Peking toughens penalties for major crimes

China announced tougher sentences, including capital punishment, for such crimes as smuggling, drug trafficking, and bribery - a move mainly aimed at rooting out corrupt government officials.

China also announced the dismissal of four government ministers and a plan to reduce the number of vice-premiers from 13 to two as part of vice-chairman Deng Xiaoping's sweeping reform of the bureaucracy.

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