Zhu Weiqun 朱维群
Ethnic & Religious Affairs, CPPCC
Prominent official spokesperson on Tibet
Pronunciation: Zhoo Way-choon Zhu Weiqun
Born: 1947 in Jiangsu Province.
Education: People’s University, Beijing and (reportedly) The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, department of journalism, Master’s Degree.
Career: Vice Minister of the United Front Work Department 2006 – 2012. Secretary-General of the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture. Appears to be a student of Buddhism.
Prospects: Reported as having retired from active politics in 2012, now Chair of the Ethnic & Religious Affairs Committee of the CPPCC.
Relevance to Tibet: (Possibly “retired”) Head of the United Front Work Department’s Tibet Section but still an official spokesperson on Tibet.
Standing in the Party and Career Highlights:
In May 2012 Mingpao reported that Zhu Weiqun had retired and been replaced by Zhang Yijiong. However Zhu Weiqun remains an official spokesperson on Tibet, and feedback from visiting diplomats suggests he is still actively engaged in Tibet work. His current position is Chair of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Appointed Vice Director of the United Front Department in 1999 and became the Executive Vice Director (Minister) in 2006. Zhu is Vice President of the China Overseas Friendship Association as well as Secretary-General of the China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture.
Member of the 17th CPC Central Committee but not a member of the 18th Central Committee (2012).
No information available for the period 1970 – 2006, apart from a reference to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in 2002.
In February 2012 Zhu Weiqun drew the attention of the international media with an article in the party’s ‘Study Times’ journal which said listing ethnic minority status on identity cards, using ethnic names for schools and regions and reserving privileges for ethnic minorities were obstacles to nationalism and cohesion. Minnie Chan in the South China Morning Post quoted him as follows: “Some of our current educational and administrative policies have unintentionally weakened [ethnic minorities’] sense of nationhood and Chinese nationalism” and, with other media, suggested the Party may be considering an abrupt shift towards overtly assimilationist policies, after more than 60 years of recognising cultural and ethnic difference.
A 2014 New York Times blog reported that a representative of an “NGO” called China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture had been barred from the UN Human Rights Council for intimidating a Chinese woman giving testimony about her detained father. China Association for Preservation and Development of Tibetan Culture’s leaders include Zhu Weiqun; Du Qinglin, a former head of the United Front Work Department; and Zhang Yijiong, current deputy head of UFWD. The “NGO”, which has an address in Beijing adjacent to the United Front Work Department, has not itself been barred from the Human Rights Council.
In March 2016, the South China Morning Post reported that Zhu Weiqun denied accusations that he received huge bribes to grant approvals for people to become living Buddhas, dismissing the claims as a “vulgar smear”. The claims were made by an overseas Chinese website. Zhu believed the accusations were targeted at his “long-term battle with the splittist Dalai clique”, which only made him “proud” of his work.
- Zhu Weiqun, Beijing March 2016 wrote in state-run Global Times that the Dalai Lama’s statements about his reincarnation were “making a fool” of Tibetan Buddhism
- Zhu Weiqun, Beijing March 2015 in response to a question from Reuters about whether China has been successful in preventing foreign leaders from meeting the Dalai Lama: “Fewer international leaders want to meet him, although exceptions have occurred. Those who insist on receiving him are bringing disgrace on themselves”
- Zhu Weiqun, Brussels October 2013 in response to a question about the Spanish lawsuit on Tibet: “This is ridiculous. Anyone thinking in this way brings humiliation to himself and if courts of any country accept the accusation, they are bringing disgrace to themselves as well. There is nothing more than that. Recalling the history of China, western countries always resorted to gunboat diplomacy towards China rather than turning to laws, brutally occupying Chinese territory, grabbing money and treasures, and burning down houses. Pursuing a lawsuit against China shows nothing but the weakening of some countries nowadays. It does not surprise me if this malicious prosecution was plotted by the Dalai clique. If any country accepted the lawsuit, it would only be faced with a terrible embarrassment. I would like to use a cliché of Chinese people, “Come if you are bold enough.”
- Zhu Weiqun interviewed by Zurich Neue Zuercher Zeitung, (published November 2013): “We want to win over the Dalai Lama to the patriotic side,” he (Zhu) states. “We do not conduct negotiations, but we stay in contact at least, with the goal that the Dalai Lama recognizes and admits his mistakes and asks for forgiveness. We will never negotiate with him about his separatist and treacherous intentions. The fate and the future of Tibet lie in the hands of the Chinese Central Government and not in the hands of the Dalai Lama.”
- Zhu Weiqun: In Hong Kong, marking the 40th anniversary of the creation of the TAR, he gave a speech entitled “Buddhism and Building of Harmonious Society.” I, a beginner in study of Buddhism, would like to beg your attention to my humble opinions on Buddhism if they are correct. If my opinions are incorrect, I hope you’ll be kind enough to point out what is wrong with them………..Another example we’d like to cite is the “Theory of Cause” advocated by Buddhism, according to which nothing can exist in isolation and the human being is closely bound up with all other living creatures on earth. Proceeding from this theory, the religion takes equality as the basic principle guiding the handling of the relations between the different peoples and between the human race and all other living creatures. Says the Diamond Sutra, “The Great Law stands for equality, making no distinction between the superior and the inferior. Equality, in our opinion, means mutual respect by the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor, the great and the small, and the leader and the subordinate.”
- Exchange of statements with Lodi Gyari December 2009 “Mr. Gyari just tries to steer the topic and distract people’s attention away from the embarrassing issue ‘whether the Dalai Lama lies or not’.”
- Kelsang Gyaltsen on the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy: “Zhu Weiqun stated: “Even the title of your memorandum is unacceptable. How many times do we need to say that the Dalai Lama has no right to speak about the situation in Tibet or in the name of the Tibetan people?” When we asked him why in the first place he had invited us to present our views on autonomy, his answer was: “This was a test to see how far you have come understand the position and the policy of the Central Government. And you have failed the examination miserably.”
- In December 2011 in a party journal, Qiushi (Seeking Truth), Zhu Weiqun warned against the rise of religious believers in the CCP. If party members are allowed to believe in religion, he wrote, it will result in “shaking and losing the guiding position of Marxism, and in dividing the party ideologically and theoretically”. (Source: Economist)
Zhu Weiqun’s Contact Information:
- Address: 135 Fuyou Street Xicheng District, Beijing 100800.
- Website: http://www.zytzb.cn/09/