[JURIST] China's ruling Communist Party announced the firing of a top party leader on Monday for his involvement in a pension plan scandal [AP report]. Shanghai Municipal Committee secretary Chen Liangyu [People's Daily profile] has been under investigation since June for allegedly mishandling funds earmarked for social security accounts and for other corrupt practices.
Critics say the dismissal indicates that President Hu Jintao [People's Daily profile] is not only responding to calls from the general public to end corrupt practices but is consolidating power in the ruling party in anticipation of next year's party congress, where Hu may appoint several associates to top party positions. VOA has more. Xinhua has local coverage.