China's ruling Communist elite have endorsed the expulsion of former high-flying politician Bo Xilai and approved final preparations for the party's upcoming congress. The closed-door meeting of the Central Committee that ended yesterday was the last before Communist Party leader Hu Jintao and other government officials begin to cede power to Vice President Xi Jinping and others at the congress, which opens Thursday.
The Central Committee said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency that it endorsed decisions to expel Bo and former Railways Minister Liu Zhijun, who faces corruption charges, from the Communist Party. Bo is accused of a range of misdeeds including covering up his wife's murder of a British businessman. The Central Committee's statement applauded its performance over the past five years. "Faced with a complicated international environment and an arduous task of stable reform and development, the entire party under General Secretary Hu Jintao ... withstood the test of all types of difficulties and risks," it said.