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Geopolitics

China's Bo Xilai Expelled From Parliament, Stripped Of Immunity

XINHUA (China), WALL STREET JOURNAL (US)

Worldcrunch

BEIJING – Disgraced politician Bo Xilai has been formally expelled from China’s top legislature, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and stripped of his legal immunity according to Chinese state media.

Xinhua news agency reported that the NPC had removed Bo from his post last month, but only made the announcement at this Friday’s bi-monthly session.

"According to the law on the deputies to NPC and to local people's congresses, his post was terminated," Xinhua said.

The announcement also said “Bo had abused his power, made severe mistakes , was accused of taking advantage of his position to seek profits for others and received huge bribes personally or through his family ,” and "borne major responsibility" for the murder of a British businessman Neil Heywood.

Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai was convicted for the murder last month.

It is not clear whether the Bo’s trial will take place before the 18th Party Congress, which begins on Nov. 8, says the Wall Street Journal.

"I think the trial shouldn't start before the congress, as time is too tight, so the rumors that it will start in the next few days are incorrect," said Li Xiaolin, Bo Xilai’s lawyer. "It's a legal case and should not be handled as a political one."

The WSJ believes a trial could still happen in the next two weeks – and could last for a day only.

According to Li, his client is being held in Qincheng prison on the outskirts of Beijing, which is reserved for high-profile political figures.

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Geopolitics

China v. India: A New Twist In Asia's "Billion Club" Rivalry

The news that China's population has shrunk for the first time in 60 years, comes as India appears to be outperforming its giant neighbor on a number of fronts. But this would be reversal of fortune still has too many variables to predict the demise of one or the rise of the other.

Photo of a crowded street in Hyderabad, India

Street scene in Hyderabad, India

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — China and India have at least one notable feature in common: the Asian giants are the only two countries in the world with a population above one billion. Yet Beijing announced this week that China has registered its first decline in number of inhabitants after 60 years of continuous expansion. This comes as India’s population continues to grow — on the path to overtake China as the world's most populous country.

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