Thirty-eight delegates listed as Tibetan—including one from the Monpa people, one from the Lhoba people and one without any ethnic identification—are expected to participate in the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, scheduled to begin Oct. 16, 2022.

The National Congress is held every five years to set the Chinese Communist Party’s national policy goals and elect its top leadership. Xi Jinping is expected to seek an unprecedented third term as the General Secretary of the CCP and to strengthen his control over the party. Chinese state media have reported that Xi has called for writing a “brand new chapter.”

The Tibetan delegates to the 20th Congress account for about a mere 1.65% of the total 2,296 delegates, although Tibetan territory accounts for more than a quarter of China’s current landmass.

Representation at the Party Congress itself will not mean much in terms of actual authority. It remains to be seen how many and which Tibetans find a place in the Central Committee, one of the three top decision-making bodies in China’s political system. The Politburo is the second, and its Standing Committee is the most powerful. To date, no Tibetan has found a place in either of these two higher levels of party leadership, despite China illegally occupying Tibet for over 60 years.

In the current 19th CCP leadership, two Tibetans, Lobsang Gyaltsen (Chinese: Luosang Jiangcun) and Che Dalha (Qizhala), are full members of the Central Committee, with two others, Yan Jinhai and Norbu Thondup, as alternate members. It is most likely that Yan Jinhai and Norbu Thondup will be promoted to full membership in the 20th Central Committee.

Tibetan delegates

Eighteen of the Tibetan delegates at the 20th Congress are from the Tibet Autonomous Region, including two who are listed as being Monpa and Lhoba, both within the broader Tibetan family, and one named without any ethnic identification. Of the 18, eight are female.

Four of the delegates are from Tibetan areas in present-day Qinghai Province, with one being female. Three are from the Tibetan areas now in Sichuan, with one being female. Two are from the Tibetan areas in Yunnan, one of them female. Two are from Tibetan areas in Gansu, one of them female.

Additionally, there are two from what is categorized as central and state organs, with one being female. Four are from the People’s Liberation Army and People’s Armed Police, with one being female. Two are from the central financial system, with one being female.

On top of these, there is one delegate listed as being Tibetan, a female, who is currently Chair of the Fujian Provincial Political Consultative Conference.

List of delegates

Below is a list of Tibetan delegates to the Chinese Communist Party’s 20th Party Congress. Some of the names appear to be non-Tibetan, reflecting a tradition among some Tibetans, particularly in eastern and northeastern Tibet, to be given such names.

Tibet Autonomous Region
1. Tenzin Dhundup (Chinese: Danzang Dunzhu)
2. Pema Thinley (Bama Chillin)
3. Nikyi (Ni Ji, female)
4. Nyima Lhazom (Nima Lazong, ethnic identification not given, female)
5. Penpa Dolma (Bianba Zhuoma, female)
6. Shilok Dolma (Xiluo Zhuoma, female)
7. Choetso (Qu Cuo, female)
8. Tsering Lhamo (Ciren Lamu, female)
9. Tsering Thondup (Ciren Dunzhu)
10. Yan Jinhai
11. Dolkar (Zhuoga, female)
12. Tsering Wangmo (Ciren Wangmu, female)
13. Lobsang Gyaltsen (Luosang Jiangcun)
14. Sonam Nyima (Silang Nima)
15. Phurbu Thondup (Pubu Dunzhu)
16. Kalsang Choedon (Gasong Quzhen, female)
17. Yasha (female, Lhoba)
18. Sonam Dekyi (female, Monpa)

19. Tsering Thar (Cairang Tai)
20. Choeyang Kyi (Qieyang Shi, female)
21. Ba Tselo (Ba Cailuo)
22. Pekho (Banguo)

23. Chen Wanghui (female)
24. Chime Dorji (Qimei Dorje)
25. Luo Zhenhua

26. Norbu Yangzom (Nongbu Yangzong, female)
27. Dhondup Pheldup (Dunzhu Peichu)

28. Yang Wu
29. Lumo Tsering (Lumao Cairang, female)

Central and state organs
30. Tselo (Ciluo)
31. Li Ying (female)

PLA and PAP delegates
32. Dakpa (Zhaba)
33. Jamyang Ngodup (Jiayang Ouzhu)
34. Dawa Dolkar (Dawa Zhuoga, female)
35. Namgyal (Langjie)

Fujian Province
36. Cui Yuying (female)

Central financial system
37. Loten (Luo Dan)
38. Dechen (Deqing, female)