Chen Quanguo, Tibet's new communist party chief in a file photo.
DHARAMSHALA, August 28: In its latest white paper on sixty years of the so-called ‘peaceful liberation of Tibet’, China lauded the Tibetan people for creating “miracles.” But the communist party’s failure to find a Tibetan to head Tibet, again, is no miracle.
On August 25, the Communist Party of China announced the appointment of Chen Quanguo (55) as the new man in charge of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Quanguo, former governor of Hebei province replaces Zhang Qingli, the hard-line party secretary who was responsible for the violent suppression of the 2008 uprisings in Tibet.
China’s state news agency, Xinhua, announced Zhang’s removal without giving details on his future role.
Zhang who was reportedly handpicked by President Hu Jintao as TAR party chief in May 2006 lived up to the party’s expectations of ruling Tibet with an iron fist. The deployment of military tanks on the streets of Lhasa during his tenure is reminiscent of the 1989 martial law in Tibet that Hu Jintao had then ordered as Tibet’s Beijing point man.
Chen Quanguo’s appointment comes as a bit of a surprise as he has no previous experience of working in the so-called minority areas of China.
He is a native of Henan Province and a party member since 1976. Having a degree in economics, the official Tibet Daily Newspaper, reported that he would focus on “development and stability” in his speech on August 25.