The History and Development of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps
The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China
October 2014, Beijing
I. Founding and Development
II. Responsibilities and Structure
III. Development and Construction
IV. Safeguard the Frontier, Maintain Stability, and Promote Ethnic Unity
The practice of stationing garrison troops to cultivate and guard its border areas is a legacy of China’s several thousand years of history of developing and safeguarding its frontiers. The central government first adopted this practice on a large scale in what is known as the Western Regions (the major part of which was today’s Xinjiang) more than 2,000 years ago, during China’s Western Han Dynasty, and it continues to this day. In 1949 Xinjiang was peacefully liberated. In 1954 the central government decided to form a production and construction corps in Xinjiang. This strategic move conformed to national conditions and the realities of Xinjiang, representing a continuation and development of historical experience under new conditions.
The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) started from scratch 60 years ago. It has since made strenuous efforts to fulfill faithfully the responsibilities the state has entrusted to it to cultivate and guard the border areas. Despite a harsh natural environment, XPCC workers put down roots in Xinjiang. They have reclaimed ecological oases from the desolate Gobi desert, initiated Xinjiang’s modernization, built large-scale agriculture and industrial and mining enterprises, and established new cities and towns through joining hands with local people of all ethnic groups. Combining the functions of production, administration, and defense, the XPCC has made indelible contributions to the development of Xinjiang, by promoting unity among ethnic groups, maintaining social stability, and strengthening national border defense.
On the 60th anniversary of the founding of the XPCC, we issue this white paper which presents a comprehensive introduction to the history and development of the XPCC, to give the international community a better knowledge of its functions and nature as a social organization, and of XPCC members as a social group.
I. Founding and Development
Xinjiang is situated in the border areas of northwest China. Founding of the XPCC occurred under a special geographical and historical background.
When Xinjiang was peacefully liberated in 1949, the region featured a natural economy, with farming and animal husbandry as the mainstay. Productivity was low and the mode of production was backward. Development was stalled and local residents lived in poverty. Aiming to consolidate border defense, accelerate Xinjiang’s development, and reduce the economic burden on the local government and local residents of all ethnic groups, in January 1950 the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) units stationed in Xinjiang started focusing their efforts on production and construction. By the end of that year they had become largely self-sufficient in grains and fully self-sufficient in edible oil and vegetables. In 1953 the Xinjiang Military District reorganized its troops into two divisions: defense troops and production troops. The latter had 43 regimental agricultural and stock raising farms and 77,260 hectares of farmland. The production troops also set up industrial, transport, construction, and commercial enterprises, as well as public institutions of science and technology, education, health, and culture, so paving the way for the founding of the Production and Construction Corps.
In October 1954 the central government ordered the demobilization of most of the PLA Second, Fifth, and Sixth Armies and all of the 22nd Army Group in Xinjiang, and their separation from the setups of the national defense forces to form the Production and Construction Corps of the Xinjiang Military District of the PLA, subject to the dual leadership of the Xinjiang Military District and the Xinjiang Sub-bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The XPCC’s missions were to carry out both production and militia duties, and to cultivate and guard the border areas. Henceforth the XPCC officially commenced its building of state-run agricultural and stock raising farms, and transformed from military self-sufficient production to production as an enterprise, incorporated into national planning. The XPCC had an initial population of 175,500, later swelled by large numbers of youth, demobilized military personnel, intellectuals, scientists, and technicians. As of May 1956 the XPCC was subordinated to the dual leadership of the Ministry of Land Reclamation and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
In 1962 some local residents in Xinjiang’s Ili and Tacheng crossed the frontier. By order of the state, the XPCC dispatched more than 17,000 officials and workers to Ili and Tacheng to maintain public order and tend the farmland and livestock of those who had fled. They quickly set up a belt of regimental farms ranging from 10 to 30 kilometers in breadth along the more than 2,000-kilometer-long boundaries of Ili, Tacheng, Altay, Hami, and Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. They played a crucial role in maintaining stability in Xinjiang, safeguarding national border security, and improving China’s strategic position in its northwest border defense. By the end of 1966, the Corps had 158 regimental agricultural and stock raising farms, with a population of 1,485,400.
