By Zhan Lihong and Hai Yang
Abulaiti, a young man of Uyghur nationality, is a private first class (PFC) soldier assigned to the 10th armored infantry company of the 4th battalion of a brigade under the 79th Group Army. He is of medium height and wheat-colored skin, sunny and confident. This is what he has left on others at first sight. Speaking of his growth since childhood, Abulaiti has become more confident about his vision for the future.
In 1997, Abulaiti was born in a small remote village in Pishan County, Hotan Prefecture, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Pishan County is located near the Taklimakan Desert, featuring sparse precipitation, dry air and frequent sandstorms. Abulaiti has an elder brother and a younger sister. When he was 6 years old, his parents left the village to work in the cities to support the family. After graduating from junior high school, his elder brother Abulimiti dropped out of school and became a migrant worker as well. Abulimiti returned to campus four years later to finish senior high school education and was admitted to a university. Today, Abulimiti has been a teacher in a local school.
When admitted into junior high school, Abulaiti often collected wastes around the campus in exchange for living expenses as a way to ease his family’s burden,. In 2014, due to his excellent academic performance, Abulaiti was identified as a subsidy recipient under a preferential policy implemented by the Party and the government in Xinjiang and was sent to study at the Liang Xiang High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University.
From a remote border village to Beijing, Abulaiti felt “as if I was in a dream”. All his study and living expenses were afforded by the Chinese government during his senior high school education. He treasured the opportunity, studied hard, and served as a monitor for 4 consecutive years.
In September of 2018, Abulaiti was admitted to Anhui Normal University. Last September, his younger sister was also admitted to a university.
“My family is a beneficiary of China’s targeted poverty alleviation policy.” As early as 2014, Abulaiti’s family has been identified as a “poor household”. Under the unified planning and funding of the government, his family built a spacious house and his parents who used to work in the city returned to their hometown to grow fruit trees with incomes increasing year after year. In 2017, his family got lifted out of poverty at last.
In recent years, sandstorm-resisting afforestation belts have been built in Abulaiti’s hometown, through which sandstorm hits become fewer. In his village, homes of villagers have been connected by running water and cement roads lit by solar LED street lights at night. 4G network and radio and television signals have covered the village. The villagers have even purchased cars, or motorcycles for the convenience of transportation...
All the folks said: “The Communist Party of China (CPC) is Yakexi (great)!”
In the nation’s poverty alleviation campaign, , has been receiving by Anhui province for years.
When filling out college application, with the hope of returning home as a teacher like his elder brother, Abulaiti chose Anhui Normal University, a university located in east China’s Anhui Province, which has provided “pairing assistance” to Pishan County, the hometown of Abulaiti for years.
However, Abulaiti has always had a dream of joining the army at the bottom of his heart, since he attended a national flag-raising ceremony at Tian’anmen Square during his senior high school years. When the soldiers of the PLA Guard of Honor walked out of the Tian’anmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace), Abulaiti was shocked by their neat pace, well-trained and upright demeanor and resonant commands, all of which left a deep impression on him. As a freshman in the university, he learned that the university’s armed forces department was recruiting college students to join the army. When he told his father his dream of serving in the army, his father said: “It is the Party and the country that have brought us a happy life. As long as you are qualified for joining the army, you do have the responsibility to defend our country...”
Upon receiving the notice of enlistment, Abulaiti posted a message in his WeChat Moments, reading: “Looking back, there are many ways to repay the loving care of the Party. My ideal choice is to become a college student-turned soldier.” In September 2019, Abulaiti arrived at the military camp that he had dreamed for a long time.
In the recruits training camp, Abulaiti attended the first physical fitness assessment after enlistment, he failed in the 3km cross-country race and scraped through the other subjects including formation drill and hand grenade throwing... "To be an excellent soldier, he can only rely on practice!” With hard work and persistence, he achieved excellent results in all subjects with a personal score ranking first in his platoon and fifth in the company at the new recruits’ graduation assessment.
Due to his excellent performance in the light weapons shooting assessment in the new recruit training camp, after assigned to the 10th armored infantry company, Abulaiti acted as a vehicle-based sniper . When a new batch of main battle equipment was commissioned to his company, Abulaiti got promoted to be the gunner of the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), becoming the first Private gunner in the brigade. In the brigade’s annual competency contest, he came to the fore in comprehensive performance and was awarded the title of “Professional Technical Expert” of the Group Army.
Abulaiti is good at singing and dancing. At training intervals, his traditional Uyghur songs and dance with strong ethnic flavor have brought a lot of joy to his comrades-in-arms. In order to further introduce culture of minority ethnic groups in Xinjiang to his comrades-in-arms, he ever performed at five evening galas organized by the brigade and has become quite a “celebrity” in the brigade.
“I’ve kept reminding myself every day of staying true to my original aspiration: ‘I join the army to repay the loving care of the Party’, and I will continue to work hard and strive to become a member of the CPC as soon as possible!” Abulaiti told PLA Daily reporters solemnly.