Entries in Communist Party (3)


China's Party Congress Begins Power Transfer

Getty/George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- The U.S. isn’t the only country that is choosing its future leadership this week. A Communist Party congress got under way late Wednesday night and will see a new set of leaders unveiled.

All 2,000 delegates assembled in Beijing for the week-long meeting, which begins a power transfer that takes place just once in a decade.

In preparation for the meeting, officials tightened security across the city, with policemen checking pedestrian passers-by, and transport restrictions were put in place.

The party congress officially concludes Wednesday, Nov. 14, when the nine or seven men who will make up the new Politburo Standing Committee -- and who will effectively govern China for the next 10 years -- will be unveiled for the first time as they walk on stage at the Great Hall of the People.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


China‚Äôs Disgraced Leader Faces Bribery and Sex Charges

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BEIJING) -- The fall of Bo Xilai was nearly complete Friday when China’s Politburo expelled him from the Communist Party, paving the way for him to stand trial on a list of charges that include bribery, involvement in a murder, and “improper sexual relations” with a number of women.

The announcement came on the eve of a weeklong holiday in China. The Chinese government also used the moment to announce that the leadership transition will begin Nov. 8.

Bo was expected to be part of that new leadership. Instead, he faces disgrace and a criminal trial, a fate that has already befallen his wife and former top aide.

Before his downfall, Bo, who led a ultra-left Maoist revival in recent years, was expected to assume his place on the Standing Committee of the Chinese Politburo -- essentially the nine or so people who make all the important decisions in China.

Instead, according to the Xinhua News Agency, the Politburo convened Friday and decided to expel Bo from the party all together and paved the way for him to face trial in a Chinese court.

Bo, who was last seen in public in March, was the final figure to fall in the worst scandal to hit China in a generation. Bo’s former police chief Wang Lijun was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this week for crimes that included attempted defection and helping to cover up the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.  Heywood, who had ties with Bo, was poisoned by Bo’s wife Gu Kailai. Gu was given a “suspended death sentence” in August.

Unlike Wang and Gu, the charges against Bo are coming straight from the Politburo.

According to Xinhua, the Politburo accused Bo of abusing power, taking bribes and bearing “a major responsibility” for the Heywood scandal.

The allegations reach all the way back to the beginnings of Bo’s political career from when he was the mayor of the port city of Dalian in the 1990s, to when he was party boss of Liaoning Province, on to his time as China’s commerce minister and finally as Chongqing party boss.

His own party accused Bo of taking advantage of his position to “seek profits from others” and “received huge bribes (without specifying how much) personally and through his family.”

They also mentioned that “Bo had or maintained improper sexual relationships with a number of women.”

“Bo Xilai’s actions created grave repercussions and did massive harm to the reputation of the party and state, producing an extremely malign effect at home and abroad,” said the Xinhua statement.

“His political career is over. There will be no chance of a comeback,” Hu Xingdou, professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology and a prominent blogger, told ABC News.

Bo is known as a “princeling” in China, the scion of a legendary Mao-era revolutionary.  The long litany of accusations serves one apparent purpose: to sully not only Bo but the Bo family name for years to come.

The extensive announcement left out significant and tantalizing details, like how much in bribes did he allegedly take and who were the women with whom he had improper relations.

Those missing details will ensure the continued attention of China’s population.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Chinese Villagers Kick Out Party Leaders from Town Under Siege

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- Chinese police have placed the southern Chinese fishing village of Wukan under siege for staging an open rebellion against the local communist party, according to news reports.

All of the local Communist Party cadres and the police force have fled the town, and the 20,000 residents of Wukan have taken over control of their village after being enraged at local officials for selling their land to real estate developers without their consent.

Late last week, the police reportedly started blocking roads leading to Wukan in an attempt to end a nearly three-month standoff between the villagers and the local government.

A Daily Telegraph reporter managed to sneak past the police checkpoint and reported that the village only has about 10 days worth of food left.  The police have cut off all supplies going in and out of Wukan.

The tension in the village began in September when residents became fed up over their local government’s role in the land grabbing. Hundreds of villagers stormed the Communist Party offices, smashing windows, flipping vehicles and clashing with riot police.

Most of Wukan’s administration left the village soon after, including the party secretary who had governed the village for nearly 30 years. Party officials tried to calm the anger by appointing 13 villagers as mediators to negotiate an agreement.

Wukan’s anger hit a fever pitch over the weekend when police seized five of the 13 appointed village mediators and tried to retake the village. The Daily Telegraph reported that early Sunday morning a thousand armed riot police moved to enter Wukan.

Then news came on Monday that one of the mediators, 43-year-old Xue Jinbo, died in police custody.  The official cause of death offered by police and party officials was “cardiac failure,” but Wukan residents have their suspicions. The police have reportedly refused to release Xue’s body to his family.

There are an estimated 180,000 protests -- or what Beijing calls ”mass incidents” -- every year in China, many arising from land disputes.  These protests are mainly directed at the local Communist Party and not the central government.  Some of the villagers the Daily Telegraph spoke to even appealed to Beijing for help to resolve the situation.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio