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Wang Qishan, China's graft buster and President Xi Jinping's right-hand man, was not re-elected to the Communist Party's Central Committee on Oct. 24. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)
Politics

China's anti-graft chief Wang Qishan 'retires' from key party body

Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are the only top leaders left standing

BEIJING -- Chinese corruption buster Wang Qishan, long the right-hand man to President Xi Jinping, on Tuesday was not re-elected to the Communist Party's Central Committee.

At 69, Wang has passed the unofficial retirement age for party officials -- 68. But there is also speculation that his fortunes were affected by allegations leveled by exiled tycoon Guo Wengui. The fugitive businessman has accused Wang of owning a large stake in HNA Group, a conglomerate whose opaque ownership has fueled controversy.

Wang's removal from the Central Committee means he will not return to the Politburo Standing Committee, the party's top decision-making body. The same goes for four other standing committee members who did not make the cut for the Central Committee: Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli. 

That leaves Xi and Premier Li Keqiang as the only remaining standing committee members. A new roster is to be announced on Wednesday.

Also on Tuesday, the party incorporated Xi's political thinking into its constitution -- officially, "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era." This signifies that the increasingly powerful president and party general secretary has been elevated to the status of former leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.  

The twice-a-decade Communist Party congress, convening for the last day in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, passed a resolution on the constitutional amendment. An official handout said Xi's thinking continues in the line of Mao's and Deng's, and is the latest fruit of Marxism's development in China.

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