The younger brother of former vice-premier Zou Jiahua has been murdered in a robbery in Beijing, Xinhua reported yesterday. Zou Jingmeng , a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) standing committee, was killed on Monday. The 60-year-old was the former director of the State Meteorological Bureau until he retired in 1996 and joined the CPPCC. The Xinhua report did not say if the robber had been caught. His murder mirrored that of Li Peiyao three years ago. Li, a National People's Congress vice-chairman, was killed in a bungled robbery attempt by a People's Armed Police officer. Li's death, blamed on the lax management of the paramilitary police force, led to the early retirement of its boss, General Ba Zhongtan , and a reorganisation of the force. Li's murderer was executed. Robberies have risen dramatically in major cities in recent years. The authorities have admitted the situation has not improved despite repeated crackdowns on gangsters and thieves. Zou Jiahua is now a vice-chairman of the NPC standing committee.