News / Asia

China Tightens Security Ahead of Power Transfer

Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, Premier Wen Jiabao, left, and Vice President Xi Jinping, in Beijing, (May 4, 2012 file photo)
Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, Premier Wen Jiabao, left, and Vice President Xi Jinping, in Beijing, (May 4, 2012 file photo)
VOA News
Chinese authorities are tightening security in Beijing as the city prepares to host the Communist Party's 18th National Congress that will usher in the next generation of leaders.

State media are reporting increased police patrols and security checks around the capital. The Xinhua news agency says police are forming a "security belt" around Beijing to help ensure stability. The city's police chief recently told reporters that authorities are prepared to take "tough" measures "to create a harmonious and stable social environment" for the sensitive conference.

Beijing has not yet revealed the date of the congress. Though many have speculated it will take place in September or October, Xinhua only says it will be "in the latter half of this year."

At the conference, senior party leaders will reveal who they have chosen to fill the country's top governing bodies, the 25-member Politburo and its nine-member Standing Committee. Earlier this month, Communist leaders held a secretive meeting at the coastal resort town of Beidaihe, where they reportedly put their finishing touches on the tightly orchestrated once-a-decade transition process.

Observers say this year's leadership transition is especially sensitive for Communist leaders, who are dealing with consequences of the downfall of Bo Xilai, a disgraced Politburo member who was once a rising star in Chinese politics. Earlier this week, Bo's wife was convicted of murdering a British businessman over a failed financial deal. Bo himself has been stripped of his titles and is under investigation for corruption.  

In addition to the increased police presence, observers say that foreign and domestic news reports, as well as other online conversations, have been more closely monitored by government censors in an effort to enforce calm ahead of the event.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike from: CN
August 26, 2012 12:32 AM
Freedom! freedom! God, you know that is what we want, democracy. Bless Chinese people. The hell with harmony, the hell with despotism.

by: Peter from: DC
August 25, 2012 11:52 PM
To create "a harmonious and stable social environment" by intimidating and monitoring, it means the government cannot set up communication channels to its common people. Tougher measures taken, less stability gained.

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
August 24, 2012 12:24 PM
The CCP's main goal is to remain in power & have absolute monopoly on political power in China. They will not tolerate any political freedom for the Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur & Mongolian peoples. Since the early 20th century, the Chinese people have been fighting for democracy. I hope they achieve that dream soon.
In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
August 25, 2012 1:12 PM
go ask chinese if they prefer live in dictatorship China or free democratic India.
or you can compare the life of Tibetans live in China and those live in India. Yap, I remember just last week, two Tibetans got killed in India because of ethnic riot right? seems even Indians dont like you Tibetans, interesting?

by: Li from: China
August 24, 2012 7:52 AM
The police are willing to take "tough" measures to maintain "harmony" and "social stability". They will kill and torture anyone who threatens their power, in the name of harmony. Make sense?

Free the Chinese people. Peaceful revolution in China. Throw the despots out.
In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
August 25, 2012 1:08 PM
@Li yes it makes sense and worth it. Especially look at what is happening in Syria now. do you want China falls into the same chaos? thousands people killed from both sides? and give up all the economy success and better life we have now? stable is the first thing a government should guaranty then is the economy then we talking about freedom. Freedom is the last thing we should worry about compare to security and wealth.
yes, every year there are hundreds chinese being prosecuted by CCP, but it is still much much better than that is happening in Syria where hundreds people die in weekly bases. also better than in Iraq where all their wealth is burned during the war, and people still killing each others.
It is ok to kill hundred to protect millions.

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