independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Bo scandal 'a profound lesson'

Chinese paramilitary policemen march ahead of the 18th national communist party congress in Beijing (AP)

China's communists called the scandal surrounding disgraced politician Bo Xilai a "profound lesson" for the ruling party, as delegates gathered in Beijing on the eve of a key leadership congress.

The party's handling of Mr Bo's case underlines the leadership's resolve to uphold integrity and prosecute corruption no matter how high ranking the culprits, congress spokesman Cai Mingzhao told a news conference.

The struggle against corruption remains long term, complex and extremely difficult, Mr Cai said.

The 18th national party congress that opens on Thursday will thoroughly address the issue and its disciplinary arm will adopt new measures in education, prevention, supervision and punishment, he said.

"Problems involving Bo Xilai... and others are serious corruption cases among our party's high-ranking leading cadres, and have offered a profound lesson," Mr Cai said.

Mr Bo had been one of China's highest-profile politicians and a candidate for higher office when he fell from grace amid a scandal over his wife's involvement in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Mr Bo dropped from view and in September was expelled from the party and sent for prosecution on charges including corruption and interference in his wife's case.

Mr Cai also cited Liu Zhijun, a former railways minister who was expelled from the party and faces corruption charges.

National party congresses are held once every five years and this year's meeting will usher in a once-in-a-decade transition to a new generation of top officials led by Vice President Xi Jinping.

In addition to selecting members of leading party bodies, the 2,270 delegates hear and deliberate over the work of the party over the last five years, a party discipline report and revisions to the party constitution.

Press Association

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