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China annual legislature session to face familiar problems

China's annual show of political theatre, the National People's Congress, opens this week -- the first under a new Communist Party leadership facing intractable problems including endemic corruption, slowing economic growth and tensions with neighbouring countries. The rubber-stamp NPC, which begins Wednesday at the imposing Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, serves as a show of unity in the nation and the ruling party.

China sacks vice police chief with connections to Zhou Yongkang

BEIJING (Reuters) - China formally sacked former vice minister of public security Li Dongsheng, state media announced on Monday, only a day after news that China's premier had unveiled more measures to tackle corruption. Li Dongsheng had been suspended for suspected serious discipline violations last December, a brief statement issued by Xinhua said, giving no further details.

Aide to China's former security chief ousted

China has placed a former close aide to the country's ex-chief of internal security Zhou Yongkang under investigation, authorities said, heightening speculation that the net is tightening around his former patron. Ji Wenlin, a vice governor of the southern island of Hainan, is being investigated for "suspected severe violations of disciplines and laws", the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) -- the party's internal graft watchdog -- said in a one-sentence announcement on its website Tuesday. The phrase is usually an indication of alleged corruption.

China appoints Xi to head national security commission

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping has been appointed head of the new national security commission by the ruling Communist Party's decision-making Politburo, the latest sign of his rapid consolidation of power. The move puts Xi in charge of a commission that deals with crises at home and abroad and comes nearly a month after the government said that Xi would head a leading group to steer the country's overall reforms.

China appoints Xi to head new national security council

Chinese President Xi Jinping was appointed Friday as head of the country's new national security commission tasked with improving measures to safeguard its sovereignty and social stability. The committee is widely seen as a Chinese equivalent of the U.S. National Security Council to enable Xi to exert greater control over institutions in charge of domestic security and foreign policy.

China creates teams to spearhead economic change, with top leaders in charge

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has created six teams to supervise its boldest economic and social changes in 30 years, with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang personally taking charge, state media said on Wednesday. Xi has been appointed the head of the central leading group for comprehensive reforms that will oversee the six teams, with Li as his deputy, state radio said after the group held its first-ever meeting.

China's Wen pleads innocence over hidden riches claim

Former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has pleaded innocence over claims that his family amassed huge wealth during his decade in power, a Hong Kong columnist said, as Beijing ramps up a much-publicised crackdown on official corruption. "I have never been involved and would not get involved in one single deal of abusing my power for personal gain because no such gains whatsoever could shake my convictions," Wen said in a letter to Ng Hong-mun, a columnist with the Ming Pao newspaper, a Hong Kong-based Chinese-language daily.

Son of China's ex-security chief in custody, daily says

Beijing, Jan 10 (EFE).- The son of retired Chinese internal security chief Zhou Yongkang is under arrest and may be charged with corruption, the South China Morning Post said Friday. Zhou Bin, 41, has been in touch with lawyers about preparing a defense, the Hong Kong daily said, citing unnamed officials. The younger Zhou is suspected of illicit activities in China's oil industry - where his father's career began - and in Sichuan province, effectively run by Zhou Yongkang in the early 2000s.

China tells police to be loyal to party amid graft crackdown

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's police chief wrote on Friday that his officers must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party and be loyal to it, as the government targets the domestic security apparatus in a crackdown on corruption. Sources have told Reuters that China's former security tsar, Zhou Yongkang, one of the most powerful politicians of the decade, has been put under effective house arrest while the party investigates corruption allegations against him.

Colleague of China's ex-security chief sacked for graft

A former close colleague of China's ex-chief of internal security Zhou Yongkang has been sacked for "suspected severe violations of disciplines", state media said Thursday, stepping up anti-corruption inquiries another notch. Li Chongxi was dismissed as chairman of the Sichuan province Political Consultative Conference -- a debating chamber that is part of the Communist Party-controlled governmental structure -- for "suspected severe violations of disciplines", the official Xinhua news agency said. The phrase is commonly used as a euphemism for corruption.
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