During the “cultural revolution” (1966-1976), the XPCC suffered serious disruption in fulfilling its mission of cultivating and guarding the border areas. In March 1975 the Corps was dissolved. The General Administration of Land Reclamation of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was founded to take charge of state-run agricultural and stock raising farms in Xinjiang. In December 1981 the central government decided to restore the production and construction corps organizational system. It renamed the Production and Construction Corps of the Xinjiang Military District of the PLA the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. The Corps then recommenced its pioneering work. Over the past 30 years or more, the XPCC has introduced reforms by expediting the general contract responsibility system and the enterprise contract responsibility system and setting up workers’ household farms. It has also developed diverse sectors of the economy, promoted industrial development and established new cities and towns. The XPCC has thus scaled new heights of progress in its endeavor to cultivate and guard the border areas.
Over the past 60 years, in fulfilling its mission the XPCC has adhered to the principle of “not competing for benefits with the local people.” The XPCC reclaimed farmland and successively built regimental agricultural and stock raising farms in the Gobi desert to the north and south of the Tianshan Mountains, and in the harsh natural environment of the desolate border areas. The XPCC has gradually established a multi-sector industrial system encompassing food processing, light industry, textiles, iron and steel, coal, building materials, electricity, chemicals, and machinery. It has also achieved significant progress in education, science and technology, culture, health, and other public sectors. By the end of 2013, the XPCC had 176 regiments, 14 divisions, an area of 70,600 square kilometers under its administration, including 1,244,770 hectares of farmland, and a population of 2,701,400, accounting for 11.9% of Xinjiang’s total population.
II. Responsibilities and Structure
Constituting as it does an important part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the XPCC assumes the responsibilities entrusted to it by the state of cultivating and guarding the border areas, and operates an administrative system with unified Party, government, military, and enterprise roles. It is a special social organization that handles its own administrative and judicial affairs within the reclamation areas under its administration, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, with economic planning directly supervised by the state. It is subordinated to the dual leadership of the central government and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
In the course of fulfilling its responsibility to cultivate the border areas, the XPCC has focused on modern agricultural development while expanding secondary and tertiary industries, with emphatic efforts toward protecting and improving the ecological environment and promoting social progress and unity among ethnic groups in Xinjiang. In its endeavor to guard the border areas, the XPCC has strengthened national border defense while maintaining national unity and Xinjiang’s social stability, and guarding against and cracking down on criminal sabotage activities by terrorist forces. Since the 1980s separatist, religious extremist and terrorist forces and their sabotage activities have become a major threat to national unity and to Xinjiang’s social stability. They are hence the focus of the work of the XPCC in guarding the border areas.
In 1990 the central government approved the placing of XPCC economic planning under direct state supervision. The XPCC remains an important component of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and is subject to its leadership while under the management of relevant departments of the central government. The adoption of such a dual leadership system signifies an innovative reform in the Corps’ administrative subordination, one which facilitates the coordination of leadership over the Corps between the central government and the autonomous region government, and the Corps’ fulfillment of its responsibilities, and betters the relations between the Corps and relevant departments of the central authorities, thus promoting the Corps’ development. Over the years, the central government has granted policy support and funding to the XPCC in the fields of public services, public security, education, science and technology, culture, health, agriculture, forestry, and water conservancy, so injecting great energy and new vitality into the economic and social development of the XPCC.
The XPCC operates a special administrative system with unified Party, government, military, and enterprise roles. Party organizations have been set up at each level of the Corps to exercise leadership over all its undertakings. The XPCC has administrative and judicial organs to handle its specific administrative and judicial affairs. The Corps is a paramilitary entity with military organs and armed forces units wherein the militias are the mainstay. It is organized in a military structure of corps, divisions, regiments, and companies, whose commanders have corresponding military titles. The XPCC, also known as the China Xinjian Group, is a large state-owned enterprise engaged in agriculture, industry, transport, building, and commerce, and at the same time assumes state assigned economic tasks. The XPCC’s leadership combines the functions of the Party, government, military, and enterprise.
The XPCC has fully integrated into Xinjiang society. Its division and regimental farms, subordinate enterprises and public institutions, administered by the Corps in a top-down model of leadership and vertical management, are widely distributed in the prefectures, cities, and counties of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. In reclamation areas, which feature important strategic positions, concentrated distribution of regimental farms, considerable economic strength, and great development potential, the XPCC has set up seven county-level divisions/cities directly administered by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and five regiments/towns, which are administered by the Corps at different levels. Each division/city or regiment/town has Party leadership and government administration functions integrated into one unit.
III. Development and Construction
The economic development of the XPCC is an important part of the comprehensive economic development of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. For a long time, and particularly since the launch of the reform and opening-up policy, the XPCC has vigorously advanced urbanization, new industrialization, and agricultural modernization by exploiting its native advantages to embrace market demands, adjusting the economic structure and transforming the mode of development. It has made great efforts to protect the ecological environment, improve people’s livelihood, boost employment, and raise the level of public services and social security, thus making remarkable achievements in all undertakings.
