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China’s Communist Party places outspoken tycoon on probation

BEIJING — China’s Communist Party has placed a property mogul and outspoken government critic on probation for a year after he criticized state media for pledging absolute loyalty to the party.The punishment imposed by a Beijing district party branch to property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang is one step removed from expulsion, and seen as a stern warning to the tycoon and other party members that certain political dissent will not be tolerated.

In February, President Xi Jinping, the party leader, visited the official Xinhua News Agency, the party-controlled People’s Daily newspaper and state broadcaster CCTV.

At each place, he stated that absolute loyalty to the party is the media’s highest priority.

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Associated Press