Critic of Xi Jinping expelled from party on graft charges

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Jul 24, 2020, 11:09 AM(IST)

China President Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )

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Xi, who became ruling party leader in 2012, has suppressed criticism, tightened censorship and cracked down on unofficial organisations that have tried to take on the government.

Ren Zhiqiang, the former chairman of a state-owned real estate company who publically criticised President Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party. He will be prosecuted on corruption charges, the party announced on Friday.

Ren disappeared from public view in March after publishing an essay online that accused Xi of mishandling the outbreak that began in December in the central city of Wuhan. He is accused of corruption, embezzlement, taking bribes and abusing his position at a state-owned company.

Xi, who became ruling party leader in 2012, has suppressed criticism, tightened censorship and cracked down on unofficial organisations that have tried to take on the government.

Criticism of the party's response to the coronavirus focussed on its early efforts to conceal information and on propaganda portraying Xi and other leaders as rescuing the China from the disease.

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