|Communist Party Secretary of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region|
|Preceded by||Song Hanliang|
|Succeeded by||Zhang Chunxian|
Shouguang, Shandong, China
|Political party||Communist Party of China|
Wang Lequan (born December 1944) is a retired Chinese politician, most notable for being the Communist Party Secretary in Xinjiang, the autonomous region's top political office, between 1994 and 2010. From 2004 to 2012 Wang was also a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China. From 2010 to 2012 he was a Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission. He retired from active politics in 2012, and became President of the China Law Society in 2013.
Life and career
Wang Lequan was born in Shouguang, Shandong in December 1944. He joined the Communist Party of China in 1966. He was a post-graduate at the Central Party School of the CPC Central Committee. Wang ran the Communist Youth League in Shandong Province in the mid-1980s and became vice governor of Shandong in 1989.
Wang was the Secretary of the CPC Xinjiang Committee from 1994 until 2010. As Secretary, he was responsible for implementing modernization programs in Xinjiang. He encouraged industrialization, development of commerce, and investments in roads and railways. He furthered the development of the oil and gas fields in the region, link-up of pipelines from Kazakhstan to eastern China. On the other hand, he constrained local culture and religion, substituted Mandarin for Uyghur language in primary schools; restricted or banned, among government workers, the wearing of beards and headscarves, fasting and praying while on the job.
Wang was a member of the 16th and the 17th Politburos of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. He is known for his hardline approach to ethnic minorities. He acquired the nickname "the stability secretary" for his ability to enter into a chaotic situation and bring it to order.
Wang was widely criticized by Uighurs and foreign scholars of Xinjiang for his hard-liner policies. After the 2009 July riot in Ürümqi, Han Chinese also became frustrated with his leadership because of the slow progress in restoring social order. As a result, many individuals began to call for his resignation in public demonstrations. He was removed from the post in April 2010, and transferred to work on the Central Committee's Political and Legal Affairs Committee as a Deputy Secretary under Zhou Yongkang. He was replaced by Zhang Chunxian. Wang remained in the Political and Legal Affairs Committee until the 18th Party Congress when he retired from active politics. In November 2013 Wang became the president of the China Law Society.
- Wines, Michael (10 July 2009). "A Strongman Is China’s Rock in Ethnic Strife". New York Times.
- Swain, Jon (12 July 2009). "Security chiefs failed to spot signs calling for Uighur revolt". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 12 July 2009.
- Wong, Edward; Yang, Xiyun (3 September 2009). "New Protests Reported in Restive Chinese Region". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
- McDonald, Scott (21 April 2010). "China replaces party boss in region hit by unrest". Retrieved 24 April 2010.
- (Chinese) Biography of Wang Lequan, People's Daily Online.
|Party political offices|
|Communist Party Secretary
of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
1994 – 2010