Constantly increase comprehensive economic strength. The total output value of the XPCC in 2013 was RMB 149.987 billion, 220 times that in 1954 when it was established, with an annual growth of 9.6%; and 22.9 times that in 1981 when the XPCC was reinstated, with an annual growth of 10.4%. The position of agriculture as foundation of the economy has strengthened, new industrialization accelerated with industry predominant, and tertiary industry has become growingly prominent in economic development. In 2013 the proportion of the three industries was 29.0:41.8:29.2.
Vigorously promote urbanization. Under the unified leadership and planning of the central government and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the XPCC, with population distribution and land utilization as the focus, coordinates industry and city/town layouts to promote urbanization under the principle of divisions supporting the construction of cities and regiments supporting the construction of towns. Up to now, the XPCC has built the seven county-level cities of Alar, Tiemenguan, Tumushuke, Shuanghe, Wujiaqu, Shihezi and Beitun, and the five administrative towns of Jinyinchuan, Caohu, Wutong, Caijiahu and Beiquan, so forming an urban layout with cities at the center, surrounded by towns in reclamation areas, towns built on farmland by regiments, and company residence zones. As an urban complex with Corps characteristics, they complement the function of local cities and towns. The XPCC’s urbanization rate has reached 62.3%. Its urban infrastructure has markedly improved, public service facilities have been steadily completed, and urban planning, construction, management, and service levels significantly enhanced. This urban complex has gradually become a regional economic and cultural center, and a population, capital, industry, human resource, culture, education and medical and health resource hub, so boosting Xinjiang’s urbanization process. The UN rated Shihezi in the year 2000 as the Model City for Betterment of Residential Environment and in 2002 the state designated it as a National Garden City.
Vigorously promote new industrialization. Having started from the processing of farm and sideline products, the XPCC has gradually formed an industrial system that features the dominant role of textiles and light industry but also encompasses iron and steel, coal, building materials, electricity, chemical engineering, and machinery production, so laying a solid foundation for Xinjiang’s modern industrialization. Since the adoption of the Western Development Strategy at the beginning of the 21st century, the XPCC has developed pillar industries, such as food and pharmaceuticals, textiles and garments, chemical industry in chlorine, alkali and coal, special mineral resource processing, petrochemicals, new building materials, and equipment manufacturing. It leads the country in both output and production scale of water-saving irrigation equipment, tomato products, and cotton textile spindles. In 2013 the XPCC’s industrial added value was RMB 42.661 billion, an increase of 27.8% over the previous year, accounting for 28.5% of the Corps’ total output value. The contribution ratio of industry to its total output value stood at 45.3%.
Vigorously promote agricultural modernization. Agriculture is the XPCC’s fundamental and competitive industry. While adhering to the road of agricultural modernization, the XPCC massively introduces, absorbs, studies, and promotes advanced production technologies, and continues to build large-scale, mechanized and modernized state-owned farms, a pioneering effort in Xinjiang’s modern agriculture. Since 2007, the XPCC has proactively promoted the construction of water-saving irrigation demonstration bases, mechanized farming bases, and modern agriculture demonstration bases. It has made breakthroughs in the introduction of and research into water-saving irrigation, agricultural machinery, plant breeding and cultivation, livestock breeding, and feeding technologies, all of which it has popularized and applied in scale across Xinjiang. Thanks to its technological innovation, and strength in well-organized large-scale production, the Corps has made marked progress in agricultural modernization. In 2013 irrigation areas applying high-tech water-saving technologies took up 74.4% of the total, the comprehensive mechanization level reached 92%, the sown area with precise and half-precise drilling skills totaled 857,200 hectares, and soil tested for fertilization formulation exceeded 682,330 hectares. The XPCC has built key national production bases for quality commodity cotton and local fruit. The total output of cotton was 1.4652 million tons, taking up 41.6% of Xinjiang’s and 23.2% of the national total. The per unit yield, mechanization rate, and per capita availability of cotton has been top in the country for years. Cultivation of farm produce such as tomatoes, dates, apples, pears, grapes, walnuts, and lavender has become its advantage, 91 of them recognized as brand products or well-known Xinjiang and China trademarks.
