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Communist Party of China appoints Xinjiang official Wang Junzheng as head of US-sanctioned Tibet unit

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The head of the new Tibet unit of the Communist Party will take over after two months (Representational)

Beijing:

China’s ruling Communist Party has appointed Wang Junzheng, the head of its party unit in the sensitive Himalayan region of Tibet, acknowledged by the US, Britain, the European Union and Canada for his alleged role in human rights violations against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Wang Junzheng has been appointed secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee, replacing Wu Yingjie, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Wang Junzheng, 58, became China’s highest-ranking official to be accepted in March over allegations of human rights violations during his tenure as the party’s deputy secretary of the Xinjiang unit, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

He served as Xinjiang’s security chief from 2019 before starting his most recent role as political commissioner of the paramilitary Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps last year, while retaining his position as deputy party chief.

China has been battling allegations of human rights violations against Uighur Muslims for more than a year in Xinjiang, where Beijing has mobilized security forces from other provinces to quell unrest among Uighurs over growing settlements of majority Han Chinese. has been deployed.

The US has called China’s security crackdown in Xinjiang, where thousands of Uighurs are reportedly held in detention camps, a genocide. China has denied the allegations, saying its security actions in Xinjiang were aimed at curbing terrorism.

China accuses the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), operating in the province, of carrying out several violent attacks in the resource-rich border region.

The Post reported that Wang Junzheng’s propaganda underscores the West’s response to his policies in Xinjiang, as well as its growing interest in the pool of officials, who are seen as examples of competence in areas with large ethnic minority populations. has been placed in.

Observers say his new appointment also points to China’s plan to maintain tight security in Tibet while continuing to crack down on the Dalai Lama and his supporters, whom Beijing calls separatist and sectarian.

Wang Junzheng will take over his new job in Tibet from Wu Yingjie in two months’ time, when he retires at the age of 65.

In addition to Wang Junzheng’s promotion, the CPC also appointed new secretaries for Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Hunan provinces.

The appointments come ahead of next year’s party congress, a key conference in November, which will pave the way for major leadership changes and a potentially unprecedented third term for President Xi Jinping.

The 19th CPC Central Committee will hold its sixth plenary session in Beijing from November 8 to 11.

The plenary session is considered important as it is the largest party meeting in the Party Congress ahead of next year’s change of leadership.

Politically it was regarded as a crucial meeting for 68-year-old Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has emerged as the most powerful leader since party founder Mao Zedong as he is widely expected to take an unprecedented third term in office. expected from.

All of Xi Jinping’s predecessors have retired following the mandatory rule of two consecutive five-year terms.

Xi Jinping is widely believed to be in power after the end of his second term at the end of next year, possibly for life in the wake of a constitutional amendment in 2018 that removed the two-term limit for president.

He was also made the party’s “main leader” in 2016, which was received by Mao Zedong.

Prior to the appointment of Wang Junzheng, an ethnic Tibetan and president of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Kizhla has recently been transferred to Beijing for a higher position in the national legislature.

63-year-old Kizhla, whose original name is Che Dalha, has left Lhasa to take up a new job in Beijing.

Qizla has been the head of the Tibetan government since 2017 and was expected to take on a new role in the top legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC).

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