Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tibet: why is China so nervous?

China is slowly but surely tightening its grip on Tibet.
The latest sign is the 'upgradation' of the status of the Tibet Armed Police's Political Commissar.
The Global Times yesterday announced : "China's Central Military Commission upgraded the political status of the political commissar of the Armed Police Corps of the Tibet Autonomous Region, indicating the central government's determination to safeguard regional stability".
The Communist mouthpiece quotes 'experts'.
Major General Tang Xiao, the Political Commissar of the Tibet Armed Police Corps, under the People's Armed Police, will now enjoy a new 'treatment'. He will be treated at par with the head of a corps-sized military body, (equal to that of officials at a provincial or ministerial level, according to The Global Times). However, the Tibet Corps itself has not been upgraded.
The Global Times explains to its readers: "Under the dual leadership of the State Council and the Central Military Commission, the Chinese People's Armed Police is composed of internal security forces and various police forces, including border security, firefighting and security guard units."
Niu Zhizhong, Chief of Staff of the PAP announced Tang's promotion at a press conference on October 3.
Niu said that 'better treatment' for the head of Armed Police in Tibet "is a major decision made by Central Military Commission based on the special environment and strategic position of the Tibet Armed Police."
The objective of Tang's promotion is to better safeguard regional stability.
Song Zhongping, a Beijing-based military expert told The Global Times that: "It is not unusual that heads of certain military bodies, which are usually located in strategically important areas or suffer from harsh living conditions, are given certain benefits through their 'treatment' being improved."
One online commentator said that it is an official announcement of the militarization of the People’s Armed Police in Tibet.
Lt. Gen. Tang Xiao
The commentator explained: "Tang Xiao took over as political commissar of the Armed Police force in the Tibetan autonomous region in September 2013 after being promoted to the police rank of major general of the Armed Police in Tibet in July, 2010. With the October 3, 2014, announcement, Tao Xiao now has official military rank and receives regular military salary. "
Nothing has been said about the PAP Commander in Tibet, Maj. Gen. Song Baoshan. Why to promote the Political Commissar only?
This is an unanswered question.
Let us also not forget that General Wang Jianping, the PAP's Commander is an old Tibet-hand.

Earlier Promotions
Already in July, The PLA Daily had announced that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had made intensive human resources (HR) adjustment. It was said that the emphasis was laid on the capability demonstrated by the officers: "it indicated the great importance attached by Xi Jinping to practical capabilities of military officers."
China Military Online then reported: "At least 3 of the newly promoted officers have received relevant training in Russia after China and Russia resumed military exchange in 1996, and some of them obtained real war experiences in the China-Vietnam border war at the end of 1970s. This fully demonstrates Xi Jinping’s style of promoting people “who can fight and win battles”.
Two of the Major Generals promoted Lieutenant Generals on July 15 were Xu Yong and Diao Guoxin, respectively Commander and Political Commissar of the Tibet Military District; both participated in the China-Vietnam border war.
Though that was long ago, the Chinese insist on the experience 'acquired' (they must have been 2nd Lieutenant then)!
The PLA website added: "The 55-year-old Xu Yong is quite young among the newly promoted military officers this time. During the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan in 2008, which caused the death of 87,000 people, Xu Yong was the first PLA major general that led his troops to participate in the earthquake relief."
This has already been mentioned on this blog.
In the meantime, the civil administration also works hard to ‘stabilize’ Tibet. Deng Xiaogang, the Deputy Secretary in charge of security went on an inspection tour in Lhasa to "check security measures taken during the holiday season and the implementation of the anti-terrorism plan”.
He met ‘festival staff’, representatives of the regional party committee, government officials, and on behalf of Chen Quanguo, the Party boss, he lectured them all about the importance to work hard for maintaining stability of Tibet. Deng, who was accompanied by Lhasa Party Secretary Choedrak and other Party officials, went to Lhasa railway station, to the bus station, where he checked that the Party Standing Committee’s stability maintenance measures have fully been implemented.  He talked to police officers, staff on duty, security personnel and ask them to strictly and meticulously follow the security procedures in order to assure smooth and orderly passenger's transport, stability and harmony. It seems that Deng Xiaogang very pleased but what he saw; he told the security officials that the current social situation in Tibet is generally stable, but the situation is still complicated. Tough anti-terrorism, stability maintenance measures are still required. The forces must remain vigilant and 'tighten the string of measures to maintain stability'. Deng added that everyone should continue to carry forward his duties without fear or fatigue, always remaining on high alert, taking strict precautions according to the regulation to crack down on various criminal activities.  Security staff must consolidate the harmony and stability in the Tibet region. Why is China so nervous? Do they fear the contagion of Hong Kong?

Show of force of the PAP a few months back in Lhasa.


Deng Xiaogang addressing the PAP

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