Ethnic minorities in Xinjiang province have been ordered to prominently display a portrait of President Xi Jinping at home from Oct. 1, as part of a propaganda by the central government ahead of the 19th national party congress scheduled for Oct. 18 in Beijing, Apple Daily reports.
The order was first implemented in Fuyun (Koktokay) county in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and was given by Chen Quanguo, the province’s Communist Party secretary, according to the report.
Critics said Chen was trying to raise his own profile with an attention-getting “patriotic” gesture that could boost his chance to become a member of the politburo of the Communist Party Central Committee during the congress.
According to a resident of Fuyun county, households were each given a portrait of President Xi on Sept. 30 and they were told to hang it in the living room as a way to pay respect to the national leader.
Locals said the move was meant to be a trial and could well be rolled out to all parts of Xinjiang later.
Dilixiati Rexiti, a spokesperson for the World Uyghur Congress headquartered in Germany, said many ethnic minority facilities have recently been ordered to display a portrait of President Xi, as well as the Chinese national flag.
Mirror Media Group founder and chief executive Ho Pin said the measures were purely the idea of Chen Quanguo, who also implemented similar orders in Tibet when he was the party secretary of the autonomous region.
Chen is said to have ordered Tibet households to prominently display portraits of past national leaders including Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao.
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