Beijing's high-wire act: Balancing reform and growth

Beijing's high-wire act: Balancing reform and growth
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - On the morning of March 4, as the Chinese capital stirred to life under hazy white skies, senior government official Wang Min sat down to eat breakfast at the Asia Hotel in the centre of town along with fellow members of his delegation from Liaoning Province. They were there to attend the annual meeting of the country's parliament, the National People's Congress, which was set to kick off the next day.

Although Wang had moved on from his position as the top Communist Party official in the northeastern rust-belt province and was now working in a senior parliamentary position in Beijing, he still represented Liaoning to parliament.

At 8:30 a.m., Wang had finished his meal and was relaxing with a cup of green tea. It was the last time he was seen in public.

Two hours later, the official Xinhua News Agency released a brief statement saying Wang was being investigated "on suspicion of serious violation of discipline" by the Communist Party Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the formidable CCDI.

The bewilderment within the delegation was still visible two days later, when the Liaoning team met at the same hotel for a scheduled session to discuss policies for 2016.

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