest effort to boost the region`s growth.
The national partner assistance programme aims to build
the region into a "moderately well-off society" in the next
decade, and is essential to its long-term stability and order,
a report in the Xinhua News Agency`s Outlook magazine said.
The central government directed the relatively-prosperous
provinces and municipalities in the eastern and central areas
to provide assistance to designated areas in Xinjiang where
over 200 people were killed in riots last year.
The package to develop the province came after the
replacement of the top controversial provincial party chief
Wang Lequan who was accused of pursuing hardline policies
against ethnic Uygur Muslim majority leading to major riots
Wang was replaced by moderate Zhang Chunxian as the Party
chief of northwest China`s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Observers say that the hardline policies pursued by Wang,
a Han against Uyghurs including emphasis on teaching Chinese
language, ban on civil servants having beards and headscarves
were resented by the locals aggravating the situation. Wang
took over the province in 1994 began crackdown on Uyghur
separatists since 1997.
After replacing, Wang Chinese government has changed the
much criticised language policy ordering that all new recruits
in government jobs in the province must be able to communicate
in both Chinese and the local Turkic language.
From 2010, all candidates for government jobs must be
bilingual, a local government official Kang Tingfeng announced
The regulation will enable officials to better serve the
people, encourage the learning of languages and promote
exchange between people of different ethnic groups, official
Xinhua quoted him as saying.
Ethnic Han candidates will have to be able to talk with
ethnic minorities in the ethnic minorities` language.
Similarly, ethnic minority candidates must be able to read and
write simple Chinese, the report said.