World

Xi: 'Strong hands' needed ahead of party Congress

BEIJING: Stability is an absolute principle that needs to be dealt with using "strong hands", Chinese President Xi Jinping has told security officials ahead of next month's key Congress of the ruling Communist Party.

The party brooks no challenge to its rule and always steps up security ahead of important meetings.

Those working in the public security sector should improve political awareness and maintain the authority and unified leadership of the party, Mr Xi said, in comments reported by the official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday.

"Mr Xi noted that development and stability were the absolute principles, so both should be dealt with by strong hands," Xinhua reported.

It is important to prevent and control major risks, Mr Xi added.

More effort needs to be exerted to improve "social governance by socialism with Chinese characteristics" to ensure long-term peace, he was cited as saying.

Mr Xi has overseen a crackdown on civil society since he assumed office almost five years ago, locking up rights lawyers and dissidents the government accused of breaking the law.

The party also remains wary of "mass incidents", a euphemism for protests, of which there are many in China, on everything from pollution to corruption. - REUTERS

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