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Politics

Former Xinjiang chief's 'demotion' in China sparks speculation

Move could be part of a Chinese push to ease tensions with Washington

Chen Quanguo applauds at a political gathering in Beijing in 2021. Reports of his effective demotion are fanning speculation that China is looking to improve relations with the U.S.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- The former chief of China's Xinjiang region is now working in a senior agricultural post elsewhere in the country, state media reported last week, an effective demotion for an official Washington accuses of overseeing human rights abuses against ethnic Uyghurs in the nation's far west.

Some observers say the move indicates that President Xi Jinping could be trying to ease tensions with the U.S. ahead of a twice-a-decade national congress in autumn, where he is expected to secure a third term as leader of the Chinese Communist Party.

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