China to abolish labor camps, major victory for Xi

November 15, 2013 18:03


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BEIJING - China will abolish its system of forced labor camps, the government said on Friday, a major victory for President Xi Jinping and a response to public outrage over a practice criticized as outdated and rife with human rights abuses.

The state Xinhua news agency said the decision was part of a package of political and economic reforms agreed at a conclave of the ruling Communist Party that ended earlier in the week.

In another potentially significant legal reform, Xinhua said the party had decided to work toward an independent judiciary - courts would be "appropriately" separated from local government units and judges would be given more power and responsibility to make their own decisions. It did not say when the changes would be carried out.

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