Monday, September 25, 2017

Tibet's Representation at the 19th Congress

Can Cui make it to the Central Committee
China has ‘elected’ 1,909 civilian delegates for the 19th Party Congress to be held in October.
They are representing Central Departments working under the CCP Central Committee (CC), Central State organs, Central Enterprises and China’s provinces and centrally-administered Municipalities.
How they were ‘elected’ is not clear.

Jayadev Ranade of the Center for China Studies and Analysis explains: “The Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) members are, as per practice, all Delegates to the 19th Party Congress. Pertinently and possibly because of the focus this year on poverty alleviation, all PBSC members represent the poorer provinces. Xi Jinping is the Delegate from Guizhou, Li Keqiang from Guangxi, Zhang Dejiang from Inner Mongolia, Yu Zhengsheng from Xinjiang, Liu Yunshan represents Yunnan, Wang Qishan is the Delegate from Hunan and Zhang Gaoli from Shaanxi.”
Ranade quotes the Hongkong media: “at least eight prominent omissions from the list of Delegates to the upcoming Congress. All are either Full or Alternate members of the 18th CCP Central Committee and all are, interestingly, past members of the Communist Youth League (CYL). They are also eligible in terms of age."
The eight losers are:
  • Qin Yizhi - Head of the CYL; CC Member; 51 years.
  • Zhao Yang - Deputy Director of General Administration of Sports; Alt Member CC; 54 years.,
  • Deng Kai – Deputy Party Chief of the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU); Alt Member CC; 57 years.
  • Liu Jian – Chairman, State Development and Investment Corporation; Alt Member CC; 47 years.
  • Zhang Zhijun – Director Taiwan Affairs Office; CC Member; 64 years.
  • Nur Bekri – Director, National Energy Administration; CC Member; 55 years. Yang Yue – Vice Governor, Jiangsu Province; Alt CC Member; 49 years.
  • Wang Anshun - Head, State Council Development Research Centre; CC Member; 59 years.
The PLA list
More interesting perhaps are the changes in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The list of representatives of the PLA and People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) has also come out. The PLA has a total of 253 delegates, while the PAP has 50 representatives.
A massive reshuffle of the PLA’s generals, not only at the Group Army (Corps) level, but at the top of the hierarchy too, is taking place and two top generals got the sack hardly a month before retiring.
Gen Fang Fenghui, the equivalent of the US Chief of Defence Staff, was replaced as Chief of the PLA’s Joint Staff Department by Gen Li Zuocheng, a Xi protégé and former Commander of the Chengdu Military Region (under which Tibet used to come).
Fang and Gen Zhang Yang, another CMC member will not even participate in the forthcoming Congress. The rumour mill said that they were being ‘investigated’, a term not usually auguring well for the targeted person. This may indicate bad days ahead for the generals.

The Lessons of Impermanence
Reading these lists is a teaching about impermanence.
Remember the case of Lt Gen Yang Jinshan, a former Deputy Commander of the former Chengdu Military Region (MR), who served several years in Tibet. He was a rising star of the PLA; in 2012, he was even promoted to Central Committee, the Party's top heaven; at that time, he was senior to his direct boss, Li Zuocheng, who then commanded the MR.
Today, Yang Jinshan is languishing jail, being 'investigated' while Li Zuocheng is the powerful Chief of the Joint Staff Department.
But in this game, connections are important, not to say vital.
On September 1, Gen Han Weiguo, only 61, was appointed commander of the PLA Army and Gen Ding Laihang, 60, commander of the PLA Air Force (PLAAF). Gen Han served in Fujian in the 1980s at the time Xi was Deputy Mayor of Xiamen, while Gen Ding’s career also overlapped when the latter was Governor of Fujian Province.

Other Surprises
The list of PLA’s delegates has some other surprises. The 303 ‘elected’ members belong to 31 different units, compared with 19 in 2012; one example, the new PLA Rocket Force is now represented.
More than 90 per cent of those ‘elected’ will be first time attendees, representing a new generation of officers who will owe their rise to Chairman Xi only.

