The History and Development of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (October 2014)

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“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 paper, which was published on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), establishes the precedence of having garrison troops to guard and cultivate its’ border areas in “several thousand years of history of developing and safeguarding its frontiers” and highlights the role of the XPCC in the development of Xinjiang. The paper gives an overview of the historical evolution of the Corps and highlights the key role it played during the Yi-ta incident to maintain public order.

It also gives an overview over the scope of the XPCC by highlighting its multi-sector industrial system which encompasses food processing, light industry, textiles, iron and steel, coal, building materials, electricity, chemicals, and machinery.

“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.”

The paper further emphasizes that the focus of XPCCs work, since the 1980s, has been on maintaining stability in light of the threat faced from “separatist, religious extremist and terrorist forces”.

Highlighting exemplary roles across different administrative fields by the Corps is a key feature of the paper. Some of these include agricultural modernization, ecological conservation, improving people’s livelihood, and develop social undertakings.

“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”

Another key role is safeguarding the frontier:

“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.”

The paper concludes by elaborating on the part XPCC will play as a stabilizer of frontier security.


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