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Corruption and Greed

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  • Dick.
    Corruption and Greed [ BEIJING (Reuters) - China s outgoing President Hu Jintao warned that corruption threatened the ruling Communist Party and the state,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 7 10:56 PM
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      Corruption and Greed

      [ " BEIJING (Reuters) - China's outgoing President Hu Jintao warned that
      corruption threatened the ruling Communist Party and the state,
      promising political reform as he formally opened a party congress that
      will usher in a once-in-a-decade leadership change.

      More than 2,000 hand-picked delegates gathered at Beijing's cavernous
      Great Hall of the People for the start of the week-long session, held
      against a backdrop of growing social unrest, public anger at graft and a
      yawning gap between rich and poor.

      "If we fail to handle this issue (corruption) well, it could prove fatal
      to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of
      the state," Hu warned in an opening speech.

      "Reform of the political structure is an important part of China's
      overall reform. We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts
      to carry out the reform of the political structure and make people's
      democracy more extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice."

      But nobody expects a move towards full democracy and party spokesman Cai
      Mingzhao made clear on Wednesday that one-party rule was inviolate.

      The party has expelled senior regional leader Bo Xilai and accused him
      of abusing his office, taking huge bribes and other crimes in a dramatic
      fall from power that has shaken the leadership transition.

      "We must never let words act in place of the law or (personal) power
      replace the law; nor will we allow the ignoring of the law for personal
      benefit," Hu said.

      During the congress, Hu will give up his role as party chief to anointed
      successor Vice President Xi Jinping. Xi then takes over state duties at
      the annual meeting of parliament in March.

      Just weeks after anti-Japan riots swept city streets following a row
      over disputed islands, Hu also said China should strengthen the armed
      forces, protect its maritime interests and be prepared for "local war"
      in the information age.

      "We should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources,
      resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests and build
      China into a maritime power," he said.

      China is also locked in dispute with Southeast Asian neighbours on
      disputed areas in the South China Sea. Relations with the United States
      have been bogged down by accusations of military assertiveness in the
      region from both sides.

      The government has tightened security in the run-up to the congress,
      even banning the flying of pigeons in the capital, and has either locked
      up or expelled dozens of dissidents it fears could spoil the party.


      Security was especially tight on Thursday around the Great Hall and
      Tiananmen Square next door, the scene of pro-democracy protests in 1989
      that were crushed by the military.

      Police dragged away a screaming protester as the Chinese national flag
      was raised at dawn.

      The party, which came to power in 1949 after a long and bloody civil
      war, has in recent years tied its legitimacy to economic growth and
      lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

      Hu said China's development should be "much more balanced, coordinated
      and sustainable", and it should double its 2010 GDP and per capita
      income by 2020.

      But China experts say that unless the new leadership pushes through
      stalled reforms, the nation risks economic malaise, deepening unrest,
      and perhaps even a crisis that could shake the party's grip on power.

      Chinese growth slowed for a seventh straight quarter in July-September,
      missing the government's target for the first time since the depths of
      the global financial crisis, but other data point to a mild year-end

      Advocates of reform are pressing Xi to cut back the privileges of
      state-owned firms, make it easier for rural migrants to settle
      permanently in cities, fix a fiscal system that encourages local
      governments to live off land expropriations and, above all, tether the
      powers of a state that they say risks suffocating growth and fanning

      As the congress began, authorities clamped down on dissidents.

      "My internet has been cut off, I can't receive telephone calls and three
      people follow me when I leave the house to walk my dog," Xinna, the wife
      of one of China's longest-serving political prisoners, Mongol rights
      activist Hada, told Reuters.

      "All I want from this congress is my husband to be released and for our
      lives to get back to normal," she said from her home in the frigid
      northern Chinese city of Hohhot.

      A Tibetan rights group reported that three teenaged Tibetan monks in the
      south western province of Sichuan set themselves on fire on Wednesday in
      protest against Chinese rule, bringing to almost 70 the number of
      self-immolations by Tibetans in 18 months.

      China has branded the self-immolators "terrorists" and criminals and has
      blamed exiled Tibetans and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the
      Dalai Lama, for inciting them." ]

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