too early to celebrate departure of hardliner on xinjiang - Too early to celebrate departure of hardliner on Xinjiang

BEIJING – When news broke last week that Xinjiang’s Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo was stepping down after five years of iron-fisted rule in the once-restive region, some China watchers thought Beijing was finally softening its stance.

After all, it had moved Mr Chen from Tibet – where he, too, governed with a strong hand – to Xinjiang in 2016 to be equally tough, if not tougher, after terrorist attacks in the western region.