09/01/2016, 16.48
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Beijing picks new Tibet secretary. Tibetans protest

Wu Yingjie came to the region in 1974 and rose through the ranks to the top spot. However, he is a Han Chinese in an “ethnic” province. Tibetans point the finger at former President Hu Jintao’s promises to have an all-Tibetan leadership. Beijing instead chose to “play it safe”, analyst says.

Lhasa (AsiaNews) – The appointment of Wu Yingjie as secretary of the Communist Party of the Tibet Autonomous Region has met with local dissatisfaction.

The new leader is an ethnic Han Chinese. China’s central leaders had talked about a "Tibetan transition" in the local power structure.

Wu arrived in Tibet in 1974 and has worked his way up the hierarchy. He replaces Chen Quanguo, who some say could soon become party chief in another “ethnic” province, namely Xinjiang. For some analysts on the Phayul website, china’s rulers “played it safe”.

“Chinese authorities proclaim that people of ethnic minorities should hold power but in fact Han Chinese hold all the major posts in the region. Tibetans in high governmental posts are mere rubber stamps,” said Sonam Norbu Dagpo, secretary of the Department of Information and International Relations of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

When he was in power, former Chinese President Hu Jintao had pledged that in Tibet the party would be all Tibetan.

For his part, current leader Xi Jinping repeatedly noted how Tibetans follow the nation’s socialist principles.

Yet, none of this has left a lot of room for Tibetans inside the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, although official data are unavailable, Tibetan exiles say that 7.5 million Han Chinese live in Tibet against 5.6 million Tibetans.

In addition, since 1992 Beijing has permanently deployed 40,000 troops in the region. This rose to 100,000 in 2010, when hundreds of Tibetans set themselves on fire in a wave of self-immolations to protest Communist persecution.

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