Make efforts to enhance ecological conservation. Most of the XPCC’s farms are built along the borders of deserts and frontiers as the first defense against sandstorms to protect Xinjiang’s oases. For years, the XPCC has planted trees and built water conservancy projects to inhibit winds and fix sand, control soil salinization, and develop water-saving irrigation, so prioritizing local eco-environmental construction. Through planting trees and grass to fix sand on 800,000 hectares of desert, the XPCC has gradually built two green ecological zones surrounding the Taklimakan Desert and Gurbantunggut Desert, forming a comprehensive shelterbelt network of trees, shrubs and grassland. An economic network of ecological-friendly oases has been completed on the vast desolate desert. Promoting water-saving technologies such as sprinklers and drip and micro-irrigation systems has saved more than one billion cubic meters of annual irrigation water, thus increasing the volume of water that runs to downstream river way. Shrinking, sometimes dried out lakes begin to show signs of renewal, and the ecological environment bordering the desert has improved, creating a miracle whereby desertification has been prevented through human efforts. By 2013 the XPCC had built a total of nearly three million hectares of artificial oases, with a forest coverage rate of 20%. Most of the farmland has been surrounded by networks of trees, placing more than 80% of farmland under their effective protection.
Make efforts to improve people’s livelihood. The XPCC has always prioritized ensuring and improving people’s livelihood. It has made every effort to address practical problems of the greatest and most direct concern to the people to promote social equality and justice, and to bring welfare to workers, so enabling them to benefit from the development achievements in a fairer way. After years of effort, people’s livelihood, including incomes, housing conditions, social security, and employment level, has significantly improved. In 2013 the per capita disposable income of the XPCC’s urban residents was RMB 23,100, an increase of 17.8% over the previous year; the per capita net income of households engaged in farming and animal husbandry was RMB 14,300, an 18.2% increase over the previous year; and the average salary of employed workers was RMB 44,000, 17.4% higher than the previous year. The XPCC has invested a total of RMB 34.78 billion in recent years in improving people’s livelihood, starting the construction of 143,000 units of indemnificatory housing, transforming urban shanty towns encompassing 72,000 households, and completing rural housing projects benefiting 55,000 households. By now, more than 70% of workers have moved into new housing. The XPCC has achieved full endowment insurance coverage for urban residents. Moreover, it has acted to give 2.2648 million people basic medical insurance cover and more than 200,000 people medical assistance, and designated 94,000 people as entitled to subsistence allowances. Its workforce last year stood at 1.2534 million employees, with 711,100 incumbent workers, and 85,700 new employees in the labor force. The urban unemployment rate at the end of 2013 was 2.55%.
Comprehensively develop social undertakings. The XPCC has established a complete education system from preschool through to university, implementing basic nine-year compulsory education and eliminating illiteracy among young and middle-aged people. By 2013 this included seven institutions of higher learning, 24 secondary vocational schools, 243 middle schools, and 55 primary schools enrolling 481,300 students of all ethnic groups. The XPCC has made constant progress in science and technology undertakings. It now has 18 science and technology research institutions, such as the academy of land reclamation sciences, employing a total of 120,000 technical staff of various backgrounds. It has also built 14 key labs in different fields, 40 technical centers for enterprises, and 24 engineering research centers. The XPCC has speeded up construction of a public cultural service system, having built a group of cultural facilities that include theaters, cultural centers, museums, memorial halls, libraries, and cultural squares. There are eight professional theater troupes, hundreds of amateur theater troupes, 66 websites, and 197 radio and television broadcasting agencies with coverage rates of 97% and 98.8% respectively. There are also 35 newspapers and magazines, and more than 100 titles of culture-related books are published annually. The XPCC has moreover constantly increased input into public health, having built a relatively complete public health service system to help improve the comprehensive conditions of workers’ healthcare. To date, there are 1,348 health agencies employing 24,800 medical workers, with an average 3.18 practicing (assistant) doctors, 3.89 registered nurses, and 10 hospital beds for every thousand people. In 2013 the mortality rate was 4.94 per thousand, the infant mortality rate 7.56 per thousand, and the average life expectancy was 76.79 years.
