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Chinese official committed suicide in his office

A senior Chinese official killed himself in his Beijing office this week, reports said Thursday, in the latest mysterious suicide of a ruling Communist Party cadre. Xu Ye'an was deputy chief of China's State Bureau for Letters and Calls, the agency that fields grievances from citizens over injustices or disputes such as illegal land grabs or police misconduct. According to the respected magazine Caixin, Xu was discovered to have killed himself in his office on Tuesday morning, although the details surrounding his death remain unclear.

Outgoing US envoy to China urges greater human rights

Outgoing US ambassador to China Gary Locke on Thursday urged Beijing to improve its human rights record, in parting remarks just days before he is to leave the country. Rights are "universal" values that represent more than economic benefits, he said, speaking to journalists at the US embassy. "We call on China to continue to improve -- well we call on China to improve its record in this area," Locke said. "There's been great prosperity and an increase in the quality of life and the standard of living here in China," he said.

Outgoing US envoy to China urges greater human rights

Outgoing US ambassador to China Gary Locke on Thursday urged Beijing to improve its human rights record, in parting remarks just days before he is to leave the country. Rights are "universal" values that represent more than economic benefits, he said, speaking to journalists at the US embassy. "We call on China to continue to improve -- well we call on China to improve its record in this area," Locke said. "There's been great prosperity and an increase in the quality of life and the standard of living here in China," he said.

China hails 'new progress' in crackdown on corruption

BEIJING (Reuters) - China hailed its crackdown on corruption on Friday, saying "new progress and achievements" had led to a 13.3 percent increase in the number of people punished last year. President Xi Jinping vowed to pursue corrupt high-flying "tigers" as well as lowly "flies" after taking over the reins of the ruling Communist Party in late 2012, raising expectations that he will tackle graft more forcefully than his predecessors.

China Olympian's lover jailed for life for $10 mn fraud

The former girlfriend of a Chinese Olympic gymnastics champion has been sentenced to life in jail for defrauding other star athletes and celebrities of nearly $10 million, state-run media said on Wednesday. Wang Ti -- whose then-boyfriend Xiao Qin won pommel horse gold at the 2008 Beijing Games -- cheated "more than two dozen well-known figures in the sports and entertainment industries", the China Daily reported.

China security boss urges judicial independence, transparency

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's domestic security chief on Monday called for a more independent judiciary and greater transparency in trials through the use of audio and video recordings as well as steps to curb interference by government officials. Meng Jianzhu's comments in the official People's Daily come after China unveiled a landmark package of social and economic reforms that included the abolition of controversial forced labor camps and a call to free courts from political influence.

In China, pro-Bo Xilai party not seen a threat, but a demand for rights

By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - A political party formed by followers of ousted politician Bo Xilai does not appear to be a threat to China's Communist rulers in itself, but is another example of a growing number of citizens speaking up for their rights and the rule of law.

China's Bo Xilai supporters set up political party

Supporters of jailed Chinese politician Bo Xilai have established a new political party, a founder said Sunday, in a rare challenge to the ruling Communist Party. Scholar Wang Zheng said the party was set up on Wednesday, just days before a key Communist Party meeting, to support the former high-ranking official who was handed a life sentence for corruption in September. Wang said the Zhi Xian Party, which means "supreme constitution", has named Bo as its life-long chairman, though it was unclear if he had actually agreed to have ties with the group.

Arrogance led to Bo downfall: China state media

Chinese state media laid into Bo Xilai on Saturday, saying "arrogance" led to his demise, a day after a court rejected the fallen politician's appeal against his corruption conviction. Bo was condemned to life imprisonment on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power last month, and a Chinese court on Friday dismissed his appeal and confirmed his sentence. Analysts said the decision means there will be no comeback for a charismatic man once tipped for the very top echelons of Chinese power.

Bo saga draws to close as China court upholds life term

A Chinese court rejected fallen politician Bo Xilai's appeal against his corruption conviction and confirmed his life sentence Friday, as authorities looked to draw a line under a damaging scandal. Until 2012 Bo headed the southwestern megacity of Chongqing and was one of the highest-ranked politicians in the ruling Communist party, but was engulfed by a lurid controversy that saw his wife convicted of murdering a British businessman. He was condemned to life imprisonment on charges of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power last month.
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