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Count Bobulescu
15-04-2012, 01:06 PM
This is old news by now and I’m surprised no-one here has posted anything about it so far. I thought I’d start this thread at this late stage because this thing is beginning to look like it isn’t going away anytime soon. Given the UK connection I assume most are up to date, so I’ll just post a few links without comment and see where it goes. I’m goin all WaPo simply because it’s easiest. Oldest first.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/after-bos-ouster-a-mysterious-death-adds-to-chongqings-churning-rumor-mill/2012/03/28/gIQASEmZhS_story.html

BEIJING — Until a week ago, few Chinese had ever heard of Neil Heywood, and fewer still raised any questions when the 41-year-old British business consultant was found dead in his hotel room. Today, he is so famous — and such a sensitive topic — that China’s Internet censors have banned searches of Heywood’s Chinese name, Hai Wu De.
Such is the insatiable appetite of tens of millions of Chinese for news — no matter how tangential or speculative — about the country’s biggest political drama in two decades that “Heywood” has joined “tanks,” “military coup” and a host of other search terms now proscribed by the ruling Communist Party as it struggles to calm a national spasm of jitters.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/amid-rumors-of-unrest-china-cracks-down-on-the-internet/2012/03/31/gIQAf7vHnS_story.html

BEIJING — After weeks of Internet-fueled rumors (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/after-bos-ouster-a-mysterious-death-adds-to-chongqings-churning-rumor-mill/2012/03/28/gIQASEmZhS_story.html) suggesting fissures in the top leadership ranks, Chinese authorities struck back this weekend, closing 16 Web sites and arresting at least six people in a broad crackdown on the freewheeling world of cyberspace.
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said in a dispatch late Friday that the Web sites were closed, and the unnamed individuals detained, for “fabricating or disseminating online rumors.” For the past two weeks, the Internet has been filled with rumors of an internal power struggle after the largely unexplained March 15 ouster (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bo-xilai-fired-in-communst-party-leadership-shakeup/2012/03/15/gIQA3uaLDS_story.html) of the popular provincial Communist Party chief Bo Xilai.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bo-xilai-removed-from-party-posts-wife-accused-in-british-businessmans-murder/2012/04/10/gIQA1jDL8S_story.html

BEIJING — Bo Xilai, the charismatic Communist Party chieftain who built a popular following and seemed destined for one of China’s top leadership jobs, was unceremoniously stripped Tuesday of his remaining party posts, and his wife was arrested on suspicion of homicide. The widening scandal involves business quarrels, a flight to an American diplomatic outpost and the alleged murder of an expatriate British businessman.
In the secretive world of Chinese elite politics, Bo’s downfall in the space of just two months has been nothing short of spectacular. As of Tuesday night, Bo — the scion of one of China’s revolutionary veterans — was the subject of an investigation for “serious discipline violations,” according to a terse official dispatch.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/populism-may-be-legacy-of-fallen-chinese-leader-bo-xilai-whose-popularity-endures/2012/04/11/gIQAHB8CAT_story.html

CHONGQING, China — Scandal-ridden politician Bo Xilai, the most senior Chinese leader to fall from power in years, remained popular even as the machinery of the all-powerful Communist Party bore down on him.
In parks and plazas across Chongqing, the inland megacity he ran the past four years, people praised him as recently as last week for his boldness in creating jobs and busting organized crime. They dismissed any excesses as no different from those of other politicians.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinas-communist-party-fearing-bos-following-shows-support-for-his-ouster/2012/04/11/gIQA98tFAT_story.html

BEIJING — China’s Communist Party machine sought Wednesday to stave off criticism of the ouster of disgraced politician Bo Xilai (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bo-xilai-removed-from-party-posts-wife-accused-in-british-businessmans-murder/2012/04/10/gIQA1jDL8S_story.html) and the arrest of his wife in a murder probe, coordinating an official chorus of approval and moving to suppress Internet references to the matter.
Editorials and official commentaries in the state-run news media said the decision to dismiss the former Chongqing party chief from his remaining posts showed that the party respects the rule of law. In the capital, party members and officials announced their unanimous support for the decision, according to the Beijing News. And the evening news broadcast on state-run CCTV featured interviews with party officials, academics and ordinary people from across the country, all lauding Bo’s removal.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinese-army-leaders-call-for-unity-after-bo-xilais-dismissal/2012/04/13/gIQALZTzET_story.html

