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Braced for Danger

中国人民公安大学出版社  2021/3/4 9:59:14

  By Dou Dou
  Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was delivering his inaugural speech when six rockets hit the venue on March 9, 2020.
  Right next to the presidential palace was the Chinese Embassy to Afghanistan.
  The rockets whistled over the embassy and one of them landed as close as 160 meters to the embassy, and some shrapnel even pierced into the embassy compound.
  Meanwhile, the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan and the Head of Armed Police were both at the inauguration in Presidential Palace.
  An emergency situation arose.
  At that moment, Yang Dongwei, Police Liaison Officer of the embassy, stepped forward and took command of the embassy’s guard swiftly. He decisively dashed into the duty room of the armed police and began his command, without regard to possible follow-up blasts or attacks.He kept close eyes on the situation around the embassy, observed and assessed the security environment carefully until the all-clear sounded.
  In Afghanistan, such dangerous situations are almost a daily routine.to Yang

  Accomplishing the Mission at Risk of Life
  One Chinese diplomat received a call from an employee of a Chinese company in Afghanistan on May 1, 2019. “Is this the Chinese Embassy? This is Xiao Xin from a Chinese company. My manager and I just got beaten up. Please come and rescue us.”
  “Don’t panic, slow down please.” The diplomat tried to calm him down first.
  “We had planned to take a flight back to China tonight. But our Afghan partner Jahid came to us for money. We already paid him a few days before, and we owed him nothing, so we refused. We didn’t expect him to get fired up, and he wouldn’t let us leave. He locked us in the office and beat us up. Please come save us, we’ve almost been beaten to death.”
  Life is in danger, so the embassy swiftly initiated an emergency response to save them from danger and bullying. Yang first informed the Afghan police and asked them to take immediate actions. Then he led a team to rescue them.
  Discretion is on the better part of valor. Upon arrival, Yang ordered his team to keep the engines on, and turn the cars toward the direction of departure. Drivers were to stay onboard and be prepared to retreat. One of his men was to remain in the car and prepare for back-up.
  Hardly had they entered the door when they found half a dozen guns pointed at them. They heard clicking sounds from the loaded guns as they aimed to shoot, putting them on heightened alert.
  The air was filled with tension. Any mistake would cause a gun fight.
  At the height of the situation, Yang shouted “Freeze! We are Chinese diplomats coming to protect Chinese people not for a fighting”. The same words were repeated in the native tongue and it worked. Hostility faded. The people dropped their guard and slowly pointed their guns down.
  The tension in the room eased.
  Everybody breathed a sigh of relief.
  Jahid continued to make a fuss at the door. Yang scolded him, “It’s illegal to detain and beat our people. If you have a dispute, go to the police station or the court for a settlement. If you need to talk, go to the embassy. We don’t talk here.”
  He let the two Chinese out of the room while he was talking.
  Quite shocked, Jahid remained inactive.
  Yang got his evacuees onboard, and they headed directly for the airport.
  The rescue lasted no more than 10 minutes. At the time of their departure, local police still hadn’t arrived.
  A young woman surnamed Zhang from China’s Taiwan was swindled and became homeless in Kabul. She was taken to a local police station on August 2, 2018. Yang received notice of Zhang from the Afghan police late at night, and went to rescue her with his colleagues despite the potential danger.
  The police station was just hit by a car bomb, with heavy dark smoke billowing from the wreck.
  Zhang burst into tears of surprise when she saw Yang Dongwei. She told him that she was wandering the streets of Kabul without even a penny in her pocket. Hungary and thirsty, she even thought think of death. She had never expected to be rescued by diplomats from her motherland, and for the first time, she had felt immense pride in being Chinese.
  After consulting with the embassy, Yang helped arrange for her temporary accommodation and return to Taiwan. He was commended by the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for assisting a Taiwanese compatriot.
  During his three-year tenure, Yang experienced more than 80 major attacks, including explosions and rocket blasts, and handled over 10 security incidents concerning Chinese citizens, and rescued more than 20 Chinese from dire circumstances.
  When Kabul University was attacked by a terrorist group, he called the police chief of the school immediately, requesting them to ensure the safety of the faculty and students at the Confucius Institute.
  When a Chinese company was battered in an attack, he swiftly contacted the Afghan authorities for more police forces to keep it safe. When the building of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology was under attack, he sent requests to the Afghan police asking for the instant rescue of the Chinese staff trapped in it.

