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Full Text: Historical Witness to Ethnic Equality, Unity and Development in Xinjiang
September 24,2015   By:Xinhua
 
The customs of ethnic minorities are respected and the freedom of each ethnic group to maintain or reform its own customs is protected. In 2004, the region formulated the Halal Food Regulations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to protect the halal dietary customs of the relevant ethnic groups, which stipulated that departments in charge of ethnic affairs of the people's governments at/above the county level are vested with the responsibility of supervising and exercising control over the production and supply of halal food within areas under their jurisdiction. The region also renders support to and guarantees the production and supply of special supplies to ethnic minorities. Ethnic minorities which have the tradition of inhumation (ground burial) are exempt from the government requirement for cremation, and are allotted special plots for cemeteries. Major festivals of the ethnic minorities are also made official public holidays in Xinjiang. The region encourages all ethnic groups to respect one another's customs while encourages following more scientific, civilized and healthy customs in relation to food, clothing, shelter, transportation, weddings, funerals and etiquettes.
 
Candidates of ethnic minority origins are selected and cultivated as officials and professionals. A large number of administrative officials and technical professionals from ethnic minority groups have been fostered through training courses and working at the grassroots level, or through work exchanges or job rotation. In 1955, the number of ethnic minority officials in Xinjiang was 46,000, which increased to 417,000 in 2014, accounting for 51.4 percent of the total officials in the region. When selecting leading officials and recruiting civil servants, the autonomous region implements more flexible policies such as setting a recruitment ratio and offering directional recruitment and bonus points in favor of ethnic minorities, so as to make sure that a certain number of ethnic minorities join the civil service. The proportion of ethnic minority civil servants in the total recruitment increased from 29.9 percent in 2009 to 48.3 percent in 2014.
 
Special support has been given to professional personnel of ethnic minority origins. Since 1992, the state has put in place a special program to train professionals of ethnic minority origins in key areas of science and technology by way of holding training courses, advanced studies, exchanges and being placed on more challenging posts, etc. and by the end of 2014 the region had trained in total 3,917 middle- and high-caliber professionals of ethnic minority origins badly needed in Xinjiang.
 
In key areas of science and technology, Xinjiang has established and implemented a fund for special training of science and technology talents of ethnic minority origins since 2000. The number of ethnic minority technical professionals in Xinjiang increased from 124,300 in 1985 to 294,400 in 2014, and the proportion rose from 34.43 percent to 58.37 percent of the total number of such people in the region. The number of ethnic minority professionals with academic titles equivalent to professor and associate professor reached 21,100 in 2014.
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