BEIJING — Chinese senior military officers and commissars joined the Communist Party’s vast propaganda machine Friday in a flood of calls for unity following the purge of the disgraced politician Bo Xilai and the arrest of his wife on murder charges (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bo-xilai-removed-from-party-posts-wife-accused-in-british-businessmans-murder/2012/04/10/gIQA1jDL8S_story.html).
The unusual pleas from the political leadership of the People’s Liberation Army seemed designed to counter persistent rumors of splits within the ranks over Bo’s ouster, and to dampen speculation that the charismatic Bo — the son of a revolutionary hero — still has residual support in the military. But the intensity of the barrage raised as many questions as it answered.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/fans-of-bo-xilai-rally-to-ousted-chief-in-china/2012/04/13/gIQAJn8aFT_story.html


HONG KONG — With China’s propaganda apparatus in overdrive as the Communist Party demolishes the reputation of one of its former stars, a few defiant and angry fans are sticking to their guns.
“We support the Chongqing Model and Bo Xilai,” declared a call to arms posted on the Web site (http://www.jinbushe.org/) of the Progress Society, a pugnacious “new left” fraternity that trumpets the ousted Chongqing Party boss as a hero. Its logo features a panda wearing a Mao cap and clutching a rifle in front of a Chinese flag.
James Fallows has lived in China on and off for twenty years and will be worth reading when he has something to say.
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/placeholder-on-bo-xilai/255902/

A number of people have written in to ask why I haven't put up anything extensive, or at all, on the roiling controversy surrounding former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai, his wife (and now murder suspect) Gu Kailai, the British businessman and apparent murder victim Neil Heywood, Bo's former police chief and "anti-corruption" ally Wang Lijun, and the rest of the cast in the drama unfolding minute by minute in Chongqing, Beijing, and elsewhere.

Is it because I consider it unimportant? Obviously on the contrary. This is the biggest political drama in China at least since the Tiananmen crackdowns of 1989, with ramifications no one can confidently predict. It's precisely because it's so important that I have not wanted to say anything until I knew something worth saying. For the moment, here is an Atlantic Wire item (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2012/04/chinas-nagging-political-scandal-now-murder-case/50964/) with leads to other stories. I will try to do a more comprehensive roundup soon, since so much good work is being done by so many analysts inside and outside China.

morticia
15-04-2012, 02:27 PM
I find this one a bit weird; what on earth was the motive?? And why is Bo Xilai being dumped for the sins of his wife; or do they reckon both were involved? I understand Heywood was cremated asap, so how do they prove anything anyway?

Very weird....

Hapax
15-04-2012, 02:38 PM
There's no doubt this is a major story, but it's very difficult to read the signs without a fairly good understanding of the internal dynamics of the Chinese political system, or enough grasp of the language to follow the local media, official and unofficial.


I’ll just post a few links without comment and see where it goes{/quote]

That's as comprehensive a gathering of sources as I can imagine at present from western sources. Thanks, CB!

I see a new slant on the story today:

[quote]There are unconfirmed rumours that a British businessman thought to have been murdered in China was poisoned. The allegation appears to have come from a report on a Chinese-language website based outside the country. The Chinese authorities have made no comment on the rumours.


The Chinese government has tried to downplay the connection between Mr Heywood's death and the political changes place in Beijing.

A commentary piece published by the state-run Xinhua news agency on Sunday said the death is being handled normally and should be treated without "fuss, not to mention excessive interpretation or bias".

"It has nothing to do with a so-called 'political struggle'," it went on.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-17719621

Hmmmm. Of course not.

I assume there will be a very high-profile (show-) trial coming up soon, but I'm sure a lot more information and disinformation will surface before then. I wonder what other prominent figures will be implicated. Given the fondness of the current Chinese for capital punishment, that must be on the cards too.

Yojimbo
15-04-2012, 02:43 PM
I think the reason for the lack of discussion is, quite simply, that its so difficult to understand what exactly is going on.

There seems little doubt but that there has been a long term plot by senior CCP officials to nail Bo. These things don't happen suddenly in China, the moves to get rid of him would not have happened unless senior politburo members were certain that he had been isolated politically and so could be safely jettisoned.

