BEIJING: China’s Communist Party has expelled the military commander of Xinjiang from its ranks, state media reported yesterday, after an attack in Beijing officially blamed on members of the Uighur minority in the troubled northwest region.
General Peng Yong, who was named commander of the Xinjiang military region in July 2011, was dismissed from his post as a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party of Xinjiang, the Xinjiang Daily said in a terse dispatch. The state-run paper did not give a reason for Peng’s removal but it comes after last Monday’s attack in Tiananmen Square, which was a major embarrassment for the enormous state security apparatus.
Xinjiang has been the scene of several violent clashes, the most recent of which left dozens dead in April, June and August this year.
After being stripped of his party post, Peng is likely to be relieved of his military responsibilities in the far-west region where China’s mostly Muslim Uighur minority is concentrated. According to Chinese police, three Xinjiang Uighurs drove their car loaded with petrol canisters into the gate of the Forbidden City in an attack that left two dead, besides the three people in the car, and 40 injured.AFP