CHINA Border defenders in Xinjiang guard China's territory despite remoteness, loneness, harsh environment


Border defenders in Xinjiang guard China's territory despite remoteness, loneness, harsh environment

Global Times

10:34, December 30, 2021

Border police Pan Lulu hugs his girlfriend after proposing to her during his patrol at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo: GT)

China has over 22,000 kilometers of land border, and a quarter of it is in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where thousands of border guards are settling and patrolling in remoteness and harsh environments.

In the thousands of miles of mountains in the border regions of Xinjiang, there are many border police stations with unique functions. Border defenders patrol the vast land together with the herdsmen who protect the border, weave an anti-smuggling and anti-infiltration network with their trekking routes, and build an important defense line for national security along the border.

The Global Times reporters recently visited the Aksu Border Management Detachment Depot in Xinjiang's Aksu prefecture to patrol the border alongside the garrison police.

The station guards up to 50 kilometers of the border.

Around the New Year, the temperatures could drop to as low as -18 C in Aksu.

On weekdays, in addition to the daily duties of garrisoning the frontier, the station is also responsible for maintaining public order, combating terrorism, managing herdsmen and residents in border areas, and carrying out joint defense actions with local residents in border areas of the over 2,000 square kilometers of their jurisdiction.

More than half of those in the police station are from the central and eastern provinces of China.

During their patrol, a garrison police officer told the Global Times that they came here with great enthusiasm to guard the border, where natural conditions are harsh and working conditions are complex and dangerous. Although they may not be able to return to their hometown any time soon, they have no regrets in safeguarding the country.

During the patrol, Global Times reporters witnessed a romantic moment when a police officer proposed to his girlfriend who came to visit him at a border checkpoint in Bedel pass, which is located at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters.

Five officers on horseback patrol in harsh conditions. (Photo: GT)

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