But the issue of the dead Briton is particularly perplexing. Some writers seem to think its a set up, but that doesn't make any sense - if they decided to set up his wife for a murder, they would not have used a foreigners death, too risky to involve another countries government.

The other great unknown is why on earth Bo's head of police ran to a US consulate for help. That was either extraordinarily stupid, or it indicates that he was certain he was to be killed if he didn't do something drastic.

I think, using Occams Razor, the most likely explanation is that a lot of powerful people were gathering up information to use against Bo, but things got out of control, with various people, including the Chief of Police and the English businessman finding out far too much (it seems this guy may have been something of a conduit for dodgy money for Bo - he seems to have been looking after Bo's son when he was studying in British schools which should have been out of the financial reach of a humble public official). I would suspect that Bo and his wife were up to a lot of no good, and when it looked like things were running out of control, they overstepped the mark and tried to remove witnesses. This was precisely what the Politburo were waiting for, and they stepped in. If it all sounds Soprano-ish, well, thats Chinese politics for you.

Incidentally, things aren't helped by Western reporters confusion over Bo's politics. His association with self proclaimed Maoist groups should not be interpreted as indicating he was a leftist extremist. Lots of political groups in China portray themselves as Maoists in order to protect themselves from accusations of treachery. A bit like Americans always wrapping the flag about themselves before making any political statements outside the cosy consensus. Bo seemed to have been very much a populist nationalist without any particular ideological attachment apart from his own ambition.

Count Bobulescu
15-04-2012, 08:35 PM
The money is spilling out of the jar.


http://www.todayonline.com/Hotnews/EDC120415-0000015/Bo-Xilais-sisters-in-law-ran-a-S$157-million-empire

BEIJING - The sisters of Gu Kailai - who is suspected of murdering a United Kingdom citizen and is the wife of disgraced Chinese official Bo Xilai - controlled a web of businesses from Beijing to Hong Kong to the Caribbean worth at least US$126 million (S$157 million), regulatory and corporate filings show.

Gu Kailai, 53, was the youngest of five daughters of a People's Liberation Army general, according to a Chinese-language website affiliated with the Communist Youth League. She rose from being a butcher's assistant during the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution to become a lawyer who argued cases in the United States.

Now China says she is suspected of murdering businessman Neil Heywood in November, and her husband this week was suspended from the Communist Party's elite Politburo.

Her sisters focused on business rather than politics. Gu Wangjiang, 64, the oldest, is a Hong Kong national who owns S$114 million in shares of an eastern China printing company, according to a Shenzhen exchange filing tracked by Bloomberg.

Ms Gu Wangjiang and her sister, Ms Gu Wangning, serve as directors of several other companies, including some that Hong Kong records trace to the British Virgin Islands. They also have made millions selling Hong Kong real estate.

Another sister, Ms Gu Zhengxie, 62, was a top official at one of the country's biggest state-owned companies.

Their wealth - and the fact they put some assets offshore where ownership is harder to trace - illustrate how the politically connected thrive in China, a country where Mr Bo himself last month warned of the dangers of a rising wealth gap. Bo’s Son on the Run?


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304818404577345680438913376.html

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The son of Bo Xilai, the sacked Chinese Communist Party official at the center of the country's biggest political crisis in a generation, appears to have left his apartment near Harvard University, escorted by private security guards, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Bo Guagua, 24 years old and a postgraduate student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, didn't normally have a security detail. He was no longer in his upscale apartment in a modern seven-story building in Cambridge, a concierge working there said on Saturday. He left in recent days, but it wasn't clear where he had gone, how long he was expected to be gone, or whether he planned to return to classes this week.

The concierge said staff at the building, which features a sun deck and a gym, had been told not to answer questions about the matter; she didn't say by whom. Apartments like Mr. Bo's typically rent for about $2,950 a month, according to rental websites.

The younger Mr. Bo is the most prominent of the younger members of a group known in China as "princelings", who are widely resented because of the privileges they enjoy as the descendants of revolution-era heroes and their often-extravagant lifestyles. Before the scandal, the Bo family was regarded as one of the most prestigious in the party elite. The couple's relatives have broad business connections in China and Hong Kong, where many members of China's elite do business.

