Tibet law-and-order boss promoted to deputy party secretary

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 January, 2010, 12:00am

A senior Tibetan official in charge of law and order has been promoted to deputy Communist Party secretary of the autonomous region in a high-profile reshuffle, state media reported yesterday.

Baima Chilin, a vice-chairman of Tibet since 2003, was appointed to the new post recently, the Tibet Daily reported yesterday.

He is one of the top Tibetan leaders of the restive Himalayan region, and replaced Legqog, a former chairman of the region, who turned 65 last year, the mandatory retirement age for provincial and ministerial officials.

Analysts said Baima Chilin's military background and his role in cracking down on the March 14 riots in 2008 may have helped his rise.

News of the appointment came as Xinjiang vowed to clamp down ruthlessly on attempts to sabotage national unity and stability following the deadly ethnic rioting last year.

'It shows Beijing will continue with its hard-line policy in the volatile far-western regions, with maintaining stability being its top priority,' said a Beijing-based analyst specialising in ethnic minority policy, who asked not to be named.

Baima Chilin, 58, was frequently quoted by domestic and international media in the past two years in denouncing the Dalai Lama as having instigated the worst anti-Chinese riots in two decades. He was born in Tibet and joined the army in 1969. After serving for nearly 20 years, he was transferred to a secretary position in the regional government in 1986 and rose through the ranks.

He became a vice-chairman of the region in 2003 and was elevated to the local party's standing committee, the top decision-making body, in 2006. He received a master's degree in party theory and party building at the Central Party School in 2002.

Meanwhile, Xinjiang has revised a local regulation on maintaining social order. China News Service reported that the revision is aimed at plugging loopholes in regulations which fuelled riots in Urumqi last year.