(TibetanReview.net, Aug30, 2016) – China has on Aug 28 announced the appointment of Mr Wu Yingjie as the new party secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), replacing fellow Han-Chinese Chen Quanguo, who has ruled the region since 2011 and has been made the new party boss of Xinjiang’s. Wu, previously the deputy Party chief, is the first person to hold the position after spending his entire political career in the region, said China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Aug 29 while reporting on the Communist Party of China Central Committee decision.
The report said Wu, 59, born in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, had worked in the TAR since 1974. He spent several years on livestock farms and at a power plant before gaining a bachelor’s degree in Lhasa between 1979 and 1983. He then joined the TAR’s education department in 1983, gradually rising up the ranks to remain the head of the department between 2000 and 2003. From 2003 to 2013 he was a vice-chairman of the regional government. He was also a member of the standing committee of the TAR committee of the CPC from 2005 to 2011, and had been the deputy Party chief since 2011.
Wu is also said to hold a master’s degree in Party history from the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.
While a Xinhua report Aug 28 said Wu’s predecessor Chen Quanguo, 61, will no longer be a member of Tibet’s CPC Committee or its Standing Committee, and will be transferred to another post. However, as predicted by a scmp.com report Aug 29, he has been made the new ruler of Xinjiang. This likely means promotion for him as the Xinjiang party boss is usually a member of the 25-member Politburo.
The report said Chen was believed to be Premier Li Keqiang’s protégé, having worked as his deputy in Henan between 1998 and 2004.
The Aug 28 announcement from the Communist Party of China Central Committee decision also said Du Jiahao had replaced Xu Shousheng as secretary of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), while Chen Hao had replaced Li Jiheng as secretary of the CPC Yunnan Provincial Committee. Both Chen and Du are seen as protégés of President Xi Jinping, having worked with him when he ran China’s commercial capital, Shanghai, as its Communist Party chief for a year in 2007.
The scmp.com report cited political analysts as saying the reshuffle showed that power-jockeying had gathered pace in the lead-up to the party congress to be held late next year. The report said this was the first round of reshuffles unveiled since a gathering of top incumbent and retired leaders of China in the seaside resort of Beidaihe.
The party will hold it five-yearly congress next autumn when Xi will seek to further cement his hold on power by trying to ensure the appointment of close allies into the party’s ruling inner core, the 25-member politburo and the 7-member politburo standing committee. This requires that Xi succeeds in appointing more new supporters into major provincial and government positions.