China handpicks new governor for Tibetan Autonomous Region

Wu Yingjie, the new Party Secretary of the TAR
Wu Yingjie, the new Party Secretary of the TAR

30th August 2016

The reins on the Tibetan Autonomous Region have been passed from one Chinese politician to another

 

A re-shuffle has seen a new Chinese politician, Wu Yingjie, appointed to the role of Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), the most senior position in the region. He replaces Chen Quanguo, also a Chinese politician, who held the post between 2011 and 2016.

The appointment of Wu Yingjie, born in Shandong Province on China's east coast, continues the longstanding Chinese government policy of picking Han Chinese politicians for the role of Party Secretary of the TAR.  Almost all of the senior government, police and military positions in the TAR, which only represents around half of historic Tibet,  are held by Han Chinese members of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chairman of the TAR, Lobsang Gyaltsen, the highest ranking ethnic Tibetan in the region, is subordinate to the Party Secretary. 

A hard line

Prior to the re-shuffle, which took place on 28 August,  Wu Yingjie was the Executive Vice Chairman of the TAR. He also held positions in the TAR's Propaganda Department and Department of Education.

The previous Party Secretary, Chen Quanguo, has moved to the role of  Communist Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. During his period as TAR Party Secretary, Chen Quanguo took a hard line on Tibet. Within the first year of assuming the role he ordered officials to ready themselves for “war” in Tibet. Last year he issued warnings to Communist Party members sympathetic to Tibet or the Dalai Lama, criticising  "party members who profess their devotion to the party while concealing other feelings, the two-faced people, who look at minority matters in an erroneous way".

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