China government tells city to fall in line after Bo purged

By REUTERS
March 17, 2012 06:58

 
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CHONGQING - China's central leadership has moved to bolster control over the southwest city-province of Chongqing after ousting its contentious yet popular chief, Bo Xilai, with state-run media on Saturday urging officials and residents there to toe the line.

The demands for unity with the ruling Communist Party's central leadership appeared in Chongqing newspapers that did not even mention Bo, removed this week after a scandal when his Vice Mayor Wang Lijun took refuge in February in a US consulate until he was coaxed out and put under investigation.

Until that episode, Bo was widely seen as an ambition-fuelled contender for a spot in the next central leadership to be settled late this year. But now the message to Chongqing officials and residents amounts to: forget about Bo, even if he was China's most high-profile province-level leader.

The Chongqing Daily reported that city officials on Friday effectively pledged loyalty to President Hu Jintao and the new boss in Chongqing, Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang.

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