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China orders govt recruits in Xinjiang to speak Chinese, Turkic

China has ordered new government recruits of Xinjiang province to able to communicate in both Chinese and local Turkic language.

Beijing: China has ordered new government recruits of Xinjiang province to able to communicate in both Chinese and local Turkic language, the move comes days after a controversial chief in the region was removed for pursuing hardline policies against minority Uyghur Muslims.

From 2010, all candidates for government jobs must be bilingual, according to the regulation adopted by the regional government, Kang Tingfeng, a spokesman for Xinjiang`s human resources department said.

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.

Xinjiang experienced large scale riots last year between Uyghurs, who resented the resettlement of Chinese Hans in their province and the Hans settlers in which over 200 people were killed.

The orders to follow studiously the two language policy came a week after replacing party chief Wang Lequan with a moderate Zhang Chunxian to administer the province.

Wang policies putting emphasis on learning Chinese language, ban on civil servants having beards and head-scarves were resented by the locals aggravating the situation.

A Hun by ethnic background, Wang who was appointed to the post in 1994 came under criticism from the Hans community, which bore the brunt of the violence.

Hans constitute overwhelming majority in China, except in Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia.

As per the new language policy a candidate who passes the job test and interview but who fails to meet the language requirements will be required to attend a three-month language training programme, the regulations say.

After the training, the candidate`s language abilities will be tested again. If the candidate fails the test he or she will be given another opportunity in the next year`s programme. If the candidate fails the test a third time their job application will be rejected.

The regional government has also asked officials in level to become bilingual, the report said. Government employees hired in the past two years are required to join language training programmes.

Bilingual skills have been a prerequisite for government jobs in Xinjiang cities of Kashgar and Hotan for years.

The regulation is significant in Xinjiang, where more than 12 million of its 20-million population speak 13 ethnic languages, said Ma Pinyan, a scholar with Xinjiang`s Academy of Social Sciences.


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