Count Bobulescu
16-04-2012, 04:41 PM
Here’s the James Fallows article round up referenced in the OP. have not read the underlying yet.
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/from-bo-xilai-to-helen-keller-todays-china-news-roundup/255936/

(http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/from-bo-xilai-to-helen-keller-todays-china-news-roundup/255936/)
The Atlantic's own Helen Gao has a very interesting look (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/rumor-lies-and-weibo-how-social-media-is-changing-the-nature-of-truth-in-china/255916/) of the interplay among rumor, fantasy, official "fact," and forced revisions to those facts, in the riveting Bo Xilai drama in China. Part of her story is based on following Chinese social media feeds, including this message from Weibo, the counterpart to Twitter:


Reuters has an attention-getting story today on this topic (http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/04/16/bo-xilai-neil-heywood-gu-kailai-idINDEE83F06720120416?). It's an answer to this question: If Bo Xilai's wife really did order the killing of a British businessman (as she has now been accused of), why on Earth would she have done that? Here's the Reuters headline. Thanks to Clement Tan, formerly of the Atlantic, for the lead.

Yojimbo
16-04-2012, 09:46 PM
The Reuters story does sound quite credible. Even the marriage details ring true - a lot of Chinese power couples are based on business rather than love, so its not uncommon for Chinese wives to have close relations with someone outside her husbands direct circle - if its convenient for the husband, everyone turns a blind eye to it.

Another issue is that powerful, rich Chinese love to have a connection outside China - a relation or trusted confidant - its always useful to have a semi-legitimate reason to have business relations in a western country which can double up as a way of hiding corrupt gains, not to mention having a bolthole to escape to.

It does indicate though what will happen if the Chinese system starts to rock. A hell of a lot of rich, powerful people will leave very quickly, with all their moveable cash. This is what Keynesians might call a pro-cyclical force which could make a downturn get very nasty.

Count Bobulescu
16-04-2012, 10:39 PM
It does indicate though what will happen if the Chinese system starts to rock. A hell of a lot of rich, powerful people will leave very quickly, with all their moveable cash. This is what Keynesians might call a pro-cyclical force which could make a downturn get very nasty.And I have the feeling that with all the various warning signs over the last two years there has been a lot of that going on for some time.

Yojimbo
16-04-2012, 11:54 PM
And I have the feeling that with all the various warning signs over the last two years there has been a lot of that going on for some time.

The Chinese are among the biggest purchasers of property on the east and west coasts of the US, plus in London and Switzerland. Much of it goes unnoticed because so much of it is via agents or through family members who are European/US citizens.

Count Bobulescu
17-04-2012, 03:03 PM
The Chinese are among the biggest purchasers of property on the east and west coasts of the US, plus in London and Switzerland. Much of it goes unnoticed because so much of it is via agents or through family members who are European/US citizens.
The most expensive residential property sold in Wash DC in 2011was bought by a young Chinese "tech" couple who have been accumulating such trophies at bargain prices in the last few years. The 2011 purchase was for $21M down down from an initial asking of $49M in 2008.

Count Bobulescu
17-04-2012, 03:06 PM
Bo Xilai reportedly blocked murder investigation of wife

