China: Corruption Could End Regime
Byline: Peter Simpson and Bill Allan in Beijing
RAMPANT corruption in China's ruling Communist Party could topple the regime, the country's outgoing president Hu Jintao warned yesterday.
And in chilling words that will rattle its anxious neighbours, Mr Hu said China must be prepared to strengthen its military.
During his opening speech to the 18th party congress, Mr Hu said: 'If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state.' Mr Hu added senior officials should strengthen 'supervision over their families and their staff, and they should never seek any privilege'.
His warning comes after revelations that the close family of outgoing premier Wen Jiabao was exposed as having amassed around [pounds sterling]2billion in 'hidden riches'.
And on the eve of the congress, high-ranking politician Bo Xilai was formally expelled from the party, following the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood by his wife Gu Kailai last November.
The Bo scandal has overshadowed the handover of power and exposed infighting and horse trading among hard-liners and reformers. …