Shohrat Zakir
شۆھرەت زاكىر
Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Assumed office
10 March 2023
ChairmanZhao Leji
Chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
In office
January 2015 – September 2021
Preceded byNur Bekri
Succeeded byErkin Tuniyaz
Chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional People's Congress
In office
January 2014 – December 2014
Preceded byArken Imirbaki
Succeeded byNeyim Yasin
Mayor of Ürümqi
In office
March 2001 – December 2005
Acting: December 2000 – March 2001
Preceded byNur Bekri
Succeeded byNeyim Yasin
Personal details
BornAugust 1953 (age 70)
Yining (Ghulja), Xinjiang, China
Political partyChinese Communist Party
ParentAbdullah Zakrof
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese雪克来提·扎克尔
Traditional Chinese雪克來提·扎克爾
Hanyu PinyinXuěkèláití Zhākè'ěr
Uyghur name
Uyghurشۆھرەت زاكىر

Shohrat Zakir (Uyghur: شۆھرەت زاكىر; born August 1953) is a Chinese politician of Uyghur ethnicity who served as the chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the deputy secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xinjiang Committee from 2014 to 2021.

Born in Yining (Ghulja), he studied computer science in Hubei Province, and later attended Tianjin University. Between 2000 and 2005, he served as the mayor of Ürümqi. He served as the chairman of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region between 2015 and 2021. Between 2017 and 2022, he was a member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. In March 2023, he was appointed a vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Early life

Born in Yining,[1] Zakir was born into a family with revolutionary history. His grandfather Kaur Zakir was a progressive thinker during the warlord era and was executed by state agents of the warlord Sheng Shicai along with Mao Zemin and Chen Tanqiu. His father Abdullah Zakrof was one of the earliest ethnic Uyghurs to join the Xinjiang party organization shortly after the foundation of the People's Republic in 1949. Prior to the Cultural Revolution, Zakir's father was a member of the regional standing committee and Vice Chairman of Xinjiang.[2]

Between 1970 and 1972, Zakir was involved in the "Down to the Countryside Movement" in rural Xinjiang. He then worked as a teacher in an elementary school in Ürümqi. He was transferred to Diwobao school in 1974. In March 1978, he left his homeland for Hubei to attend the Jianghan Petroleum College (now Yangtze University) located in Jingzhou to study computer science.[1] He then returned to Xinjiang to serve as a researcher at an earth sciences institute. In June 1984, he joined government, working for the regional economic committee.


Between 1982 and 1986, Zakir obtained an English degree at the Urumqi Vocational College. During this time he also joined the Chinese Communist Party. He then worked in a series of roles supporting economic growth and trade in the regional government. In March 2001, he was named mayor of Urumqi. Beginning in December 2005 he worked for the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. In 2007, he also earned an Executive MBA from Tianjin University. At the 2008 National People's Congress Zakir was selected to become a member of the National Ethnic Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress. In June 2011, he became Vice-Chair of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission. In January 2014, he became Chairman of the Xinjiang People's Congress[3] and in December 2014, he was named Chairman of Xinjiang, replacing Nur Bekri.

In March 2019, addressing the issue of the widespread internment of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, Zakir said that the camps were "training centers" rather than "concentration camps" as otherwise claimed and that the freedom of "trainees" was not restricted and that the camps were boarding schools where trainees could go home or ask for leave.[4]

On 23 October 2021, he was appointed vice chairperson of the National People's Congress Ethnic Affairs Committee.[5]

On March 11, 2023, he was elected as the lowest-ranking Vice Chairman of the 14th Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

U.S. Sanctions

On 10 December 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury added Zakir to its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. Individuals on the list have their assets blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.[6]


  1. ^ a b "雪克来提·扎克尔,新华网," (in Chinese). January 21, 2014. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "红色黑马"雪克来提 ["Red Dark Horse" Xueke Lait]. (in Chinese). January 4, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  3. ^ 雪克莱提·扎克尔当选新疆人大常委会主任 [Shekleti Zaker was elected Director of the Standing Committee of Xinjiang People's Congress]. (in Chinese). January 20, 2014. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  4. ^ "Situation in Xinjiang stable: region chairman".
  5. ^ 刘家义任第十三届全国人大财经委员会副主任委员. thepaper (in Chinese). October 23, 2021. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
  6. ^ "Global Magnitsky Designations; North Korea Designations; Burma-related Designations; Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies (NS-CMIC) List Update". U.S. Department of the Treasury. Retrieved December 10, 2021.
Government offices Preceded byNur Bekri Chairman of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region 2014–2021 Succeeded byErkin Tuniyaz Preceded byNur Bekri Mayor of Ürümqi 2001–2005 Succeeded byNeyim Yasin Assembly seats Preceded byArken Imirbaki Chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional People's Congress 2014 Succeeded byNeyim Yasin