(TibetanReview.net, Jan17, 2017) – China has on Jan 15 appointed Qi Zhala, former party chief of Tibet’s capital Lhasa, as the region’s new government chairman, having been voted to that post at the 5th session of the 10th Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) People’s Congress that day. He replaced Mr Losang Gyaltsan, who was ‘elected’ the chairman of the Standing Committee of the TAR People’s Congress the same day, reported China’s official chinadaily.com.cn Jan 16.
China’s law on autonomy for ethnic minority regions requires the chairman of the local government to be a member of the ethnic minority group. He is usually a deputy party secretary of the region and is therefore subordinate, in the pecking order, to the regional party secretary who in the TAR has always been a Chinese person.
Qi, 59, is a Tibetan from Shangri-La (Tibetan: Gyalthang; former Chinese name: Zhongdian) County in Yunnan province. He had worked in different areas of Yunnan for 31 years before being transferred to Lhasa in 2010. He was the party chief of Yunnan’s Diqing (Tibetan: Dechen) prefecture before moving to Lhasa.
Losang Gyaltsan replaced Padma Choling as the regional people’s congress chairman and it was not clear where the latter will move next. He too was the government chairman before being made the regional people’s congress chairman. His predecessors have usually moved to posts in the National People’s Congress in Beijing.