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Uygur Soldier Aspires to Safeguard Xisha Islands in S China Sea

Viewed 249 times 2018-11-23 16:28 |System category:News

Uygur Soldier Aspires to Safeguard Xisha Islands in S China Sea
Aytulun Xukrat [China Women's News]

 

An outstanding female soldier from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is currently helping to safeguard the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, according to a recent profile.


Aytulun Xukrat beamed with excitement in spite of the long-distance journey before she left. "Here I come, Xisha Islands!" she remembers her remarks at the time.


Seven years ago, she became one of the first batch of female Uygur soldiers enlisted in the navy, and joined the crew of the Jinggangshan warship, an amphibious vessel designed and built independently by China. 


Aytulun was received by President Xi Jinping in April 2013 when he inspected the craft. Aytulun was impressed by his words: "Training Uygur women soldiers to defend our country at the sea frontier is conductive to promoting women's causes and ethnic solidarity. I am proud of you female soldiers." 


She was also encouraged by the president to study and work hard to do her bit for national defense. 


"Whenever I recall these words, I am filled with warmth, strength and motivation," she says. 


Later, she decided to toughen herself up during the day by practicing drills and studied in the evening and at weekends. Her efforts paid off. She was admitted to the Dalian Naval Academy of People's Liberation Army (PLA) in September 2013, and was to study for five years. 


Each time when she returned to her hometown in Xinjiang, she would deliver lectures to her fellows about her personal experiences of growing from an ordinary youth into a solider. 


Earlier this year, she gave four lectures which were witnessed by nearly 10,000 people. 


I want to inspire them to support and join the navy with my own experience. Under her influence, two of her junior school fellows also joined up. Many of her fellow citizens called her by phone to inquire about the matters regarding the enlisting. 


Aytulun could have chosen a unit with more favorable conditions upon graduation.


Nevertheless, she made the decision of serving in one of the toughest areas of China. 

In her opinion, the tougher a remote area is, the stronger the need is to protect it. 


Her story was also broadcast on CCTV (China Central TV). During the recording, an interview with her was uploaded online, which was viewed over 200,000 times in a single day.


On the Xisha Islands, she overcame a multitude of  problems one after another. When she had just set foot on the island, she was so unaccustomed to the local climate that she suffered from stomach disorder for three days on ends. 


In the scorching weather, she sweated during the drill. Yet, none of these problems made her give up. 


During a chat with her classmate over the phone, her classmate expressed concern that the climate of Xisha Islands might leave her sun burnt, to which she pays no heed. No matter how big the challenge is, she is always willing to rise to it to the best of her abilities. 


"If I can meet President Xi again, I will share with him my aspiration to receive military training industriously and improve my abilities to safeguard this vast expanse of sea around the Xisha Islands." 


(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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