Former Xinjiang party chief Chen Quanguo takes new post as deputy chief of central rural labor steering group

Chen Quanguo Photo:

Chen Quanguo, former secretary of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CPC) Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee, assumed the post of deputy head of the Central Steering Group of Rural Labor, according to state media.

On Tuesday, a symposium on studying and implementing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s directives on issues of agriculture, rural areas and farmers’ livelihoods was held in Beijing. According to the national news agency Xinhua, Chen Quanguo, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, attended the meeting and delivered a speech as deputy head of the Central Steering Group of Rural Labor.

Chen was removed as Xinjiang Party chief in December 2021, state media reported at the time.

During Chen’s tenure in Xinjiang, despite continued vilification from the United States, Xinjiang effectively brought terrorism, separatism and religious extremism under control, which seriously undermined social security and stability. The region has been free of terrorist attacks for five years, paving the way for economic development.

Agriculture also flourished in Xinjiang as a result.

In 2021, the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps achieved a total of 172.8 billion yuan ($25.6 billion) in agricultural output, an increase of 8 percent from the previous year. Total cereal production exceeded 2.8 million tonnes, an increase of 16.3%, a record.

Chen served as secretary of the CPC Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Regional Committee from 2011 to 2016 and secretary of the CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Regional Committee from 2016 to 2021.

Chen is among four Xinjiang officials who were sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in July 2020 over baseless US accusations of human rights abuses in the region. In response, Chen refuted the allegations in an interview with Xinhua and said the sanctions were “blatant hegemonic actions”.