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Ethnic Minorities Officials, Professionals Trained

The Chinese government is training hundreds of thousands of officials and professionals from minority people, in an effort to accelerate development in minority-dominated areas, according to sources with China's Ethnic Affairs Commission (SEAC).

China has 56 ethnic groups with a total population of 1.3 billion, with the Han group accounting for 91.59 percent. The remaining 55 ethnic groups are ethnic minorities, mostly living in remote, economically backward areas.

The government plans to train 4,000 to 5,000 people from minority groups between 2000 and 2009. These people will be assigned to work in minority areas after being trained in different professional skills.

About 650,000 people from minority groups work as civil servants in governments at various levels, while government institutions employ 1.6 million minority people as professional staff, and state-owned companies employ 600,000 as managerial personnel.

Over the past few years, the SEAC has undertaken a massive training program for minority officials and professionals. The six existing minority universities have set up training centers for minority officials and professionals. Since 2000, over 2,500 minority people have been trained in these universities and centers.

From 2000 to 2002, the central and local government in developed areas employed 1,645 minority people officials, many as trainees.

Meanwhile, over 200 minority officials were trained in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and European nations.

(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2003)

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