We have not made an assessment of Zhang Qingli’s policies during his tenure from 2004 to 2006 as deputy secretary in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. We do however continue to monitor the situation in Xinjiang and remain concerned by reports of human rights violations in the region, including restrictions on the peaceful exercise of political, cultural and religious rights. We regularly raise these concerns with the Chinese Government and did so most recently at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue, which took place in Beijing in January.
The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) is a governmental organisation based in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). We understand that the XPCC effectively has administrative authority over a number of cities, farms and settlements across the XUAR region and performs governmental functions such as health care, education and civil policing for areas under its jurisdiction. In this context, we are also aware that the XPCC has a role in running some prisons in the area. The stated goals of the XPCC are to develop frontier regions, promote economic development, ensure social stability and ethnic harmony, and counter the East Turkestan independence movement.
We recognise that Zhang Qingli has been party secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region since 2005 and as such has been responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies, including the ‘Develop the West’ campaign and China’s policies designed to promote economic development in Tibet. While we welcome the economic development in Tibet, we hope that more will be done to ensure that Tibetans will benefit. We continue to raise our concerns on Tibet with the Chinese Government, in particular with regard to the handling of recent unrest in the region.