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China Names Former Xinjiang Security Chief as New Communist Party Chief in Tibet

A Tibetan man sits near a mural depicting the Chinese flag at the State Council Information Office in Beijing, Sept. 12, 2019.

Chinese state-run media says a high-ranking official sanctioned by the West for alleged human rights abuses in the country’s far northwestern Xinjiang province has been selected by the ruling Communist Party to oversee Tibet.

Wang Junzheng is taking over the Tibetan portfolio after serving as deputy party secretary and security chief in the remote northwest territory.

The 58-year-old Wang is one of several Chinese officials sanctioned by the United States, European Union, Britain and Canada for human rights abuses against the Muslim Uyghur minority in China’s Xinjiang province, a move that prompted retaliation from Beijing.

Human rights advocates say about 1 million Uyghurs are being held in camps. Some accuse Beijing of torture, forced sterilization and forced labor.

China maintains its actions in Xinjiang are to root out Islamic extremism.

Beijing has controlled the majority-Buddhist Tibetan region since 1950 when its forces entered the region under what it calls “a peaceful liberation.”

VOA’s Tibetan Service contributed to this report.