Urumqi Party Boss, Xinjiang Police Chief Sacked

As this Bystander expected, official heads have started to roll  over the revival of unrest in Urumqi. Li Zhi, party boss in Urumqi, has been sacked, Xinhua reports. So, too, Xinjiang police chief, Liu Yaohua. These sackings represent relatively rare cases of regional party leaders being held responsible for social unrest, but even Tibet hasn’t seen the same sort of Han backlash that Urumqi has experienced, and that backlash is deeply troubling for Beijing.

The next question is whether Li’s dismissal will be sufficient to take the sting out of the demands for axing Xinjiang’s party secretary Wang Lequan. Wang is also a member of the Politburo and an ally of President Hu Jintao, who visited the region late last month with Wang accompanying him on his inspection tour, so Wang’s firing would reverberate far beyond the region.

2 Comments

Filed under Politics & Society

2 responses to “Urumqi Party Boss, Xinjiang Police Chief Sacked

  1. Bill

    Great signal to the rest of China that protesting against local officials produces results.

  2. CB

    When both the ethnic minority and the ethnic majority is on the streets protesting that they are not being protected and the government isn’t to be trusted, officials have a problem. Question now is whether provincial party boss Wang Lequan can survive. If he is forced out or demoted, that would really be a signal that the people have the power to remove officials from office — and I am not sure Beijing would be too delighted by that.

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