不断提升对外开放水平。兵团发挥农业生产及农副产品加工领域的产业特长，大力发展口岸经济和物流产业，积极开拓中亚及欧洲等国际市场，进出口商品的品种和总量逐渐扩大。目前，兵团已拥有5个国家级经济技术开发区和24个自治区、兵团级园区，与160多个国家和地区建立了经贸关系，与20多个国家和地区开展经济技术合作。2013年，兵团进出口总额达115. 91亿美元，其中货物出口额103. 7亿美元，对外承包工程和劳务合作营业额5.42亿美元。
Constantly improve the level of opening up. The XPCC is vigorously developing its port economy and logistics industry and actively expanding its international markets in central Asia and Europe by exploiting its strengths in agricultural industry and processing of farm and sideline products as the variety and volume of its imports and exports gradually increase. Currently, the XPCC has five state-level economic and technological development zones and 24 industrial zones at autonomous region and Corps level. It has established economic and trade relations with more than 160 countries and regions and is carrying out economic and technological cooperation with more than 20 countries and regions. In 2013 the XPCC’s import and export volume totaled US$ 11.591 billion, with exports of US$ 10.37 billion and turnover in overseas contracted projects and labor service cooperation of US$ 542 million.
The XPCC’s achievements in various undertakings are attributable to its embodiment of the spirit of “loving the motherland, selfless devotion, hard work, and forging ahead with pioneering endeavors.” Over the past six decades, people in the XPCC, in spite of exceptional subsistence and production difficulties, have settled in the borderlands to serve the country. They have created development miracles around the Tianshan Mountains and vast areas of wilderness. The XPCC’s development has also received continuous support from the central government, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and other provinces and cities. For years, the central government has stepped up its financial support for the XPCC. In 2010 the central government stated explicitly that policy support for the autonomous region applies also to the Corps, and that policies for poverty-stricken areas and for partner assistance also apply to division and regimental farms in the same areas. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region allocates land, pasture, water and mineral resources, and machinery and equipment to the Corps. It formulates policies applicable to the Corps, gives direct support to its development and construction, and promotes integrated development of the Corps and the local economy. Other provinces and cities have also provided considerable support to the Corps in capital, technology, and human resources, all of which have been of tremendous help in boosting its economic and social development.
IV. Safeguard the Frontier, Maintain Stability, and Promote Ethnic Unity
Xinjiang has a long border, and safeguarding it is the responsibility the state has entrusted to the XPCC. A highly organized paramilitary force since its founding, the XPCC has for many years shouldered both production and military duties, every member assuming the dual role of soldier and worker. The XPCC has strong militia and armed police forces whose members are capable of both combat and production. Together with the army groups, police force, and local residents of various ethnic groups of Xinjiang, the XPCC has built a strong border joint defense system. It has played a special role in safeguarding the country’s unification and Xinjiang’s social stability and in cracking down on violent terrorist crimes.
Frontier regimental farms are important forces in border security. The XPCC adopts the production and defense liability system, in which regimental farms take charge of entire areas, companies take charge of subareas, and individual militias are responsible for their own lots. The XPCC also sets up the “four-in-one” joint defense system, wherein stationed troops, armed police, local militias, and XPCC on-duty militias work together to safeguard China’s border security. The XPCC has constantly strengthened frontier regimental farms in accordance with China’s strategic deployment. Since 2000 the XPCC has carried out the “Jinbian Project,” which focuses on improving drinking water, transportation, medical services, broadcast networks, the environment and sanitation, promoting culture, and renovating dilapidated houses. It has made full use of geographical advantages to open up border areas and promote foreign trade and cultural exchanges. It has also improved local residents’ working and living conditions, and increased the solidarity, attractiveness, and overall strength of border regimental farms.
The XPCC’s crucial task to maintain Xinjiang’s stability is also a factual need to realize lasting peace and stability. Since the 1980s the threat of the “three forces” – separatists, religious extremists and terrorists – to Xinjiang’s social stability has grown. To confront this threat, divisions, regiments, companies, enterprises, and public institutions under the XPCC have established emergency militia battalions, companies, and platoons that enable it to respond rapidly to outbursts of violent terrorist activities. The XPCC has played crucial roles in fighting terrorism and maintaining stability, especially in the April 5 riot in Barin Township, Akto County of 1990 and the February 5 Yining incident of 1997. Familiar with the situation, and located close to these sites, the XPCC militias struck swiftly and joined hands with armed police and residents of various ethnic groups in cracking down on violent terrorist crimes, so maintaining social stability. In rapid response to the July 5 Urumqi riot of 2009, the XPCC sent militias to patrol the city and guard key districts from possible attacks. At present, the XPCC is focusing its efforts on forging a top militia force in China, and building a system of regular rotation training and standby duty, which combines production, training, duty performance, and emergency response.
