Beijing's Bargain of a Decade
The twin announcements coming out of Beijing last Friday may strike most as an incongruous pair. The first is the welcome news that the Politburo of the Communist Party has finally picked a start date, Nov. 8, for the 18th Party Congress, when it will complete a once-in-decade leadership transition. Second, the disgraced former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai was expelled from the Party and his case has been transferred to prosecutors. That Mr. Bo was charged with corruption shows how the Party's image is still tarnished, which may dampen the festivity of a historic occasion.
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The downfall of former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, who was formally placed under investigation by the Chinese Communist Party, has been greeted with elation in China. Only the demise of Zhou’s political ally and former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai two years ago elicited similar public reaction.
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