Ethic Representations

Though there is a slight rise in the number of ‘ethnic’ delegates (6% of the delegates are ethnic minority officers, from 4.6% in 2012), their number is relatively small and they don’t occupy important posts, except for one Tibetan who is said to be a Major General.
Asia Times noted: “The Manchus and Tibetans will each send three delegates, while the Uyghur, Hui and Tujia will each put forward two. The Zhuang, Xibe, Korean, Qiang, Bai and Naxi ethnicities will each send one delegate to the Congress.”
Tibet is represented by a senior officer, Thupten Trinley alias Tidan Dan (土旦赤列), a Deputy Commander of the Tibet Military Region and two ladies, Kaslang, alias Gesangba and Sonam Dolma. Their qualification or designation is not mentioned.
Lt Gen Xu Yong (许 勇), the Commander of the PLA Tibet Military Region is also present in the list.
A Chinese lady, Zhang Aiying (张爱英), a communication officer and instructor posted in the Tibet Military Region has also been ‘elected’.
That is not much.
One can also note the absence in the list of Lt Gen Diao Guoxin (Political Commissar, Tibetan Military District), Maj Gen Song Baoshan (Commander, People's Armed Police, TAR) and Lt Gen Xiao Tang (Political Commissar, People's Armed Police, TAR).
Lt Gen Peng Yong (Commander of the Xinjiang Military District) has also disappeared from the radars.
[Please read the corrections sent by a reader, posted below]

The civilian list
The civilian list is posted below.
Noticeable is the absence of the most senior Tibetan official, namely Pema Thinley, alias Padma Choeling, an out-going member of the CC (and the only Tibetan in the CC).
Is Choeden La a wrong spelling for Che Dralha, the head of the TAR Government.
[Please read the corrections sent by a reader posted below. Some of the errors are due to the spelling mistakes in the list available to me.]
Lobsang Gyaltsen, the Governor of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and an Alternate Member of the CC is in the list, making illegible for a seat in the CC.
In the list of 29 delegates, one finds six out of 13 or 14 members of the Standing Committee of the Regional Communist Party (Wu Yingjie, the TAR Party Secretary, Lobsang Gyaltsen, Ding Yexian, one of the TAR Party Deputy Secretary, Wang Yongjun and two relatively junior Tibetan cadres, Pema Wangdue and Penpa Tashi).

Will Cui represent Tibet?
Apart from Lobsang Gyaltsen, a possibility is that Cui Yuying, one of the few ‘ethnic’ Tibetans who today serves in a senior position in the Central government in Beijing, could become the ‘Tibetan representative’ in the CC.
Born in 1958 in Changle County of Shandong Province, she joined the Communist Party in 1980, and graduated from Tibet Agricultural and Animal Husbandry College with a Bachelor Degree in 1982. After occupying different junior posts in Tibet, she served as the Director in the Publicity Department of CPC’s TAR Regional Committee from 2006 to 2011.
In December 2011, she was transferred as Deputy Director of the Central Office for Overseas Publicity in Beijing; from 2012 to 2015, she became Deputy Director of the Information Office of the State Council.
In February 2015, she became Deputy Director of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, a ministerial level post.
Will she make in the CC? The bets are opened!
I will mention in a separate post the Tibetans ‘elected’ in the Qinghai, Yunnan and Sichuan delegations.

The list of the delegates to the 19th Congress has been published.

In red, members of the Standing Committee of the TAR Regional Party

1 Ding Yexian Han TAR SC
2 Ma Shengchang Han
3 Wang Yongjun Han TAR SC
4 Ba Zhen  Tibetan Female
5 Pema Yangchen Memba Female
6 Pema Wangdue Tibetan TAR SC
7 Nyima Dangqu  Tibetan
8 Penpa Tashi  Tibetan TAR SC
9 Penpa Tashi  Tibetan ChaThongMon
10 Da Boer Lhoba
11 Zhu Zhongkui Han
12 Ren Houmin Han
13 Xiang Batashi  Tibetan
14 Xiangba Pincao  Tibetan Jampa Phuntsok?
15 Choedon la  Tibetan Could it be Che Dralha?
16 Tsering Paldon  Tibetan Female
17 Tsering Yangchen  Tibetan
18 Xu Chengcang  Han
19 Wu Yingjie Han TAR SC
20 Zhang Yanqing Tibetan
21 Abu  Han
22 Lhatso  Tibetan Female
23 Sonji Tashi  Tibetan
24 Lhopon Dhondup Tibetan Is it Norbu Thondup, TAR SC?
25 Lobsang Gyaltsen Tibetan TAR SC
26 Yao Chi  Tibetan Female
27 Tan Haiyu  Han Female
28 Ceng Wanming Han Probably Zeng Wanming, TAR SC
29 Jampa Dolma Tibetan Female


Anonymous said...

So many mistakes!! Inexcusable for an expert. Here are just a few corrections.

The TAR Standing Committee had 14 members until a week ago when its lowest ranking member Fang Lingmin was transferred to the Guangxi Zhuang Province SC and promoted to handle its Discipline Inspection responsibilities. Of the 13 remaining members of the TAR Standing Committee, 9 (not 6 as you incorrectly state) were named representatives to the 19th Party Congress. The three you somehow missed are, in order of seniority, Che Drahla, Norbu Dhondup, and Zeng Wanming. You very possibly may come to regret the misinformed and frankly gratuitous comment that Che Drahla will not make the Central Committee in this lifetime. In addition to these 9, there also are 7 Party Secretaries of the 5 cities and 2 prefectures that comprise the TAR. The rest are a mix of outstanding county Party Secretaries and Party Secretaries working in Government or Party departments in the TAR.

