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China taps U.S.-sanctioned party official to lead Tibet

Wang Junzheng faces asset freeze and other penalties for role in Xinjiang

Potala Palace Square in Lhasa. China has been accused of trying to wipe out religious and cultural traditions tied to Tibetan Buddhism.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- A senior Chinese official under international sanctions, including from the U.S. and European Union, has been promoted to the top post in Tibet, as President Xi Jinping seemingly doubles down against Western criticism over Beijing's treatment of the country's minorities.

Wang Junzheng was named the new Communist Party secretary for the Tibet Autonomous Region on Tuesday. He previously served as deputy party secretary in Xinjiang, leading the police and justice department in the region since 2019. He has also studied at Tsinghua University, Xi's alma mater.

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