Beijing: China on Thursday replaced its hardline
provincial Communist Party chief in Tibet, amid growing unrest
among Buddhist monks, some of whom even committed self
immolation to protest Beijing`s strong tactics to stifle
Zhang Qingli, who described Tibetan spiritual leader, the
Dalai Lama as "wolf in monk`s robes" and the "scum of
Buddhism," has been replaced by Chen Quanguo.
Zhang Qingli will be moved to another position, the
CPC Central Committee said in a brief statement according to
official Xinhua news agency.
While no reason was given for his sudden shifting,
it came at a time when the Dalai Lama relinquished his
political authority and reports of unrest among monks in Tibet
and areas around where Tibetans were present in high numbers.
Chen a long time party official in the eastern province
of Henan last served as governor of Hebei province close to
Known for pursuing tough polices, Zhang was appointed as
Tibet party Chief in 2005 and he had the distinction of
serving in both Xinjiang and Tibet, the two provinces in which
China grappled with political disorder.
Zhang, belonging to majority Han community came to
limelight when he successfully stemmed the Lhasa riots in
2008, in which monks in large numbers took part protesting
against increasing presence of mainland Chinese Hans in the
development projects in the Himalayan region.
China blamed the Dalai Lama for instigating the riots in
which several people were killed and hundreds injured.
Two Tibetan monks committed self immolation in the recent
months.Zhang had ruled out any talks with the "so called Tibet
government in exile" and its new Prime Minister Lobsang
Sangay, a 43-year-old Harvard legal scholar who grew up as a
An outspoken official, Zhang defended his strong
statements against the Dalai Lama saying that he is a
"secessionist chief who fools simple believers under the guise
In January this Zhang told state-run China Daily
that fighting Tibetan Buddhist separatists was more difficult
than Muslim Uyghur militants of Xinjiang province due to
variety of reasons.
Xinjiang has more than 20,000 mosques but only 8,000
Imams (clerics), where as Tibet has fewer than 1,800
Tibetan-Buddhist temples but is home to more than 46,000
monks, making them an integral part of Tibetan life style, he