Pema Thinley retired at the end of 2016 when he reached 65 years of age. It’s possible he could be given Jampa Phuntsog’s position as a Vice Chairman of the NPC early next year . . . or he could end up like Legqog with simply the Party’s thanks to show for a long career.

Diao Guoxin left the TAR over a year ago when he was promoted to Political Commissar of all military land forces in China.

Tang Xiao (not Xiao Tang) left his People’s Armed Police Political Commissar position a year and a half ago. His replacement is Xiao Yangzhong.

Cui Yuying was not born in Shandong Province. Changle County refers to her father’s ancestral home. She most likely was born in Nyingchi, somewhere near Bayi, and adopted by a PLA officer and his wife who gave her a Chinese name. She is pretty much is a sure bet for becoming a CC Alternate in the 19th Party Congress. A full CC membership is also possible but reaching the CC as a Vice Minister requires some luck and connections.

Claude Arpi said...

General Liu Lei is the Commissar of the PLA Army, not Diao Guoxin
Regarding Cui Yuying not being born in Shandong Province, it is the current practice to give the father's ancestral place as the place of birth in official bio.
I still have not traced Che Drahla in the list of 29 delegates.
My list contained many spelling mistakes.
In any case, I don't mind being corrected.

Anonymous said...

Sr. Colonel Liu Lei (刘渠) is NOT the Political Commissar in Tibet. He is only one of several Deputy Political Commissars. Since August 2016, Wang Jianwu (王建武) has been the Political Commissar in Tibet. On July 31st this year in Beijing, Xi Jinping promoted him to the rank of Lt. General.

Major General Song Baoshan (宋宝善) left his position of Tibet PAP Commander in June of this year. Some analysts mistakenly have written that Song was promoted to Lt. General in 2016. This mistake stems from a misunderstanding of the Chinese military system and how it is configured. All senior Chinese military posts and positions in the country are divided into one of two categories, 1st class (正军) or 2nd class(副军). Up to 2016 the Tibet PAP Commander post and position was gazetted as 2nd class compared, for example, to the Tibet PLA Commander and Tibet PLA Political Commissar which always have been gazetted as 1st class. In 2016 the Tibet PAP Commander post and position was elevated to 1st class putting its holder more or less on a par with the Tibet PLA Commander. There was no subsequent rank promotion of Song to Lt. General. The added prestige of occupying a 1st class post and position was reward enough. Song’s replacement is Major General Liu Guorong (刘国荣) who was transferred to Tibet from the same position in Hunan Province.

Claude Arpi said...

Was speaking of General Liu Lei, not Sr Col Liu Lei

Anonymous said...

Now I understand what you were saying. Yes, you are absolutely correct. General LIU Lei (刘雷) is the Political Commissar of the PLA Army. I was wrong to say that this position is held by Lt. General DIAO Guoxin (刁国新). Instead, when DIAO left Tibet in 2016 and was replaced as Tibet PLA Political Commissar by then Maj General (now Lt General) WANG Jianwu, DIAO became a Deputy Political Commissar of the PLA Army land forces.

Another correction and update is necessary concerning the Tibet People’s Armed Police. I said the Tibet PAP Commander position was regraded to 1st class status (正军) , but I neglected to add that the Tibet PAP Political Commissar position also had been regraded to 1st class status, perhaps a bit earlier. Furthermore I said that Tibet PAP Political Commissar Maj General TANG Xiao (唐晓) transferred out of Tibet in April, 2016 (becoming Political Commissar of the National PAP Hydroelectric Power Grid Command Force). He was replaced by the internal Tibet appointment of Maj General XIAO Yangzhong (肖阳忠) who previously had been head of the Tibet PAP Political Department. What inexcusably had escaped my attention was how short Xiao’s tenure turned out to be . . . only 14 months. I just discovered that Xiao’s replacement and current Tibet PAP Political Commissar is Maj General ZOU Jianxiong (邹建雄) who previously held the same position in Gansu Province.

Claude Arpi said...

Any news of Major General Ngawang (Ang Mong) Sonam, a Deputy Commander of Qinghai Military District?
A bio of Maj Gen Thubten Thinley?

Claude Arpi said...

Maj General ZOU Jianxiong (邹建雄), TAR's PAP Political Commissar made it in the list of the 50 delegates from the PAP to the 19th Congress.