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Xi Jinping endorses revamping China's legal system amid crackdown on Alibaba

Xi Jinping endorses revamping China's legal system amid crackdown on Alibaba
Chinese leader Xi Jinping addressed state goals in planning his country's economy on Monday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Chinese leader Xi Jinping could be consolidating power as the Chinese Communist Party reveals a new policy to revamp its legal system amid a crackdown on Alibaba, the country's biggest e-commerce company.

According to China's state-owned news agency Xinhua, China's ruling party on Sunday released a 15,000-word document that proposed a "system of distinctively Chinese socialist rule of law."

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The Chinese government has set a deadline of 2035, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday, when "the state, government and a society governed by the rule of law will be basically completed, a socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics will be basically formed."

Beijing claimed the restructuring would guarantee the Chinese people's "right to equal participation and development will be fully guaranteed, and the modernization of the nation's governance system and capabilities will be largely achieved," the report said.

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News of the Chinese plan to place the party's leadership, or Xi, at the center of the country's legal system, comes after Xi stressed "self-reliance" at a meeting in Beijing on Monday in a speech that called for the development of the domestic economy.

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"Only by being self-reliant and developing the domestic market and smoothing out internal circulation can we achieve vibrant growth and development, regardless of the hostility in the outside world," Xi said, according to the Post.

Xi did not address Monday's one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 death in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

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Beijing's statement on greater government involvement in economic planning, which Xi justified amid a "turbulent time" comes as Alibaba founder Jack Ma remains missing.

Ma has not been seen in public since October, after he gave a speech criticizing China's banking regulations, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

"To innovate without taking risks is to strangle innovation," Ma had said. "There is no such thing as riskless innovation in the world."

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Last year, China's financial regulators canceled an initial public offering of Ant Group, a money market fund founded by Ma. Alibaba's shares have fallen nearly 30% and Ma's net worth has declined from $62 billion to $49 billion, according to Bloomberg data and the Financial Times.

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