China morning round-up: The seventh party plenum

Female soldiers pose for photos in front of the portraits of China's President Hu Jintao and former President Jiang Zemin at an exhibition in Beijing, 31 Oct 2012
Image caption The plenum is the last before the 8 November congress

Newspapers report the beginning of a high-level Communist Party meeting ahead of the national congress.

Hong Kong's Beijing-backed Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao report the seventh plenum of the 17th central committee is to begin on Thursday. President Hu Jintao, as the party's secretary, will deliver a report on the Politburo's work.

The reports say members of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection - the party's top corruption-buster - will also attend the plenum, as they are expected to table reports on investigations into former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai and former railway minister Liu Zhijun.

Mr Bo and Mr Liu were stripped of their central committee membership after being expelled from the party. The plenum is expected to pick two alternate members to fill the vacancies, said the reports.

Ming Pao Daily News says the Beijing hotel hosting the plenum is being tightly guarded by soldiers and paramilitary police.

It says taxi drivers have been instructed not to pick up passengers heading for Chang'an Avenue - which runs through Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People - and the authorities promised to waive penalties if complaints were filed against the drivers.

The Global Times' bilingual editorial rebukes online criticism of tight security in Beijing.

"To work to create a favourable environment for a smooth Congress is a natural thing. This is part of China's political, social and cultural traditions," it said.

"Any incidents taking place during such grand events don't comply with traditional political culture."

Meanwhile, Sing Tao Daily says the authorities have "set the tone" for media in mainland China to describe the period under President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao as "the golden decade", amid criticism that the last 10 years have seen an increase in corruption cases and a lack of political reform.

Beijing News, citing a report from Xinhua, says a local party legal official in Hunan province listed his private assets on his microblog after being grilled by netizens. A commentary in the paper says it hopes such an initiative will eventually be institutionalised, making every official declare their personal assets.

Both the report and the commentary, however, made no reference to a report by the New York Times which claimed Premier Wen Jiabao's family had amassed billions of dollars.

Also on Thursday, China Daily and People's Daily report the cabinet has promised "to speed up efforts to control and improve the country's soil protection" against pollution.

Beijing News says the Environment Ministry published a decree urging local governments to consult the public on projects that could cause pollution concerns. The report does not mention the recent protest against the expansion of a petrochemical plant in Ningbo.

The Global Times reports the Chinese army has successfully test flown the J-31 fighter jet in Shenyang.

Citing foreign media, the paper's Chinese edition says the new plane is likely to be deployed on board China's aircraft carriers in the future.

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