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Cadres from Tibet’s border with India among delegates to China’s upcoming 20th party congress

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(TibetanReview.net, Oct06’22) – The upcoming 20th five-yearly congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) starting on Oct 16 is particularly important not because it will take any leadership decision of vital national importance. Rather, its importance lies in the fact that the congress will reveal and endorse decisions already made behind closed doors by a handful of the country’s real power players whose dealmaking process is not open even to any general body of the CPC.

Taking part in the congress will be 38 ethnic Tibetan party members selected for their proven track-record of loyalty to the party and the President Xi Jinping leadership from Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), and Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and Gansu provinces as well as from the People’s Liberation Army and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, Fujian Province and the Central Financial system.

Eighteen of the Tibetan delegates at the 20th Congress are from the TAR, including two who are listed as being Monpa and Lhoba, both within the broader Tibetan family, and one named without any ethnic identification, noted Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) Oct 5. Of the 18, eight are female, it added.

The Monpa and the Lhoba communities inhabit areas close to India’s border state of Arunachal Pradesh. The Lhobas, though Tibetans, are the smallest recognized ethnic group in the People’s Republic of China, numbering between 3,000 and 4,000. The “Lhobas” means “southerners” in Tibetan.

Four of the delegates are stated to be from party entities in the Tibetan areas of Qinghai Province. Three others are stated to be from the Tibetan areas in Sichuan. Besides, two more are stated to be from the Tibetan areas in Yunnan. And two are stated to be from Tibetan areas in Gansu. One delegate in each of these cases was stated to be female.

Besides, there are two Tibetan delegates from what is categorized as central and state organs, four from the People’s Liberation Army and the paramilitary People’s Armed Police, and two from the central financial system, with one being female in each case.

The report noted that the Tibetan delegates to the 20th Party Congress account for about 1.65% of the total of 2,296 delegates.

In the hierarchy of the CPC leadership, the highest level to which Tibetans have been elevated to as members has been as full members of the Central Committee. The CPC Central Committee is currently composed of 205 full members and 171 alternate members.

In the current, 19th CPC leadership, two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen (Chinese: Luosang Jiangcun) and Che Dalha (Qizhala), are full members of the Central Committee, with two others, Yan Jinhai and Norbu Thondup, being alternate members. It is most likely that Yan Jinhai and Norbu Thondup will be promoted to full membership in the 20th Central Committee, said ICT.

No Tibetan party member has ever made it to the party’s top decision-making body, the Standing Committee of the Politburo (political Bureau), or to the full Politburo of 25 members ranking just below it. In fact, no Tibetan has ever been made even the party Secretary of TAR or of any other provincial region.

The congress is expected to “elect” Xi Jinping to an unprecedented third five-year term and is also seen as likely to elevate him to the rank enjoyed only by Chairman Mao so far. The make-up of the new Standing Committee of the Politburo will be seen as the extent of Xi’s influence in the closed-door CPC decision-making process at the highest level.

It is also seen as settled that no apparent successor to Xi will be appointed, leaving the road open for a fourth term for him after another five years.

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