|Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region|
|Assumed office |
August 29, 2016
|Deputy||Shohrat Zakir (chairman)|
|General secretary||Xi Jinping|
|Preceded by||Zhang Chunxian|
|Communist Party Secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region|
August 2011 – August 2016
|General secretary||Hu Jintao|
|Preceded by||Zhang Qingli|
|Succeeded by||Wu Yingjie|
|Governor of Hebei Province|
December 2009 – August 2011
|Leader||Zhang Qingli (party secretary)|
|Preceded by||Hu Chunhua|
|Succeeded by||Zhang Qingwei|
|Born||November 1955 (age 64)|
Pingyu County, Henan
|Political party||Communist Party of China|
|Alma mater||Zhengzhou University|
Wuhan University of Technology
|Allegiance||People's Republic of China|
|Branch/service||People's Liberation Army|
|Years of service||1973–1977|
Chen Quanguo (Chinese: 陈全国; 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, developing the region economically and instituting greater policing surveillance.
In 2016, Chen was promoted to the party secretary of Xinjiang. He has since then attracted press for his policies for increasing security in the region, pacifying separatist movements, and countering terrorism under General Secretary Xi Jinping’s orders, most notably through "re-education camps" in the region. He expanded the detention camps holding Muslim ethnic minorities. As a party boss for the region, Chen exhorted local officials to "round up everyone who should be rounded up."
Early life and education
Chen Quanguo is a native of Pingyu County, Henan province. In December 1973, at the age of 18, Chen enlisted in the People's Liberation Army where he served as part of an artillery division for four years. He joined the Communist Party of China in February 1976. After leaving the military in March 1977, he briefly worked at a car parts factory in Zhumadian.
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.
Chen Quanguo graduated from Zhengzhou University in December 1981 and returned to work in his hometown of Pingyu, Henan. 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.
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.
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 was regarded as a close confidante of Li. In November 2000 Chen was appointed by the CPC head of the Standing committee of the Henan Provincial committee in the provincial Organization Department. In April 2003 he became the Deputy Communist Party Secretary, President of the Party School of the CPC, and the President of the Henan Institute of Administration.
In November 2009, Chen Quanguo was transferred to neighboring 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 at the third session of the 11th National People's Congress.
On August 25, 2011, the CPC Central Committee announced the appointment of Chen of the remote Tibet Autonomous Region as Party Secretary, the top official of the region. He replaced Zhang Qingli, who became the Party Secretary of Hebei. Subordinate to Chen was the Chairman (governor) of Tibet, Padma Choling, who was replaced by Losang Jamcan in January 2013.
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). This divided urban centers into grids, allowing the authorities to systematically observe all activities within the area. As of early 2016, more than 700 of these police stations exist throughout urban centers across Tibet. He also instituted greater policing surveillance.
On May 8, 2012, Chen Quanguo was elected the first secretary of the party committee of the Tibet Military Region. During Chen Quanguo's office, Tibet has indeed achieved considerable economic development. Data show that Tibet's GDP grew by 11.8% in 2012. The growth rate in 2013 was 12.1%. The growth rate in 2014 was 12%, ranking first in the country. The growth rate in 2015 was 11%, and the region's GDP exceeded 100 billion CNY for the first time. In the first half of 2016, Tibet led other provinces and cities in China at a growth rate of 10.6%.
On 29 August 2016, Chen became the Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang, 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. It signaled 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.
He concurrently served as the first secretary and political commissar of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Party Committee. Chen is a member of the 19th Politburo of the Communist Party of China, elected in 2017. 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.
Accused Counter-terrorism and detention camps
After Chen took office, he issued a written military order to Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, and put forward the slogan: "In Xinjiang, if there is no stability then all our efforts are for nothing." (在新疆，没有稳定一切皆为零) He has expanded counter-terrorism and anti-separatist efforts under orders from Xi., There has been no reported terrorist attacks in Xinjiang since 2017. According to Ming Pao, Chen's measures to maintain stability in Xinjiang have been affirmed by the top level of the Communist Party of China.
Chen has overseen the construction of a network of internment camps. Chen expanded the detention camps in Xinjiang holding Muslim ethnic minorities. As a party boss for the region, Chen exhorted local officials to "round up everyone who should be rounded up." When the local officials who feared it would exacerbate ethnic tensions and stifle economic growth pushed back, Chen responded by purging them including one county leader who was jailed after quietly releasing thousands of inmates from the camps.
Aside from camps, he has also increased surveillance of residents by using advanced technology as well as increasing police presence. As Xinjiang Party Secretary, Chen promoted the recruitment of the local population into the police force.
Chen Quanguo continued to introduce policies such as economic development, employment protection, housing projects, infrastructure improvement, and ecological protection, increasing the GDP of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from 752.9 billion CNY in 2012 to 1.09 trillion CNY in 2017, with an average annual growth of 9%. Infrastructure investment totaled 1.94 trillion CNY, with an average annual growth rate of 27.5%, forest coverage rate increased from 4.24% to 4.87%, and oasis forest coverage rate increased from 23% to 28%.
Chen has a daughter who attended a school in U.K. while he was the governor of Hebei.
The South China Morning Post has said that Chen is known for not putting jokes, slogans or personal anectodes in official speeches. It also noted that he preferred to stay in the background during press meetings.
On 9 July 2020, the United States government imposed Global Magnitsky Act sanctions and visa restrictions against Chen Quanguo, together with Zhu Hailun, Wang Mingshan (王明山) and Huo Liujun (霍留军). With sanctions, he and his immediate relatives are barred from entering the US and will have US-based assets frozen.
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- Chen Quanguo: The Strongman Behind Beijing’s Securitization Strategy in Tibet and Xinjiang, China Brief, Adrian Zenz, James Leibold.
|Party political offices|
| Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang
| Communist Party Secretary of Tibet
| Governor of Hebei