Chen Quanguo

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Chen Quanguo
Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Assumed office
August 29, 2016
DeputyShohrat Zakir (chairman)
General secretaryXi Jinping
Preceded byZhang Chunxian
Communist Party Secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region
In office
August 2011 – August 2016
GovernorPadma Choling
Losang Jamcan
General secretaryHu Jintao
Xi Jinping
Preceded byZhang Qingli
Succeeded byWu Yingjie
Governor of Hebei Province
In office
December 2009 – August 2011
LeaderZhang Qingli (party secretary)
Preceded byHu Chunhua
Succeeded byZhang Qingwei
Personal details
BornNovember 1955 (age 63)
Pingyu County, Henan
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Alma materZhengzhou University
Wuhan University of Technology

Chen Quanguo (Chinese: ; pinyin: Chén quánguó; born November 1955) is a Chinese politician and current Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and a member of the 19th Politburo of the Communist Party of China. Originally from Henan province, Chen was among the first batch of students to graduate university after the resumption of Gaokao examinations in 1978. Chen worked up the ranks in the party bureaucracy in his home province from a minor local official to the deputy provincial party chief. In 2009, he became Governor of Hebei, then in 2011, he became the party secretary (the top official) of the Tibet Autonomous Region.[1][2]

Since then, he has gained prominence in China for developing new methods to strengthen the CCP's control over Uyghurs, Tibetans and other ethnic minorities in Western China,[3] notably "re-education camps" in Xinjiang, where the United Nations estimates that as many as 1 million people are being interred.[4][5] These policies have been characterized by international academic journals as "cultural genocide".[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Chen Quanguo is a native of Pingyu County in Zhumadian prefecture, Henan province. In December 1973, at the age of 18, Chen enlisted in the People's Liberation Army. He joined the Communist Party of China in February 1976.[8] After leaving the military in March 1977, he briefly worked at a car parts factory in Zhumadian.[9][10]

After China resumed the National Higher Education Entrance Examination which was interrupted during the Cultural Revolution, in March 1978 Chen was admitted to the Economics Department of Zhengzhou University in the provincial capital Zhengzhou.[9][10]

The Financial Times reported, in February 2019, that Chen had plagiarised 78 paragraphs and one-and-a-half pages from three prior works in his doctoral dissertation Research on the Correlation between Human Capital Accumulation and Economic Development in Central China presented in 2004 to the Wuhan University of Technology.[11]



Chen Quanguo graduated from Zhengzhou University in December 1981 and returned to work in his hometown of Pingyu. Starting in 1983 he worked for the prefectural government of Zhumadian, and in 1988 became the Communist Party Secretary of Suiping, a county under the administration of Zhumadian. In 1994 he was appointed the head of the Organization Department of the nearby prefecture-level city of Pingdingshan.[2][9][10]

From 1995 to 1997 Chen enrolled as a part-time student at the School of Business Administration of Wuhan University of Technology, obtaining a master's degree in economics. From 1996 to 1998 he served as the Mayor and Deputy Party Secretary of Luohe, another prefecture-level city in Henan.[2][9][10]

Chen Quanguo was promoted to Vice-Governor of Henan Province in January 1998, and worked in the administration of then Henan Governor Li Keqiang. Chen then became head of the provincial Organization Department in November 2000, and Deputy Communist Party Secretary in April 2003.[2][9][10]


In November 2009 Chen Quanguo was transferred to neighbouring Hebei and promoted to Acting Governor and Deputy Party Secretary of the province. He replaced Hu Chunhua, who became the Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia. In January 2010 he was officially elected by the provincial congress as Governor of Hebei.[2][9][10]


In August 2011 Chen was transferred and promoted again, this time to remote Tibet Autonomous Region as Party Secretary, the top official of the region. He replaced Zhang Qingli, who became the Party Secretary of Hebei.[2][9][10] Subordinate to Chen was the Chairman (governor) of Tibet, Padma Choling, who was replaced by Losang Jamcan in January 2013.[1]

Shortly after taking up his position August 2011, Chen implemented a new security policy for Tibet in the form of "convenience police stations" (便民警务站).[3] This divided urban centers into grids, allowing the authorities systematically observe all activities within the area.[12] As of early 2016, more than 700 of these police stations exist throughout urban centers across Tibet.[13]


Chen became the Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang in August 2016, replacing Zhang Chunxian. Upon taking office in Xinjiang, Chen became the first senior official in the history of the People's Republic to have occupied the top posts of both Xinjiang and Tibet. Chen's appointment was believed to be part of a broader strategy by the leadership of the Communist Party to entrust officials experienced in administering ethnically diverse border regions. It also signalled that Chen was a promising candidate for the 19th Politburo of the Communist Party of China, to be installed in the autumn of 2017, as the party chief position in Xinjiang ordinarily held a seat on the Politburo.[14]

Under his rule as Xinjiang Party Secretary, Chen promoted the recruitment of the local population into the police force.[15] He started repression against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other minorities in Xinjiang.[16]

Since Chen Quanguo was transferred from Tibet to govern Xinjiang in August 2016, he has overseen the construction of a network of extrajudicial internment camps. He has also stepped up surveillance of residents by using advanced technology as well as increasing police presence, and passed severe regulations to curtail religious and cultural expression. According to estimates by rights groups, researchers, and United Nations human rights experts, at least hundreds of thousands – or possibly two million members of ethnic minorities – many of them ethnic Uyghurs and Kazakhs, are currently being held in "re-education" camps in the region.[17][18]

Chen Quanguo is a member of the 19th Politburo of the Communist Party of China. He was previously an alternate member of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and a full member of the 18th Central Committee.[2][9][10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "China appoints new Tibet governor, hardline policies to remain". Reuters. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Chen Quanguo". China Vitae. Retrieved 2013-02-15.
  3. ^ a b "Chen Quanguo: The Strongman Behind Beijing's Securitization Strategy in Tibet and Xinjiang - Jamestown". Jamestown. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  4. ^ "China Uighurs: One million held in political camps, UN told". BBC. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  5. ^ "U.N. says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps". Reuters. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  6. ^ Mamtimin Ala (2018-11-07). "Xi Jinping's Genocide of the Uyghurs". Foreign Policy Journal. Retrieved 2018-12-25.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Indigenous Uyghurs: Genocide Case". Center for World Indigenous Studies. 2018-01-30. Retrieved 2018-12-25.
  8. ^ Vitae, China. "China Vitae : Biography of Chen Quanguo". Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h 陈全国简历 [Biography of Chen Quanguo] (in Chinese). Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h 陈全国简历 [Biography of Chen Quanguo] (in Chinese). People's Daily. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  11. ^ "Top Chinese officials plagiarised doctoral dissertations". Financial Times. 27 February 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Urban Grid Management and Police State in China: A Brief Overview". China Change. 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  13. ^ 网易. "七百便民警务站不仅代表西藏法治建设,更是百姓零距离的守护_网易新闻". Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  14. ^ "陈全国:从河南曾经最年轻的县委书记到新疆党委书记". Dahewang. 29 August 2016.
  15. ^ "Xinjiang's Rapidly Evolving Security State". Jamestown.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Zhang Chunxian
Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Zhang Qingli
Communist Party Secretary of Tibet
Succeeded by
Wu Yingjie
Government offices
Preceded by
Hu Chunhua
Governor of Hebei
Succeeded by
Zhang Qingwei