The Straits Times
Published on Sep 29, 2012

Chinese premier calls on citizens to back Communist Party


BEIJING (AFP) - China's Premier Wen Jiabao called on Saturday for the Chinese to unite in support of the Communist Party and outgoing President Hu Jintao, ahead of a pivotal congress to usher in new leadership.

The announcement comes amid a damaging political scandal involving Bo Xilai, a senior party boss who is to stand trial for a litany of crimes including abuse of power and improper sexual relations.

"Let us rally more closely around the CPC central committee with comrade Hu Jintao as the general secretary," said Mr Wen in a speech two days before the 63rd anniversary of the proclamation of the People's Republic of China.

Mr Hu will handover power as head of the party to Vice President Xi Jinping during the congress on Nov 8, but will remain the country's president until next March.