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Border police praise level of commitment

By TIAN XUEFEI and ZHOU HUIYING in Fuyuan, Heilongjiang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-23 08:01
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Officers of the Heixiazi Island border police watch the opening ceremony of the 19th CPC National Congress on a cellphone during a patrol on Wednesday. [Photo by Li Junxiu/For China Daily]

Officers who viewed CPC National Congress on cellphone were inspired

In the early hours of Wednesday, the opening day of the ongoing 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, police officer Xu Xu and five colleagues on the Russian border in Heilongjiang province performed a flag-raising ceremony as the sun climbed over the Chinese mainland.

Then, after patrolling in a motorboat along the Heilong River, which forms part of the dividing line, they watched a live broadcast of the congress on a cellphone.

To get a good signal, they had to continually move their patrol boat up and down the river in a place where low temperatures are already below 0 C.

"I was encouraged to hear the achievements mentioned by General Secretary Xi Jinping," said Xu, 36, an officer of the Heixiazi Island border police at the country's easternmost station.

"I've been stationed on the border for 13 years, since my second year in the Army," Xu said. "I have seen the changes at different border stations in the past decade, and I'm honored to be a Chinese soldier.

"When we heard Xi talk about staying committed" to a strong military and fully advancing the modernization of national defense, he and his colleagues were inspired, Xu said. "We believe we will get more support for our work in the future."

He said border officers once had motorboats whose engines were started by pulling a rope by hand. They were difficult to use and often broke down.

"Now, all the motorboats have electric engine starters, which is more convenient," Xu said.

About 20 km away, another border team was steering its ship along the Wusuli River. The vessel, with a displacement of 150 metric tons, has been in use since 2015 to patrol the 130-km waterway.

"Conditions have improved greatly," said Wang He, 45, a border soldier for 27 years. "Twelve border officers and soldiers live on the ship from April to November. We now have stable power and a heating supply on the ship, which we couldn't have imagined before."

Fuyuan, about 40 km from Heixiazi Island, also has seen big changes. At the end of 2012, it was linked to China's passenger rail network.

The new railway meant residents could reach Harbin, the provincial capital, in about 13 hours. In May 2014, the completion of Fuyuan Dongji Airport meant that the journey could be shortened to one hour and 20 minutes, with Beijing just a four-hour flight away.

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