BEIJING: An armed police officer who died in the riot in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, has been honored as a "loyal guard devoted to his mission", one of the highest-level honors in the Chinese army.
Premier Wen Jiabao and Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman Hu Jintao signed the order to honor Wan Jingang, a 31-year-old squadron leader in the Xinjiang Armed Police Contingent recently.
Wan was awarded the honorary title of "loyal guard devoted to his mission" for his bravery and loyalty in fulfilling his mission and task, according to the order.
Wan and his men were patrolling the streets when a group of rioters started to attack passengers on a bus in Urumqi on July 5. He was besieged and attacked by rioters while helping passengers escape. He later died of serious injuries.
As a grassroots chief officer, Wan Jingang took the lead at the front line and fought bravely to carry out his mission. He sacrificed himself for social stability and deserved the honor of the "loyal guard" of the Communist Party of China and the people, the order said.
The State Council and the CMC also called on the army and police officers to learn from Wan's loyalty in fulfilling his mission, bravery and fighting spirit and strong sense of responsibility in safeguarding national unity and social stability.
The State Council and the CMC also called on the army and police to follow Wan's example and firmly fight against the criminal activities of lawbreakers to safeguard social stability, socialist legal system and the fundamental interests of the people.
The July 5 riot in Urumqi left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured. The homes of 633 families were damaged and 627 vehicles were smashed and torched.
Last Friday, Xinjiang's Party chief Wang Lequan and regional government chairman Nur Bekri attended Wan's funeral, paying their last respect to the deceased. Hundreds of residents and policemen lined in the streets to say goodbye to Wan.