China Specialist Correspondent
Benjamin's Feed
Oct 15, 2014

China likely to expel disgraced security chief from party-sources

BEIJING, Oct 15 (Reuters) – China’s disgraced former
domestic security chief, Zhou Yongkang, looks set to be expelled
from the ruling Communist Party at a key meeting next week,
sources said, possibly paving the way for his formal
prosecution.

Zhou is the most senior party member to have been targeted
in a corruption probe since the Communists swept to power in
1949, and President Xi Jinping has made fighting graft a
cornerstone of his administration.

Oct 14, 2014

China won’t cede to HK protests, army used only as last resort-sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ruling Communist Party believes it has offered enough concessions to Hong Kong in the past, and will give no ground to pro-democracy protests because it wants to avoid setting a precedent for reform on the mainland, sources told Reuters.

The position, arrived at during a meeting of the new National Security Commission chaired by President Xi Jinping in the first week of October, appears to give Hong Kong’s leader little room for manoeuver as he seeks to end the crisis.

Oct 10, 2014

North Korea leader Kim is still in charge, has leg injury – source

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in firm control of his government but has hurt his leg, a source with access to the secretive North’s leadership said, playing down speculation over the 31-year-old’s health and grip on power.

North Korea’s state media, which usually chronicles Kim’s whereabouts in great detail, has not made any mention of his activities since he attended a concert with his wife on Sept. 3, and Kim was absent from early state media coverage of an important political anniversary on Friday.

Oct 9, 2014

North Korea leader Kim is still in charge, has injured leg: source

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in firm control of his government but has hurt his leg, a source with access to the secretive North’s leadership said on Thursday, playing down speculation over the 31-year-old’s health and grip on power.

North Korea’s state media, which usually chronicles Kim’s whereabouts in great detail, has not made any mention of his activities since he attended a concert with his wife on Sept. 3.

Sep 12, 2014

Special Report: China turns up heat on ex-security chief with crash probe

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Little is known about the exact circumstances in which Wang Shuhua was killed. What has been reported, in the Chinese media, is that she died in a road accident sometime in 2000, shortly after she was divorced from her husband. And that at least one vehicle with a military license plate may have been involved in the crash.

Fourteen years later, investigators are looking into her death. Their sudden interest has nothing to do with Wang herself. It has to do with the identity of her ex-husband – once one of China’s most powerful men and now the prime target in President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

Sep 12, 2014

China turns up heat on ex-security chief with crash probe

BEIJING/HONG KONG, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Little is known about
the exact circumstances in which Wang Shuhua was killed. What
has been reported, in the Chinese media, is that she died in a
road accident sometime in 2000, shortly after she was divorced
from her husband. And that at least one vehicle with a military
license plate may have been involved in the crash.

Fourteen years later, investigators are looking into her
death. Their sudden interest has nothing to do with Wang
herself. It has to do with the identity of her ex-husband – once
one of China’s most powerful men and now the prime target in
President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.

Aug 1, 2014

Exclusive: China’s Xi likely to promote army general who exposed graft – sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping is likely to promote a corruption whistleblower to China’s top military decision-making body to underscore his determination to tackle graft inside the country’s rapidly modernizing armed forces, two sources said.

General Liu Yuan, 62, the eldest son of late president Liu Shaoqi, is set to be appointed to the Central Military Commission during a meeting of the Communist Party’s elite 205-member Central Committee in October, a source close to the leadership and a second source with ties to the military said.

Jul 30, 2014

Exclusive: China’s Xi reached deal with former leaders to investigate ex-security chief: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) – Two influential former Chinese leaders gave their consent for President Xi Jinping to investigate ex-domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, sources told Reuters, a sign the corruption probe will not open a rift in the ruling Communist Party.

Xi would not have been able to investigate someone as powerful as Zhou without the agreement of senior party members and other retired top officials, political analysts said.

Jul 29, 2014

China says investigating powerful former security chief for graft

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Communist Party said on Tuesday it had launched a corruption investigation into former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, one of the country’s most influential politicians of the last decade, in a case that has its origins in a party power struggle.

Zhou, 71, is by far the highest-profile figure caught up in President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption. Indeed, Zhou is the most senior Chinese official to be ensnared in a graft scandal since the party swept to power in 1949.

May 23, 2014

The power struggle behind China’s corruption crackdown

BEIJING/HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) – Liu Han seemed to
thrive in the company of officials.

Even a birthday party in 2011 for Liu’s primary-school aged
son drew a crowd of bureaucrats in Chengdu, the capital of
China’s western Sichuan province where the flamboyant mining
tycoon was based. “There was a mayor of a nearby city with a
population of three or four million,” recalls Australian
political lobbyist John Halden who helped win approval for Liu’s
mining investments in Western Australia and was invited to the
October 15 celebration. “There were senior people from the
provincial treasury and about seven or eight officials from the
city of Chengdu.”

    • About Benjamin

      "Ben is based in Beijing and covers China regulatory news. He is an ethnic Chinese born and raised in the Philippines, and spent 13 years in Beijing and 15 years in Taipei. He joined Reuters in 1991, serving as Beijing bureau chief from August 2008 to August 2010 and Taipei bureau chief from February 2000 to December 2002."
    • Follow Benjamin