China places top energy official, a senior Uighur, under investigation

China places top energy official, a senior Uighur, under investigation


BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese language authorities positioned beneath investigation for suspected graft on Friday one of many nation’s most senior ethnic Uighur officers who can be head of its power administration and was a former governor of the restive area of Xinjiang.

Nur Bekri, Chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Area, attends a information convention throughout the annual session of China’s parliament, the Nationwide Individuals’s Congress (NPC), in Beijing March 7, 2010. REUTERS/Jason Lee

The ruling Communist Occasion’s anti-graft watchdog stated in a short assertion Nationwide Vitality Administration Director Nur Bekri was being probed on suspicion of breaking the regulation and violating get together self-discipline, the same old euphemism for graft however which may additionally discuss with different authorized issues.

It gave no different particulars and it was not potential to succeed in Nur Bekri for remark.

President Xi Jinping has focused the power sector as a part of a wider conflict towards pervasive graft that started when he got here into workplace six years in the past.

Nur Bekri, 57, labored in Xinjiang till transferring to Beijing in late 2014 to move the power administration. He’s additionally a deputy head of China’s highly effective state planning company, the Nationwide Improvement and Reform Fee.

He is without doubt one of the few Uighurs – a Muslim individuals who converse a Turkic language and who name Xinjiang dwelling – ever to have damaged by way of and made it to a prime national-level job in Beijing.

Xinjiang has been certainly one of China’s most violent areas, with a whole lot killed in unrest between the minority Uighurs and the bulk Han Chinese language in recent times.

Nur Bekri was Xinjiang’s governor from 2008 till 2014, a time that noticed bouts of ethnic violence that included lethal rioting within the area’s capital, Urumqi, in 2009.

FILE PHOTO: Nur Bekri, chairman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Area, attends a information convention in Urumqi, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Area August 19, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/File Picture


Throughout his time in that place, which ranks under the Communist Occasion secretary, Nur Bekri was a proponent of restrictions positioned on non secular practices of the largely Muslim ethnic minorities there, ostensibly to curb what the federal government stated was the unfold of extremist ideology.

He stated within the wake of the 2009 riots the federal government’s non secular insurance policies utterly accorded with the pursuits of the folks.

Nur Bekri had additionally touted bilingual training for Uighurs in colleges as a path to financial alternative, though critics stated in actuality that meant marginalising the Uighurs’ personal language and tradition in favour of Mandarin.

Ilham Tohti, a Uighur economics professor and outspoken critic of Beijing’s insurance policies in direction of his folks, was jailed for all times on separatism prices in 2014, a sentence that prompted an outcry from human rights advocates. Nur Bekri known as the proof towards him irrefutable earlier than he was jailed.

Nur Bekri’s tenure as governor ended beneath then get together secretary Zhang Chunxian, who was changed as Xinjiang’s chief by Chen Quanguo in 2016.

Chen dramatically ramped up police presence and mass surveillance on minorities in comparison with his predecessor, and ushered in using mass detention centres that has sparked a rising worldwide outcry in current months.

China denies the abuses and says the “vocational”-style coaching centres, thought to carry probably 1,000,000 Uighurs and different Muslims, have been designed to forestall extremism.

Calls are rising from Western nations for motion on the camps and U.S. officers have stated they have been contemplating sanctions on Chinese language officers and corporations linked to the crackdown.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith and John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI, and Michael Martina and Christian Shepherd in BEIJING; Modifying by Paul Tait

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