If it happens (and if the outcome is made public), we should have an idea of Beijing's Xinjiang Policy for the next 5 to 10 years.
Is there a link between the forthcoming Xinjiang Work Forum and President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Kashgar and Urumqi? Possibly.
I had mentioned in an earlier posting that Xi was accompanied by 5 other members of the Politburo: Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and Chairman of the Small Group on Xinjiang (Central Working Coordination Small Group on Xinjiang); General Fan Changlong, senior vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission; Zhang Chunxian, Party Secretary in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; Li Zangshu, Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and Wang Huning, Xi Jinping's close confident and speech-writer.
Perhaps more interesting than the question of those who were present is those who did not accompany Xi in Xinjiang.
For example, why Meng Jianzhu, member of the Politburo responsible for Law and Order was not in Xinjiang?
There no law and order issues in the restive region?
Let us not forget that Meng Jianzhu is the secretary of Central Politics and Law Commission of the Communist Party of China. At the Party's 18th National Congress in November 2012, Meng succeeded the powerful Zhou Yongkang, now under 'investigation'.
The post oversees all legal and law enforcement issues in China; it used to be headed by a member of the Politburo’s Standing Committee, but after the Bo Xilai affair, it was downgraded (too much power vested in one person, thought the new leadership).
Meng Jianzhu is still one of the 25 members of the Politburo; till December 2012, Meng, was China's Minister of Public Security (Guo Shengkun succeeded him in this post).
As the secretary of the Central Politics and Law Commission of the Communist Party of China, Meng is the main decision-maker for all legal and law and order issues.
Why Meng was not in the plane to Urumqi remains an unanswered question. Different explanations, not very satisfactory, circulated (like Xi did not want to insist on Law and Order, but in this case, why was Lieutenant General Wang Jianping, the People’s Armed Police Commander seen around).
Where was Wang?
The name of Wang Zhengwei has also been mentioned as missing, although Wang heads was the State Ethnic Affairs Commission as well as the Office of the Xinjiang Work Coordination Small Group, directly responsible for the restive province’s affairs.
Wang’s two assistants, Li Zhao and Li Xingmin were also absent.
Li Zhao is the Executive Deputy Head of the Ethnic Affairs Commission and Party Secretary of the Commission (the Small Group on Xinjiang was relocated under the Commission after Xi took over).
Li Zhao was earlier posted in Tibet. Li Zhao arrived in Lhasa in September 2008; he was before in the Public Security Ministry in Beijing where he was known as an expert on so-called religious cults. In Tibet, he headed the Ministry’s efforts to establish the infamous Internet and mobile phone communication security across the country.
Li conceived and set up the schemes for ‘grid management’ as well as the ‘convenience police posts.’ It was put in place in September 2011 after realizing that many rural townships (xiang) in Tibet were without a formal police presence.
While in Tibet, Li acquired several hats: Director of the Public Security, Party Secretary of the PSB, 1st Party Secretary of the PAP, Executive Deputy Secretary of the powerful TAR Political & Legal Committee, and a Vice Governor.
Then, he was transferred back to Beijing in July 2013 to the Ethnic Affairs Commission under Wang Zhengwei.
Li Xingmin is a member of the Political & Legal Committee of the Party (where the Small Group was headquartered under Hu Jintao).
Wang Zhengwei and his two colleagues have in common is a career in public security work, like Meng Jianzhu himself (as mentioned earlier, he was Minister of the Public Security).
While posted in Ningxia, Wang also dealt with public security matters. At that time, Li Zhao was head of the Public Security Bureau in Tibet and Li Xingmin was responsible for the Public Security work in Yunnan.
Why were they not in Xinjiang?
Some observers have suggested that Xi wanted to emphasize the external ‘security threats’ for the local audience rather than the internal aspects of the situation.
It does not make much sense as the PAP's Commandant, Wang Jianping accompanied Xi.
One possibility is that the new National Security Committee will take over several policy areas from the Xinjiang Small Group (and the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs).
Only the future will tell us.
|Maj. Gen. Diao Guoxin|
One more question
The website China Military Online reported that at the invitations of the Defence ministries of Cambodia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, General Xu Qiliang, member of the CCP’s Poliburo and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission is paying a goodwill visit to the three countries.
He is accompanied by Sun Jianguo, PLA’s deputy chief of general staff, Cui Changjun, assistant to the director of the General Political Department of the PLA, and …Maj. Gen. Diao Guoxin, political commissar of the PLA Tibet Military Command.
What is General Diao doing in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, is a million Yuan question.