Ex-scholar named deputy regional head in restive Xinjiang

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 December, 2010, 12:00am

A scholar-turned-official was named deputy government head of the restive Xinjiang region yesterday.

Members of the Standing Committee of the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress approved Huang Wei, 49, to succeed Yang Gang, 57, Xinhua reported. Huang was the vice-mayor of Beijing municipality before his posting to the Uygur- predominated Xinjiang.

The central government has rolled out new policies on Xinjiang that emphasise accelerating economic and social development to catch up with other provinces, as well as fostering the region's long-term stability, after rioting in Urumqi , the regional capital, last year.

Huang vowed to follow the central government 's policies and to serve the local people.

As a young political star, Huang was promoted to vice-governor of the affluent province of Jiangsu in 2003, after serving as a lecturer and then professor at Southeast University in Nanjing for more than 10 years, the report said.

Vice-President Xi Jinping, who oversees senior personnel appointments, told the heads of provincial organisational departments at a meeting in Beijing last Friday that one of the crucial criteria for examining and elevating officials was whether they had worked in places considered politically complicated, full of thorny issues and in adverse conditions.

Clashes between Han and ethnic Uygurs in Urumqi left nearly 200 dead, mostly Han Chinese, and more than 1,700 injured on July 5 last year.

In April this year, the central government named Zhang Chunxian, an official with a relatively moderate image, to replace Wang Lequan , dubbed 'the king of Xinjiang' for his iron-fisted rule in the region as the party chief.