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Top China official in surprise demotion

  • A close ally of China's president has been demoted in what is seen as a surprise move.

    Ling Jihua had been touted for promotion in the country's leadership change, which begins later this year.

    According to state media reports, Ling's demotion may have been due to political manoeuvring ahead of the change, which occurs every 10 years.

    However, there have also been reports that his son's involvement in a Ferrari car crash may have been the reason.

    The identity of the passengers was never revealed but reports have surfaced that his son was behind the wheel and may even have died.

    The Communist Party may have sought to avoid a scandal that exposed the lavish lifestyle of the ruling elite.

    Ling served as the head of the Central Committee's General Office, effectively the chief of staff in President Hu’s government.

    He was demoted to the head of the United Front Work Department over the weekend.