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Xi launches siege of Shanghai faction

Shanghai’s Pilot Free Trade Zone is seen in this Nov. 11, 2013 photo.

TOKYO -- Ai Baojun, Shanghai's 55-year-old vice mayor, was placed under investigation for disciplinary violations and dismissed in November, sending shock waves through political, bureaucratic and business circles in China's financial and economic center.

     The disgraced official once served as president of Baoshan Iron & Steel, a major player in one of Shanghai's key industries. He also had a high-profile role as the director of the regulatory commission of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone.

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