China tries party official

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The Independent Online
Peking (AFP, Reuter) - Wu Jiaxiang, an ally of the dismissed Chinese Communist Party secretary Zhao Ziyang, is being tried on charges of inciting rebellion and may face four years in jail. A former Communist Party official in the eastern province of Anhui, Mr Wu was arrested and imprisoned after the crackdowns on the 1989 student demonstrations.

China's supreme leader, Deng Xiaoping, who turns 88 today, was expected to win approval for his economic reform plans but had no obvious successor to turn his vision into reality. Despite doubts among purists, a Communist Party congress later this year is expected to approve Mr Deng's vision of a 'socialist market economy' that will transform China and keep the party in power. Yet the increasingly feeble Mr Deng has been unable to find a lasting heir powerful enough to ensure his legacy lives on in practice.