On 25 August 2011, China replaced Zhang Qingli, the region’s highest ranking official, the Party Secretary of TAR (Tibetan Autonomous Region). The CPC Central Committee announced the appointment of Chen Quanguo in the seat of Tibet’s hard-line party boss Zhang. Zhang Qingli, Chen Quanguo’s predecessor, will be moved to another position, said the official Xinhua News Agency, neither mentioning the reason for this move nor about the new position given to Zhang.
Zhang Qingli was in the position since May 2006 for a period of over five years. During his tenure Tibet faced aggressive policies and harsh clampdowns. The 2008 rioting that broke out all over Tibet became the most severe and biggest uprising in decades. The 60 years old Zhang is known for his repressive ideologies that often reflected in his management of issues related to Tibet. He also expressed harsh reference to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, calling the exiled Buddhist leader a “wolf in monk’s robe” and his supporters “Dalai clique”, hurting the sentiments of Tibetans on many occasions.
Chen Quanguo is a native of Henan Province and a long term party member. According to official Tibet Daily Newspaper, in his speech on Thursday, 25 August, he focused on development and stability and did not made any reference to political struggle.
With this change in TAR Party Secretary TCHRD, in smallest light of optimism, hopes that that stability will be guided by peace, justice, transparency and greater respect and practice of human rights in Tibet. The Center also request the new Party Secretary for the change in the treatment and handling of issues in Tibet with greater tolerance and in peaceful manner by the Chinese Government; addressing the real plight and concern of the Tibetan people and finding appropriate solutions to them.