Top news: More details are coming to light in the murder and corruption scandal that has rocked China's ruling elite. Reuters is reporting (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0014J4Vo8n0g91qREUJ1ZIFoa_VOoazUbDBRuwtbA bWND9WQI8bZjh7Icfq4YEW0Gcxsjeb7Ew64cbq_NNQ2ft5-KUIdmpZ6v9UiuNYoIigkYRCwRjikP3r-PNsQhT380vXlx1JTMNifVbwr6YUc2MDdtxpUTq3MHw-Q_UyRTdOoEWL-Mgh82eS8pmmjBGoHAUrDS0wu8WEb7PU904WI3U0uQ==) that former Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai had allowed and then tried to block an official investigation into allegations that his wife was behind the murder of a British businessman. Neil Heywood, who was found dead on Nov. 15 and is now believed to have been poisoned, had allegedly been threatening to expose (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0014J4Vo8n0g90Jhinm0XRU6uJS-JxeVaFM4pxmzO1bThaTRe4gOZeuhxg4vmcTPjaFCD6d0m3o4O1 UBNQdZNePrdnxROfQvG3tGEyrcpBkL9JQONv4B_2uQ-WKW63MeiwyOxyxiYc5cM_zeQho-RnPmSqlnX2aJ3rZXf7YPPvSqBA4sdnutbJmWbzHIc4PI_OY4qR ACaJD7OkL8zz1QXM1ZEYhNC4M9Ip5MROFfLFrdIKJ0VKDaqnsX guCzsvU_aelUsVf4tU6vsU=) a plan by Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, to move money out of the country.
Bo's police chief, Wang Lijun, reportedly confronted Bo with evidence of Gu's involvement on Jan. 18 and was first allowed to proceed with his investigation before Bo quashed it several days later. Wang apparently attempted to seek asylum at the U.S. consulate on Feb. 6 before being arrested.
Gu and Wang are currently in custody while Bo has not been seen in public since March. The scandal involving Bo, once seen as a shoe-in for a senior party leadership post, has exposed what some observers have called the largest rift within the party since Tiananmen Square. While not mentioning Bo specifically, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao called corruption (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0014J4Vo8n0g919RRWo5l8OQOWd-OJNtseDNF81sgk2V03oO0Ha1tHNA-i-SiPVcKWCbB3YHlh6ixZ9bXv42_QK_Lx9wgkOHuxDdmJ9WaIgRk jPIUlZR_YAj7xpoWKOx0uzDKcX1dZi5EV5vInfAdIllOoqMEm0 RzZf) the greatest threat to the party in an interview with a respected political journal this week.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to raise (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0014J4Vo8n0g90mEZTk9UjZdPiOTlv7EBo3bYMjfD 8tHChUDDr-xsw5TIGjKHT6VkK2zcASfjZ1xX-_Xno0fkmmKGo1IUZJHpZvdyrpWjCgf848U5f9hy2S3WEPzgEZ3 CRfDgpv1S1u8MY62cEdqFvDTU7HVjioWHJK) the issue of Heywood's death in a meeting with a senior Chinese official at Downing Street this week. Chinese officials initially said that Heywood, who had lived in China for 10 years, died as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, an explanation accepted by the British embassy and his family. The British government has reportedly decided to allow Heywood's Chinese widow to enter the country if she wishes.
Scrutiny has also fallen (http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0014J4Vo8n0g925_SMOTVY4qlqslpqlBN3IpBCOIB VkdCXVUmHtXUUtDSgWjTPpG3MT5UbFPZDbHVIg-Epx1Jt1hN2uXpgl1JZAX7IYnUWeDAFNnG421Wuhx3A3Za0p1Yd Y0NMJIMEov0Xe7TvYtmncSDkAjEAhI5wYQp5tdGKIT2DQGRREm pxqXJO99LB6mS1P-UsgmMpcZSF7q1fcwb1HQsIZREyjW6y_u5Pt6XwvHBEnwPBRH8G huTo-PwvyMC8lER5e87oWYaMoNXva4judvw==)on Bo's son Bo Guagua, a Harvard student whose flamboyant lifestyle has reportedly irritated party leaders.

Count Bobulescu
17-04-2012, 04:42 PM
Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal on Bo Xilai and China's rise (http://theatlantic.us2.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=ed2d318978b7dc9b30b1f464f&id=6268a20654&e=e5c72d445c) The intrigue that took down Bo Xilai, Communist party chief of Chongqing, and made his wife a murder suspect, shouldn't have caused such a ripple in the nation's political stability. But rumors of a coup and threats of another Cultural Revolution have abounded in the weeks since the affair erupted. "[T]he scandal wouldn't resonate among Chinese if it were an isolated case. In reality it's the norm." The preferred explanation -- that it's a face off between Bo's "leftism" and the party's orthodoxy -- doesn't hold, Stephens argues. Instead, he says, the Chinese are enraged by the way their political leaders run cities like fiefdoms and the lack of accountability in their form of government. This affair has big implications for China's future. "This is not a country on its way to global supremacy. The Bo scandal may pass soon enough, but what it has revealed will prove increasingly difficult to ignore."

