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China to try anti-corruption activists

AFP-JIJI

Three Chinese anti-corruption activists who unfurled a banner calling for government officials to declare their assets were to be tried Tuesday for “illegal assembly,” their lawyers said, despite an official campaign against graft.

An anti-corruption drive launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping has been heavily publicized in state-run media, but the ruling Communist Party keeps a tight grip on political dissent.

Liu Ping, Wei Zhongping and Li Sihua — charged after displaying their banner outside a housing complex in April — were to plead not guilty, their lawyers said ahead of the hearing.

Asset disclosure is seen by some as a key change that could help China prevent graft after reports of enormous wealth amassed by officials and their families.