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Zhou, once one of the most powerful and feared people in the country, had not been seen since October.
Authorities use anniversary to highlight similarities between President Xi Jinping and leader behind nation's success.
Zhou Yongkang, who retired from powerful Politburo standing committee in 2012, facing "serious disciplinary violation".
China still uses labour camps to silence democracy activists and others it considers malcontents.
Zhang Zhijun's visit is first ministerial-level contact with Taiwan, and follows mass anti-China protests.
The two governments have not met since they split 65 years ago, following a brutal civil war that left millions dead.
Starting next year, smoking in public will be illegal in China, meaning an end to 'ashtray diplomacy'.
China has been strategically gifting bears to countries that can help its economy grow since the mid-1960s.
President Xi notes "mistakes' of country's founding father during scaled-back festivities.
Wang Keping, a provocative artist critical of China's government, has opened his first solo exhibition in Beijing.
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UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
 
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