It's Xi's whim: Xinjiang's boss ousted from China’s top leadership body

Published on Oct 23, 2022 09:22 AM IST

China Communist Party Meeting: Chen Quanguo, the former party boss of both Xinjiang and Tibet, was not among the 205 newly elected central committee members.

China Communist Party Meeting: Chen Quanguo is seen. (AP)
China Communist Party Meeting: Chen Quanguo is seen. (AP)

As China's Communist Party meeting concluded in Beijing on Saturday, an unwritten retirement rule was not followed by president Xi Jinping as he reshuffled the top leadership of the party before he begins his third term.

Chen Quanguo, the former party boss of both Xinjiang and Tibet, was not among the 205 newly elected central committee members whose names were announced at the end of the weeklong meeting.

The architect of Xinjiang Chen Quanguo- who is only 66 below the official retirement age of 68- was shocking as well as deliberate as 72-year-old Zhang Youxia, vice-chairman of the central military commission and 69-year-old foreign minister Wang Yi kept their position.

Chen Quanguo who was promoted to the party’s highest policymaking body- Politburo- five years ago was Xi Jinping's point-person on Xinjiang and topped the list of Chinese officials sanctioned by the West over Beijing's actions related to the Uyghurs.

Read more: Why searching ‘Beijing’ in China after anti-Xi Jinping protest isn't possible

Last year, Chen Quanguo was succeeded by former Guangdong governor Ma Xingrui and then named vice-chairman of the party’s central rural work leading group.

As Xi Jinping tightens control over the party and the country through the five-yearly shuffle, Wang Yang, 67, chairman of the advisory body was also missing from the central committee's list.

Read more: China to ban alcohol? Xi Jinping could for government officials: Report

Wang Huning, also 67 and the party’s top ideology tsar, stays on.

Xi Jinping is poised to secure a historic third term in power, cementing his position as the nation's most influential leader since Mao Zedong.

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