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North China Province Cleans up Muslim Food Market
Shanxi Province in north China is reviewing operating licenses and signs for Muslim food in a bid to clean up the market.

By the end of the year, nearly 1,500 signs will be distributed through the province's restaurants, slaughterhouses and stalls specializing in Muslim food.

Previously-issued operating licenses for producing, storing and selling Muslim food will all be renewed after conditional requirements are checked.

Wei Cimin, an official with the local bureau of ethnic affairs,said some peddlers in Shanxi had been selling fake Muslim food, which not only breached market rules but also infringed upon Muslims' legal rights.

Given that processing procedures for Muslim food were rather complicated and strict, the selling prices were usually higher than for food for people of other ethnic groups, he said.

Wang Yanping, owner of a Muslim restaurant, believed such a move would win the support of local Muslims and called for people to respect the interests of ethnic minorities.

Of the province's total ethnic minorities population of 94,200,some 61,700 are of the Hui nationality. More than 80,000 people inShanxi believe in Islam.

(Xinhua News Agnecy October 21, 2002)

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