Count Bobulescu
18-04-2012, 11:03 PM
Now for the straight dope on Bo we turn to CCTV News to learn:

http://english.cntv.cn/program/china24/20120418/107373.shtml

It’s been a few days since former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai was removed from his other positions. The move has received firm support from the whole party and the public. The scandal has put Chongqing under the spotlight, but after a day's work, people there continue to enjoy themselves as usual.
After sundown, it’s time for fun in Chongqing. Local snacks, dance groups and night shopping bring the city alive in the evening hours. There’s something for everybody, no matter what age.
Jia Qiongyun, Chongqing resident, said, "We’ve organized these dancing hours for many years. Every day we come here at 7 o’clock and leave around 10. Most of the dancers are retired local residents.

Count Bobulescu
19-04-2012, 10:11 PM
More on Bo.
http://www.npr.org/2012/04/18/150859101/beijing-tries-to-control-growing-political-scandal?ft=3&f=1001&sc=nl&cc=nh-20120418

Heywood was murdered for threatening to expose plans to transfer money overseas, according to a leak from the official Chinese investigation reported by Reuters. Lurid rumors of cyanide and poisoned drinks have been flying around China's Internet. But none of it — even the most sensational allegations — comes as a surprise to Chinese journalist Jiang Weiping. He worked for the state-run media in Hong Kong, but spent five years in prison and another three effectively under house arrest after using a pseudonym to report on the Bo family's corruption. He now lives in Canada.
In a telephone interview with NPR, Jiang described how Bo and his wife operated back in the late 1980s. Bo was running Dalian's propaganda office, which oversaw cultural affairs. His wife, who is also a lawyer, started the Folk Customs Culture Research Institute.

Count Bobulescu
20-04-2012, 02:14 PM
After Bo’s departure the families of thousands he locked up are seeking justice. His reach went both deep and wide.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/after-bos-fall-chongqing-victims-seek-justice/2012/04/19/gIQAxBzGUT_story.html?hpid=z1

BEIJING — The dramatic ouster of Bo Xilai as Communist Party chief in Chongqing has prompted an outpouring from people who say their relatives were wrongly jailed under his rule and want the government to reopen their cases.
More than 4,000 people were jailed during an aggressive anti-crime campaign that Bo launched in late 2007. While Bo insisted that he was cracking down on gangsters and lawlessness, critics say he led a brutal effort designed to punish rivals and squeeze money from local businesses.

How the government handles the myriad cases and the mounting evidence of wrongdoing poses yet another test for a Chinese leadership that is anxious to contain the growing scandal, but that also claims to be publicly committed to upholding the rule of law.

One way for officials to show they really are concerned with the law, critics say, would be to reopen all the criminal cases in Chong-qing under Bo’s nearly five-year tenure, and not just investigate the case of the deceased Briton.
So far, however, China’s Communist authorities have shown no desire to revisit the anti-crime campaign and the cases of thousands still imprisoned.

Count Bobulescu
21-04-2012, 05:52 PM
More fallout from Bo.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/after-ouster-of-bo-xilai-questions-surround-chinas-security-chief/2012/04/20/gIQAwX3IWT_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

BEIJING — With Chinese politics roiled by the purge of Bo Xilai, a former provincial Communist Party chief, there are growing questions about whether the corruption and murder scandal that felled him might reach into the Party’s highest echelon to undercut an official considered Bo’s staunchest ally and defender.
Zhou Yongkang, China’s top official in charge of the country’s internal security apparatus, is considered close to Bo, and was the most prominent backer of some of Bo’s most controversial measures in Chongqing. Those included Bo’s ferocious clampdown on organized crime, his social welfare policies and a campaign to revive “red” culture (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinese-communist-partys-90th-anniversary/2011/06/27/AG6vzUnH_gallery.html) that many saw as a worrying throwback to China’s violent Cultural Revolution.
Oops!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-web-site-covering-china-scandal-disrupted-by-cyberattack/2012/04/20/gIQAZbRcWT_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

A U.S.-based Web site that has aggressively covered China’s biggest political scandal in decades was the victim of a disruptive attack that was accompanied by threats to the service that registers its domain name, the site’s manager said Friday.
The site was rendered inaccessible for much of Thursday, depriving readers of coverage of the latest developments in the downfall of Chinese Communist Party official Bo Xilai, said Watson Meng, 47, who runs the Chinese-language site from Durham, N.C.

