The 5th session of the 13th Peoples' Government of 'Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (that Uyghurs prefer to call East Turkistan) has elected Erken Tuniyaz as its chairperson, China News and other Chinese media platforms report.
Tuniyaz, an Uyghur born in Aksu in December 1961, joined the Chinese Communist Party in July 1983. During his career, he has worked in several governmental positions. Tuniyaz has publically defended the internment camps as a counter-terrorism measure.
Tuniyaz even spent a few months at Harvard's Ash Center as a new world fellow in 2012, Financial Times reports. Ash Center wrote about him in an article published in 2012.
On December 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury added Tuniyaz to its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Persons on the list have their assets blocked in the U.S., and Americans cannot deal with them.