  Hero in Harm’s Way
  Every mission of Yang and his colleagues is a life-threatening experience.
  They have to be thoroughly prepared, donning bullet-proof vests and helmets, staying alert for roadside bombs and magnetic bombs, and changing driving routes from time to time...
  This, however, is no guarantee of a safe return.
  As COVID-19 raged across the country in 2020, international flights were suspended for more than half a year, leaving Kabul an isolated place. Embassy staff’s fears of contracting COVID-19 are compounded by their fear of terrorist attacks, as it is difficult to find treatment in such a place full of terrorist attacks.
  Unluckily, Yang happened to get an acute toothache. It was so painful that he couldn’t eat or sleep. As there was no better solution, he borrowed dental instruments and pulled the tooth out all by himself. His colleagues praised him as a tough guy. Later, one of his colleagues was seriously ill and had to go to hospital. Without hesitation, Yang contacted the best hospital in Kabul and accompanied his colleague to the hospital, regardless of potential infection or attacks.
  The embassy handed over anti-epidemic aid to the Afghan side twice at the Kabul International Airport in April 2020. Yang was responsible for early on-site preparation and the security during handover and transportation.
  Faced with dual risks of the virus and terrorist attacks, Yang braved the danger with sound protection measures in place. Yang cooperated with the Afghan police time and again, performed checks on the handover spot, made plans for emergency response and ensured the completion of the tasks.
  This is Yang Dongwei, a hero in harm’s way.
  Uphill battles never stop him, only make him more determined to forge ahead. Every time an urgent, dangerous, and daunting task finds him, he makes it through with an iron will, strong sense of responsibility, great expertise and stringent self-discipline. This is a portrait of a Chinese police.

  Journey of Self-Improvement
  Working and living in Afghanistan, one must not only face terrorist attacks, but also learn to cope with harsh conditions, hostile forces, epidemic, earthquakes, diseases, growfear, solitude and homesickness.
  Every alarm of the embassy sounds means an immediately preparation for a potential attack.
  Due to chaos caused by war ,in Afghanistan, the embassy has always practiced closed-off management. But after the outbreak of COVID-19, the embassy has instituted even more rigorous measures.
  Since January 2020 when flights between China and Afghanistan were suspended, the embassy has had no access to soy sauce, vinegar and other daily use items. As terrorist organizations often launch attacks on telecommunications bases, telephone lines and cell networks are on and off intermittently.
  To comfort his concerned family, Yang posts something on WeChat Moments on a daily basis as a token of safety
  After graduating from Nanjing Firefighting and Command School, Yang continued his studies independently and obtained a junior college diploma in English and bachelor’s degree via correspondence education. He passed the strongly competitive qualifying exams for police officials for UN peacekeeping missions, becoming one of the first policemen in Shanxi Province to join the program. He was dispatched to the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and Kosovo to enforce peacekeeping operations, and was awarded the UN Peace Medal twice. He continued self-studying and applied for seven postgraduate programs in the UK, five of which issued letters of admittance. He was also granted a full Chevening Scholarship by the British Council. Through an examination, Yang became the only police counselor selected from the firefighting system. He was appointed Police Counselor of the Chinese Embassy to Afghanistan in February 2018. His career development is truly an inspirational journey of self-fulfillment.
  Having dual identities as a diplomat and a policeman, Yang bears in mind that he must shoulder great responsibilities and carry out important missions.
  During the three years in Afghanistan, Yang has worked with four ministers and a number of department chiefs from the Interior Ministry, and has established communication networks to reach decision makers in various situations. This has promoted cooperation between the Chinese and Afghan law enforcement authorities in the areas of anti-terrorism and counter narcotics. Given that, the Afghan Ministers of Interior Affairs and Counter-narcotics issued letters of appreciation to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the Chinese Embassy to Afghanistan.
  Yang is enthusiastic about foreign affairs; he has taken part in nearly 100 diplomatic activities, has handled over a hundred of correspondences, has organized dozens of training courses and exchange events for the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of Counter-Narcotics.
  Yang also plays a vital role in enhancing bilateral cooperation in law enforcement, promoting the security of the embassy, and rescuing Chinese people from dire situations. Thanks to his hard work and contribution, the embassy was awarded the Most Satisfactory Group of Civil Servants in China in June 2019. Yang Dongwei was named as the Police Officer of the Year in December 2020.
  One would never take the risk to work in Kabul without a strong sense of patriotism. One would never make it through the work without unswerving political ideals and rock-solid convictions. One would never fulfill one’s duty there without an unyielding spirit.
  Yang was once asked: “Would you die in service for your country?”
  He said: “Now that I have spent three years in Afghanistan, a country fraught with conflicts and terrorist attacks, I’m always ready to sacrifice my life for the motherland and the people.”
  Manning the frontline, honoring commitments, and never forgetting one’s original aspirations and call of duty, this is Yang Dongwei.
  Braving dangers and risks, and pursuing constant self-improvement, this is Yang Dongwei.
  Exercising perseverance in the scourge of war, upholding strong determination in times of difficulty, and ready to devote one’s life to the party and the people, this is the Chinese police.■
  (Translated by Agnes)



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