China morning round-up: Wang Lijun verdict

Wang Lijun in court during the verdict in Chengdu, 24 Sept 2012
Image caption Wang's flight to the US consulate triggered Bo Xilai's downfall

Newspapers in mainland China downplay the verdict in the case of Wang Lijun, former police chief of Chongqing.

Wang was sentenced to 15 years in jail for ''bending the law for selfish ends, defection, abuse of power and bribe-taking" by a court in Chengdu on Monday.

Papers such as the Chongqing Economic Times and China Daily publish a report by the official Xinhua news agency in their inner pages, as they did for his trial and that of Gu Kailai.

People's Daily publishes the Xinhua report at the bottom of page two in its domestic edition. The copy in the Overseas Edition appears on page four.

The Global Times publishes the same report on the front page of its English edition, while its Chinese edition offers a round-up of international media analysis of the verdict, saying the outcome was as expected.

Hong Daode, a law professor at Beijing's China University of Political Science and Law, said the "lenient sentence" for Wang proved he did not reveal any state secrets to the US after entering the US consulate in Chengdu.

It is "very likely" that Wang disclosed evidence of corruption or other economic crimes committed by higher officials, Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po newspaper quoted Prof Hong as saying.

The South China Morning Post says the verdict "did little to shed light on the fate of his boss", Bo Xilai, former party chief in Chongqing and husband of Gu Kailai.

An anonymous analyst told Ming Pao Daily News Mr Bo would learn of the verdict in the Communist Party's internal investigation before the party's upcoming national congress (the dates for which are not yet known), while any possible criminal investigation could only take place after the congress.

Ming Pao's editorial says if Mr Bo does not face trial, the Communist Party will find it hard to convince people that it governs China according to the rule of law.

A Global Times bilingual editorial says: "The time when officials could go unpunished for corruption is long gone. Once an official is accused or questioned on the internet, an investigation will be carried out and a severe punishment will ensue once a violation is proved."

Meanwhile, the Chongqing Economic Times reports Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang, in his concurrent capacity as the Chongqing party chief, met Gary Locke, US ambassador to China, and Peter Haymond, US consul general to Chengdu, in Chongqing on Monday.

The report does not mention whether the two sides discussed the verdict in Wang Lijun's case.

Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News and Sing Tao Daily report former President Jiang Zemin made a speech after watching an opera at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing on Monday night.

Analysts believe this is a sign that Mr Jiang still has the ability to influence the expected leadership reshuffle at the upcoming party conference, said the reports.

China Daily and Shanghai Daily report the mass brawl at a Foxconn plant in Taiyuan.

Shanghai's China Business News says the Taiwanese firm faces a grim situation in managing its work force, as junior managers in their 20s lack experience to manage workers.

Guangzhou's 21st Century Business Herald says trade unions failed to defuse the situation by co-ordinating with workers and management.

The Beijing Times and Beijing News warn the capital could face its worst traffic jams of the year as the eight-day public holiday for the Mid-Autumn Festival and the national day approaches.

Recent reports say the government will waive highway tolls during the holiday to relieve traffic pressure across China.

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