Bo Xilai, former Communist Party secretary in the southwestern city of Chongqing, could face severe punishment, a senior party official told The Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Chinese leaders face increasingly public pressure to crackdown on corruption, said Li Jingtian, executive vice president of China’s Central Party School and a former member of the Politburo. “We have always had severe punishment for corrupt officials,” he said, citing the cases of Liu Qingshan and Zhang Zishan, who were executed in the 1950s for accusations of embezzlement and other crimes. Li, whose Party School trains cadres and helps develop the party’s ideology, has no role in determining punishments for corrupt officials. However, he does have access to the party’s highest leaders and has worked directly with new General Secretary Xi Jinping. Li went on to say that he saw a role for social media in the crackdown on corruption.
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