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Nov 8, 2012

China opens party congress for leadership change

BEIJING, Nov 8 (Reuters) – China opened a congress of its
ruling Communist Party on Thursday, ushering in a
once-in-a-decade leadership change against a backdrop of growing
social unrest, public anger at corruption and a yawning gap
between rich and poor.

More than 2,000 hand-picked delegates gathered at Beijing’s
cavernous Great Hall of the People for the start of the
week-long session, which will see President Hu Jintao give up
his role as party chief to anointed successor Vice President Xi

Nov 7, 2012

China’s premier-in-waiting schooled in free thought

BEIJING (Reuters) – Where other top Chinese leaders can only stand around and look awkward in the presence of English-speaking dignitaries, premier-in-waiting Li Keqiang stands out for his casual and disarming command of the language.

Li’s English skills say more about the man who will run the world’s second-largest economy than just an ability to schmooze U.S. CEOs and European prime ministers – they were learned as a part of a surprisingly liberal university education.

Nov 7, 2012

China heir apparent Xi raised by elite, steeled by turmoil

BEIJING (Reuters) – Three years ago in Mexico, China’s president-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, provided a rare glimpse of a future leader who was born into a revolutionary aristocracy and came of age in the tumult of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

Xi usually sports the dark suit and cautious public mask that is the uniform of China’s Communist Party leadership. But in Mexico, he dropped his guard in a steely defense of his country against criticism from abroad.

Nov 2, 2012

China to promote rising star in Bo Xilai’s old stomping ground: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is set to promote two rising stars and possible future national leaders at a Communist Party congress opening next week, one taking the old job of disgraced former high-flyer Bo Xilai in the country’s biggest metropolis, sources said.

Southwestern Chongqing, left reeling in the wake of a corruption and murder scandal, is expected to go to Sun Zhengcai, a former agriculture minister and current party boss of the chilly northeastern province of Jilin.

Nov 1, 2012

Expect feisty defence from China’s disgraced Bo Xilai

BEIJING (Reuters) – Disgraced former top Chinese politician Bi Xilai can be expected to mount a feisty defence of himself when he finally comes to trial, but a guilty verdict is not in doubt, a lawyer who had a front seat at China’s last major show trial said.

Zhang Sizhi was defence lawyer for Mao Zedong’s widow, Jiang Qing, leader of the “Gang of Four” that wielded supreme power during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. She was given a suspended death sentence in 1981 for the deaths of tens of thousands during that period of chaos.

Oct 26, 2012

China starts formal criminal probe into politician Bo Xilai

BEIJING (Reuters) – China moved quickly on Friday to announce it had formally begun a criminal probe into disgraced former senior politician Bo Xilai, hours after expelling him from the largely rubber stamp parliament and so removing his immunity from prosecution.

The announcements pave the way for Bo, once a contender for top leadership in the world’s second largest economy, to face trial and likely a long jail sentence on accusations of corruption and abuse of power.

Oct 26, 2012

China paves way for prosecuting disgraced politician Bo Xilai

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s largely rubber stamp parliament has expelled disgraced former senior politician Bo Xilai, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, paving the way for formal criminal charges to be laid against him.

The expulsion removes Bo’s immunity from prosecution as a member of parliament. Xinhua said the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, “announced the termination of Bo Xilai’s post” as the deputy to the parliament.

Oct 24, 2012

China propaganda post likely to go to a conservative Hu loyalist

BEIJING, Oct 24 (Reuters) – A loyal ally of Chinese
President Hu Jintao is the front-runner to become propaganda
minister during a once-in-a-decade generational leadership
change, two sources said, but while media-savvy he is unlikely
to drastically loosen tight controls.

Liu Qibao is tipped to be appointed to the post during the
Communist Party’s 18th congress, which opens on Nov. 8, at which
the party will anoint Xi Jinping as the country’s fifth
generation leader after Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin
and Hu Jintao.

Oct 22, 2012

China leftists urge parliament not to expel Bo Xilai

BEIJING (Reuters) – A group of Chinese leftists has issued a public letter calling on the country’s largely rubber stamp parliament not to expel disgraced former top leader Bo Xilai from its ranks, saying the move is legally questionable and politically motivated.

Stripping membership from Bo – the one-time Communist Party chief of Chongqing who is accused of abusing power, taking huge bribes and other crimes – also removes his immunity from prosecution, and paves the way for formal charges against him.

Oct 19, 2012

China power brokers agree preferred leadership team: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s three most powerful men have come up with preferred candidates to head up the nation’s incoming new leadership team, sources said, in a ticket that includes financial reformers but leaves a question mark over its commitment to political reform.

The seven-member list has been drawn up by past, present and future presidents ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change to be finalised next month at the ruling Communist Party’s 18th congress, said three sources with ties to senior party leaders.

    • About Ben

      "I started working at Reuters in 2002 as an equities reporter in Shanghai, before moving to Beijing in 2005 to work on the general news and politics file. My primary areas of coverage are China's relations with Southeast Asia and Taiwan, the development of China's military, and ethnic minority issues in China."
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