Xinjiang is a multi-ethnic region, and ethnic unity has been fundamental to preserving long-term national unification and social stability in the region. Closely integrated with local communities, the XPCC lives in harmony with all ethnic groups, with whom it shares mutual support and assistance. Together they have formed an “embedded-type” social development framework under which all ethnic groups communicate on a regular basis and integrate. They have defended the frontier and the state at large, shared resources, made their respective advantages complementary, and realized common prosperity. Over the past six decades, the XPCC, abiding by the principle of serving all ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has proactively supported local construction, accomplished many good things for local residents, and resolved many problems in a down-to-earth manner. Medical institutions under the XPCC provide touring medical services to local villages and pasturing areas all year round, treating diseases and administering medicines. When building roads and water conservancy projects, the XPCC goes to great lengths to ensure that these projects are of benefit to both itself and the region. In the 1950s, to support industrial development in Xinjiang, the XPCC transferred, at no cost, to local governments a number of large-scale industrial, construction, transport, and commercial enterprises upon which it had embarked. In the mid-1960s the XPCC appropriated a special fund of more than RMB 8 million each year to aid local areas in farmland planning and construction. After its reinstatement in the early 1980s, the XPCC invested more than RMB 90 million over five consecutive years to support Kashgar and Tacheng’s establishment of irrigation and water conservancy projects, and co-built with local governments more than 400 model institutions. Since the 1990s the XPCC has helped local governments to build bilingual kindergartens and schools and train bilingual teachers. Since 1999, 57 regimental farms under seven divisions in northern Xinjiang have provided training sessions and temporary posts to 15 groups of 2,156 grassroots ethnic minority officials from 32 counties (cities) in four prefectures in southern Xinjiang. Since the turn of the century, the XPCC has vigorously promoted “convergenomics,” working together with the local communities in building 87 economic complexes and engaging in more than 200 cooperative projects. Throughout each year it has also assigned scientific and technological personnel to hold various training sessions on farming, animal husbandry, and agricultural machinery, and to promote a broad range of advanced technologies among local farmers and herdsmen of all ethnic groups. Mutual support and integrated development between the XPCC and local governments have promoted contact and exchanges among all ethnic groups.
The XPCC is a mosaic of people from 37 ethnic groups, including the Han, Uyghur, Kazak, Hui, Mongolian, Xibe, Russian, Tajik, and Manchu. The population of ethnic minorities has reached 375,400, taking up 13.9% of the Corps’ total. There are 37 regimental farms inhabited predominantly by ethnic minority groups. With accelerating the development of these regimental farms as its top priority, the XPCC has enhanced policy support and poverty relief. In recent years the XPCC has launched 114 construction projects on these farms, with a total investment of RMB 1.08 billion, covering such fields as urban infrastructure, low-income housing projects, facility agriculture, and animal husbandry. In 2012 the total output value of these 37 regimental farms reached RMB 11.103 billion, up 42.8% over the previous year, and 24.4 percentage points higher than the average level in the XPCC.
The XPCC fully implements China’s ethnic and religious policies, promotes religious harmony, respects and protects the customs of ethnic minority groups. It advocates harmonious development, common cultural prosperity, and respect for one another’s folkways among all ethnic groups. Being a part of this essential mosaic of people from different ethnic groups enables the XPCC to disseminate advanced culture, develop Chinese culture, constantly absorb Xinjiang ethnic culture and so promote the integration of diverse components of the Chinese culture in the border areas. Cultural exchanges within the XPCC have increased mutual understanding among people of different ethnic groups, facilitated the development of an advanced Chinese culture in Xinjiang, and enhanced cohesion of the Chinese nation in China’s border areas.
The seasons change fast, and 60 eventful years have passed since the founding of the XPCC.
At present, all Chinese people are striving to realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and Xinjiang is at a critical stage of achieving lasting social and political stability. It has been a consistent policy of the central government to support the growth of the XPCC, and it has been China’s long-term strategy to give better play to the unique role of the XPCC in maintaining stability and safeguarding the border. Under new conditions, the XPCC should never be allowed to weaken, but rather be strengthened.
Standing at a new historical starting point, the XPCC is presented with unprecedented opportunities. In the new historical period, the XPCC must play its part as a stabilizer of frontier security and stability, a melting pot of all ethnic groups, and a demonstration zone for advanced productive forces and culture. It must reinforce itself, further its integration with the local society, be devoted to social stability and lasting peace in Xinjiang, and perform all its functions as entrusted by the central government.
With the strong leadership and support of the central government, proactive assistance from all the people in China, the great help of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and all ethnic groups, and the solid foundation laid over the past 60 years of its development, the XPCC is sure to embrace a better tomorrow.