China Premier Li says will target corruption, no matter how high

BEIJING Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:39am EDT

China's Premier Li Keqiang takes questions during a news conference, after the closing ceremony of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing March 13, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

China's Premier Li Keqiang takes questions during a news conference, after the closing ceremony of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing March 13, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China will "seriously deal with" corrupt officials no matter how senior they are, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

"We will show zero tolerance for corrupt behavior and corrupt officials. No matter who it is, or how senior their position, everyone is equal before the law," Li said in remarks to reporters at the closing of the country's annual parliamentary session.

"If they violate party discipline or national law they will be seriously dealt with and punished according to the law."

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption a central pillar of his administration and has said it threatens the ruling Communist Party's very survival.

Speculation has gathered around China's former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang, who sources say is at the center of a corruption investigation reaching into the highest echelons of government, though Beijing has yet to formally confirm this.

(Reporting By Michael Martina, Ben Blanchard and Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Michael Perry)

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