The bureaucrat responsible for several re-education camps and Uyghur forced labor has been called to apply his repressive methods on Tibetans.
by Lopsang Gurung
The highest authority in Tibet is the Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Region. From 2011 to 2016, this position was held by the notorious Cheng Quanguo, who experimented in Tibet with the brutal methods he would later apply on an even large scale in Xinjiang, where he became CCP Secretary in August 2016.
That the CCP wants to crack down on Xinjiang Uyghurs and other Muslims and on Tibetan Buddhists with increasingly similar strategies has now been proved by the fact that on October 18, Wang Junzheng has been appointed as the new CCP Secretary in Tibet.
Wang Junzheng’s reign promises to be for Tibetans as bad as Cheng Quanguo’s, or worse. Wang has been sanctioned by the U.S. “in coordination with Canada and European allies” on March 22, 2021, as responsible of serious human rights violations. Indeed, his appointment in Tibet is a slap in the face of the United States and democratic countries in general. The “butcher of Xinjiang” not only is not reined in by Beijing, he is promoted to higher office.
Wang was the boss in Xinjiang of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), which the U.S. have described as a “paramilitary structure” of the CCP. In fact, it is much more. In Xinjiang, the XPCC controls much of the economy, including the cotton industry, and is directly responsible for Uyghur forced labor. In addition, the XPCC directly administers several Xinjiang cities. It is not subject to the authority of Xinjiang authorities but answers directly to the Politburo in Beijing.
A typical “state within the state,” the XPCC oversaw the gigantic operation of ethnic engineering importing Han Chinese into Xinjiang, and also directly managed several transformation through education camps. On all these activities, Wang reigned supreme.
Tibetans have all reasons to be concerned. Re-education camps and forced labor exist in Tibet too. Wang may have been sent to Tibet to escalate this system into Xinjiang-like proportions, further destroying Tibetan identity and culture as he worked, successfully in the eyes of Beijing leaders who promoted him, to destroy Uyghur identity in Xinjiang.