Hu Chunhua Advances in TAR Party Hierarchy; Served During Period of Intensified Repression

June 17, 2005

Hu Chunhua, a Communist Party cadre who held positions in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) throughout the period of intensified repression of Tibetan culture and religion that began in the late 1980s, has been promoted to Executive Secretary of the TAR Party Committee, according to a report by Ta Kung Pao. When China's current President Hu Jintao was the TAR Party Secretary (1988-92), and while Lhasa was under martial law (March 1989-April 1990), Hu Chunhua's TAR portfolio included Deputy Secretary of the China Communist Youth League (CYL).

Hu Chunhua also served under Chen Kuiyuan while he was the TAR Party Secretary (1992-2000). Chen oversaw a political and religious crackdown that included the imprisonment of hundreds of Buddhist monks and nuns who protested against Chinese policies during the early and mid-1990s. A five-year campaign of "Patriotic Education" (1996-2000) was implemented throughout Tibetan areas of China, but was carried out with exceptional intensity in the TAR. Many monks and nuns fled their monasteries or nunneries or were expelled during the campaign rather than fulfill demands to declare their support for Party policies on religion, the Dalai Lama, and Tibetan history.

In addition to his CYL link to Hu Jintao, Hu Chunhua studied at the Central Party School, another of Hu Jintao's bases, in 1983. He graduated from Beijing University in the same year and traveled to the TAR, where he took a post in the personnel department of the TAR CYL according to a Tibet Daily report published in 2001. He rose to the position of CYL Deputy Secretary in the TAR by 1987, and to CYL Secretary in 1992.

Hu Chunhua served briefly in the government of Linzhi (Kongpo) prefecture in the TAR in 1992, and was the prefectural governor of Shannan (Lhoka) prefecture from 1995-1997. He was the only Han to head a TAR prefecture at the time, according to a report by Tibet Information Network in 1997. In Shannan he replaced Jampa Phuntsog (Jiangba Pingcuo), the current Chairman of the TAR government and a Deputy Secretary of the TAR Party Committee.