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News In Brief

China begins drive to rid party of leftists and graft

China's Communist Party formally launched a massive, nationwide campaign Wednesday to purge from its ranks tens of thousands of leftists and corrupt party members.

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Guidelines for the long-awaited ''rectification'' campaign, to take place in stages over the next three years, were approved at a just-ended party plenum, an official announcement said. A 21-page document, released at the end of a Central Committee meeting, said all 40 million party members would undergo examination and ''reeducation,'' starting at the top levels and proceeding downward to the grass roots.