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China’s Xi gains power with merger of anti-corruption bodies

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign stands to gain a major boost as the ceremonial legislature moves to establish a powerful new agency with authority over vast numbers of workers in the public sector.

The National People’s Congress began a third and final reading Tuesday of the draft supervision law described by state media as “aiming at a centralized, unified, authoritative and efficient supervisory network under the (Communist) Party’s leadership.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, applauds during a plenary session of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. China’s rubber-stamp lawmakers on Sunday passed a historic constitutional amendment abolishing presidential term limits that will enable President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely. At left is Politburo Standing Committee member Li Zhanshu and at right is Premier Li Keqiang.  AP photoChinese President Xi Jinping, center, applauds during a plenary session of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. China’s rubber-stamp lawmakers on Sunday passed a historic constitutional amendment abolishing presidential term limits that will enable President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely. At left is Politburo Standing Committee member Li Zhanshu and at right is Premier Li Keqiang. AP photo

The law would merge the party’s anti-graft watchdog body with one overseeing the civil service to form a new National Supervision Commission, defined as a political body independent of the Cabinet, courts and prosecutors, raising fears of political abuse.

The body will have the right to detain suspects for up to six months without seeking a judge’s permission.