Beijing: A day after expelling disgraced leader Bo Xilai, the outgoing Chinese leadership on Saturday sought support of the people ahead of the key Congress of the Communist Party which will select a new set of leaders.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who along with the President Hu Jintao would be stepping down by the end of this year after a decade-long stint in power, asked people to unite in support of the Party ahead of the once in a decade leadership change to be made at the November 8 Congress of the party.
"Let us rally more closely around the Communist Party of China (CPC) central committee with comrade Hu Jintao as the general secretary," Wen told a meeting here today, apparently urging people to not get distracted by Bo scandal which has rocked the party.
According to official projections Hu would be succeeded by Vice President Xi Jinping and Vice Premier Li Keqiang would take over from Wen as the new Premier.
In his speech today, Wen defended the decade long stint under Hu, who followed wide spread economic reforms outlined by Mao`s successor Deng Xiaoping, setting aside hard-line Marxian economics.
"We have followed the overall guideline of making progress while ensuring stability, strengthened and improved macro regulations and given greater priority to stabilising growth," Wen said.
"While recognising achievements, we must always keep a cool head. Our country is still at the primary stage of socialism and productivity is not high," he said, as China wobbled with declining growth rates for the first time in three decades, hit hard by the decline in export markets due to crisis in EU and slow recovery of the US.
The November 8 Congress of the party which was also expected to outline a new economic and political path for the country will allow the party to "open new perspectives on development," Wen told a reception held at the Great Hall of the People to mark the 63 anniversary of the proclamation of the People`s Republic of China, (PRC) to be celebrated on October 1.
Wen also referred to the ongoing conflict between China and Japan over the disputed islands in East China sea saying that "we will firmly safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity."
Meanwhile, Bo Xilai who was expelled from party yesterday to face trial on a host of charges including sex, sleaze and corruption has also been removed from the membership of China`s legislature, National People`s Congress (NPC).
Bo is reportedly kept under house detention guarded
by security personnel.
The official media said that party was united in expelling Bo who was blamed of many serious charges.
"The decision to expel Bo Xilai from the Party and remove him from public office highlighted the Party`s resolve of policing itself and its commitment to the rule of law", a commentary by the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
Through Bo`s case, a principle of no matter how high the position a Party member holds and how influential he is, he will be held responsible, has been upheld, it said.
Investigations found that Bo abused his power, made severe mistakes and bore major responsibility in the Wang Lijun incident and the intentional homicide case of his wife, it said.
His wife Gu was given suspended death sentence in the case.
He took advantage of his office to seek profits for others and received huge bribes personally and through his family and maintained improper sexual relationships with a number of women, it added.