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Dec 10, 2014

Former top planning official jailed for life in China over graft

BEIJING (Reuters) – A Chinese court on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment the former deputy head of China’s top planning agency in a bribery scandal that exposed graft at the highest levels of China’s government.

The sentence, handed down by a court just outside of Beijing, capped the downfall of Liu Tienan, who was sacked as deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last year, a position that carries minsterial-level status.

Nov 26, 2014

China considers suing ‘economic fugitives’ in the U.S., official says

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is considering suing people suspected of committing economic crimes who have fled to the United States and elsewhere with billions of dollars, an unusual step in a widening anti-graft campaign, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The move, part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive, underscores the challenges China faces in seeking the return of so-called economic fugitives.

Nov 25, 2014

Chinese police again probe acquitted death row prisoner: lawyer

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese police are investigating a former death row prisoner and curbing his movements, three months after he was acquitted of the charge of poisoning two children, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

The latest move by the police raises concerns about China’s commitment to the rule of law, after the rare acquittal prompted renewed calls for the abolition of the death penalty.

Nov 21, 2014

China courts put reporter on trial, reject Uighur scholar’s appeal

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities put on trial on Friday an outspoken journalist accused of revealing state secrets and rejected an appeal by a prominent Uighur scholar whose life sentence on separatism charges had sparked an outcry from the West.

The closed-door trial of Gao Yu, 70, accused of providing state secrets to foreign contacts, began on Friday morning in a Beijing court.

Nov 20, 2014

Prominent China rights lawyer could face harsher charges: attorney

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese prosecutors could upgrade the charges against a prominent human rights lawyer, saying that he incited “ethnic hatred and discrimination” when he wrote a microblog post criticizing the government’s account of a mass knife attack, his lawyer said on Thursday.

The new charges against Pu Zhiqiang add to evidence that the case against him is politically motivated, his supporters say. They come amid what rights groups say is the most severe clampdown on human rights in decades.

Nov 10, 2014

China’s Xi, Japan’s Abe hold landmark meeting after awkward handshake

BEIJING (Reuters) – After an awkward handshake, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held formal talks on Monday for the first time since the two leaders took office, a breakthrough in efforts to improve ties between the Asian rivals.

Television footage showed Abe waiting for Xi to greet him at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, a departure from usual protocol in which the Chinese leader is on hand waiting for a guest. Xi was unsmiling and stiff as the two shook hands and he did not speak to Abe when they first met.

Nov 9, 2014

China president says risks to economy ‘not that scary’

BEIJING (Reuters) – The risks faced by China’s economy are not that scary and the government is confident it can head off the dangers, President Xi Jinping told global business leaders on Sunday to dispel worries about the world’s second-largest economy.

In a speech to chief executives at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit, Xi said even if China’s economy were to grow 7 percent, that would still rank it at the forefront of the world’s economies.

Nov 8, 2014

China says hopes Japan can create favorable atmosphere for talks

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Saturday it hopes Japan can create a favorable atmosphere for an expected meeting between the two countries’ leaders, a day after the two sides signaled willingness to put a bitter row over disputed islands on the back burner.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks at a briefing ahead of a meeting by leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group in Beijing.

Oct 28, 2014

China unveils legal reform plans, but says party to remain in control

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Communist Party pledged on Tuesday to speed up legislation to fight corruption and make it tougher for officials to exert control over the judiciary, even as it stressed full control over the courts.

The decision, released by the official Xinhua news agency, was reached at a four-day party meeting, or plenum, last week.

Oct 28, 2014

Former top China military officer admits taking ‘massive’ bribes

BEIJING (Reuters) – One of China’s most senior former military officers has confessed to taking “massive” bribes in exchange for help in promotions, state media said on Tuesday, as the government moves closer to his court martial as part of its war on graft.

Xu Caihou retired as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission last year and from the ruling Communist Party’s decision-making Politburo in 2012.