VII. Striving to Foster Cadres and Talented People of the Ethnic Minorities
Ethnic-minority cadres and talented people are outstanding elements of ethnic minorities. Being well acquainted with the languages, histories, traditions and customs of their own ethnic groups, and the political, economic and cultural characteristics of their localities, they serve as a link between the government and minority peoples. The situation of minority cadres and talented people indicates the development level of the ethnic minorities. For a long period of time, the state has regarded the fostering of minority cadres and talented people as a key to promoting the prosperity and development of the ethnic minorities, doing a good job of making progress in the minority areas and solving the problems of the ethnic minorities. Considering it a matter of long-term significance and fundamental nature, it has unremittingly taken effective measures to strengthen the recruiting and training of them.
The Constitution stipulates that the state shall help the ethnic autonomous areas train in large numbers cadres at various levels, specialized personnel and skilled workers of various professions and trades from among the ethnic group or ethnic groups in those areas; and all the ethnic minorities are entitled to appropriate representation in the Standing Committee of the NPC. The Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy stipulates that the heads of all autonomous regions, autonomous prefectures and autonomous counties should be citizens of the ethnic group(s) exercising regional autonomy in the areas concerned. The functionaries of the working bodies subsidiary to the organs of self-government shall include an appropriate number of members of the ethnic group(s) exercising regional autonomy as well as members of other ethnic minorities. The Civil Service Law of the People's Republic of China provides that, when recruiting civil servants in an ethnic autonomous area, the applicants of ethic minorities shall be given appropriate preferential treatment.
As soon as the People's Republic of China was founded, the state called to train a large number of minority cadres. To this end, the state established special institutions of higher learning for such training. In the 1950s ten such colleges were set up, including the Central College for Ethnic Minorities, Northwest College for Ethnic Minorities, Southwest College for Ethnic Minorities, South-Central College for Ethnic Minorities and Guangxi College for Ethnic Minorities. Since the launch of the reform and opening-up drive, the state has again established the Hubei College for Ethnic Minorities, North University for Ethnic Minorities and Dalian College for Ethnic Minorities. Along with the progress of the times, many of them developed into universities. Their enrollment has expanded and academic level constantly enhanced. So far, there are 15 institutions of higher learning for the ethnic minorities in China. Furthermore, the state has held training classes and schools for minority cadres, and ethnic-minority classes in ordinary institutions of higher learning, making unremitting efforts to enhance the cultivation of minority cadres.
The state attaches great importance to the recruitment and training of minority cadres. Minority cadres account for a certain percentage in each ethnic autonomous area. A large number of minority cadres are in leading posts at all levels. In open selection and competition for leading body of a given place or unit, a certain ratio or a certain number of posts would be given to minority cadres. When recruiting civil servants, the state appropriately lowers the standard for minority applicants. To ensure that a certain number of minority applicants become civil servants, some preferential treatment is adopted, such as designating certain percentages, targeted recruitment and adding appropriate scores.
The state unremittingly enhances the education and training of minority cadres. It regularly selects and sends minority cadres to Party schools at all levels and various colleges to receive training, and organizes minority cadres to tour the developed coastal areas in a planned way, so as to keep improving their qualities. Since 2003, the "Western Light" program has been launched by related government departments to train visiting scholars. The state has selected 1,416 high-caliber technical personnel from the western regions to attend one-year study courses at leading domestic institutions of higher learning, scientific research institutes and medical organizations, aiming to train them to be high-level professionals badly needed in western China. Among them, 553 are from the minority areas, accounting for 39.1 percent of the total.
In addition, the state organizes exchange of posts and taking post by turn for minority cadres in a planned way, and selects a large number of minority cadres to take up temporary leading posts in the other parts of the country, at the grassroots units or in leading organs at the higher levels, thus developing their abilities in actual work. Since 1990, the state has begun to select cadres from western regions and other minority areas and put them in the CPC and central government organs and comparatively developed regions to take up temporary leading posts. Over the past 20 years, more than 5,000 cadres have had such training, thus turning out a large number of Party and government cadres, as well as scientific and technical and managerial personnel for the minority areas, greatly promoting the building of leading bodies and the contingent of cadres in the minority areas, and promoting the sound and rapid development of the economy and society there.
Through dozens of years of unremitting efforts, the rank of minority cadres has been growing steadily. By 2008, the number of minority cadres exceeded 2.9 million, registering a 300 percent increase over 1978. Civil servants of the ethnic minorities accounted for 9.6 percent of the country's total. Minority cadres at and above the county level accounted for 7.7 percent of the total of cadres at the same level. Minority cadres also account for a fair proportion of cadres in the central and local state organs, including administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs. At present, two of the 13 vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the NPC are from the ethnic minorities; two of the nine vice premiers and state councilors of the State Council are of ethnic-minority origin; and five of the 25 vice chairpersons of the National Committee of the CPPCC are from the ethnic minorities.
The state attaches great importance to the training of various talented people needed in the modernization drive of the minority areas. It rules that institutions of higher learning and secondary vocational schools should appropriately lower the standards and conditions for applicants from the ethnic minorities when enrolling new students, and offer special treatment to applicants from the ethnic minorities with comparatively small populations. Every year, tens of thousands of minority applicants are admitted to institutions of higher learning. In order to speed up the cultivation of talented people for the minority areas, the state holds preparatory and regular classes for students of the ethnic minorities in key institutions of higher learning, with an annual enrolment of 30,000 such students. In 1984 the Chinese government decided to run classes or schools for Tibetan students in large and medium-sized inland cities, including Beijing, Tianjin and Chengdu. Over the past 20 years, more than 70,000 Tibetan students have been enrolled in junior high and senior high schools, as well as colleges and universities. In 2000 the state decided to run senior high school classes for Xinjiang students in schools in 12 large and medium-sized inland cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. By the end of 2008, 50 senior high schools have classes for Xinjiang students. These schools are located in 28 cities of 12 provinces and municipalities directly under the central government. So far, 24,000 students have been enrolled in them. In 2003 the state helped eight cities in Xinjiang, including Urumqi, to hold junior high school classes for children of minority farmers and herdsmen, accounting for over 80 percent of the total students enrolled. The "program of training high-caliber backbone personnel from the ethnic minorities" was launched in 2006, to enroll students for Master's and PhD degrees from the minority areas. So far, the annual enrollment of such students had reached 4,700, bringing the total number of such students studying in the institutions of higher learning to 7,900.
The state encourages and guides college graduates to work in the minority areas. The "PhD Service Group" was launched in 1999, sending altogether 1,195 outstanding young scientists and technicians with PhD degrees from the central organs of the CPC and the State Council and comparatively developed eastern regions to western regions, old revolutionary base areas and the minority areas, providing manpower and intellectual assistance. Among them, 403 were sent to the western minority areas, accounting for 33.7 percent of the total.
For many years, the Chinese government has sent cadres and talented people to the minority areas, including Tibet and Xinjiang. These cadres and talented people make arduous efforts and selfless contributions, and are playing an important role in promoting the development of the minority areas.