Count Bobulescu
24-04-2012, 12:26 PM
I read elsewhere, that the Bo affair gets only minimal coverage in China.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/world/asia/bo-xilais-relatives-wealth-is-under-scrutiny.html?google_editors_picks=true

DALIAN, China — Just a few weeks before his dramatic fall from power, Bo Xilai (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/bo_xilai/index.html?inline=nyt-per) wrote an inscription in calligraphy, praising the Chongqing Water Assets Management Company, and urging support for its operations.
What he did not say was that a foundation controlled by his younger brother, Bo Xicheng, had acquired a stake in a subsidiary of the water company.

Mr. Bo had done something similar in 2003, while serving as governor here in Liaoning Province. He said his province would make supporting the Dalian Daxian company, a conglomerate engaged primarily in electronics manufacturing, one of the one of the most important tasks of the next five years. A few years earlier, another company controlled by the same younger brother was listed as the owner of nearly a million shares in Dalian Daxian, worth about $1.2 million.

It is not clear whether Mr. Bo knew of the indirect stakes in the companies, or whether his brother profited from his pronouncements. But now, in the aftermath of Mr. Bo’s dismissal (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/world/asia/bo-xilai-ousted-from-communist-party-post-in-china.html?pagewanted=all), on suspicions of corruption (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/world/asia/bo-xilai-accused-of-interfering-with-corruption-case.html?pagewanted=all) and accusations that his wife arranged the killing of a British business associate (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/world/asia/detained-party-official-facing-ouster-from-politburo.html?pagewanted=all), there are mounting questions about whether Mr. Bo, who was most recently the party chief in the city of Chongqing and a member of the Politburo, used his enormous political clout to enrich himself and his closest relatives.

“This could really open a can of worms,” says Bo Zhiyue, a senior fellow at the National University of Singapore’s East Asian Institute. “The relatives of other party leaders are also doing lots of business deals, and people will begin to ask: What about them? Was the Bo family the only one doing this kind of thing?”
Is it Brendan or Brandon ? Is it just a typo, or is there an Irish link to Bo? Either way it gets murkier and murkier.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-22/bo-xilai-clan-links-included-citigroup-hiring-of-his-elder-son.html

From Columbia, Li started a career in private-equity investing that focused on companies based in Dalian. His father was mayor of the northeastern port city from 1993 to 2000, according to Bo Xilai’s official biography on the Xinhua (http://news.xinhuanet.com/ziliao/2002-02/21/content_285068.htm) News Agency.

A Brendan Li is listed as managing director for a Mauritius-registered (https://mns-portal.intnet.mu/cbris-name-search/MASTActionServlet?do=FormEdit&id=ViewFormCBRIS.xml&key_1=C073472&key_count=1) company, Laoniu Investment Limited Co., according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission records. Li Wangzhi set up the Laoniu Fund, according to the Entrepreneur Club website. Laoniu Investment is an arm of the fund.
In a reference to Li’s parents, a Macquarie Capital Securities Limited report (http://macq.wir.jp/l.ut?t=dmw2jZW) from July 2011 says: “Their son, Li Wangzhi (Brandon Li), is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and currently pursues a business career in Beijing and Dalian.”
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-china-bo-wife-20120424,0,5950030.story
BEIJING (http://www.latimes.com/topic/intl/china/beijing-%28china%29-PLGEO100100602011286.topic) —
The intersection of money and politics in China (http://www.latimes.com/topic/intl/china/chongqing-%28china%29-PLGEO100100602011293.topic) has rarely been so glaring as in the case of ousted Communist Party (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics/government/communist-party-ORGOV0000117.topic) official Bo Xilai and his wife.

While her husband was mayor of the booming northern port of Dalian in the 1990s, Gu Kailai represented foreign clients negotiating with the city. But she also represented the city in a lawsuit against a U.S. company, and then wrote a book about her experiences that included photographs of her with U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Dianne Feinstein (http://www.latimes.com/topic/politics/dianne-feinstein-PEPLT002021.topic), Henry and Nancy Kissinger, and others.

Local businesses courted the powerful couple. The head of the city's largest conglomerate flew her and her son to London to visit the exclusive Harrow boarding school and later paid the tuition, according to someone who accompanied them.

Meanwhile, Gu's oldest sister started a company listed in official documents as the exclusive printer for the National People's Congress and several government ministries. It also won approval to print at least some of the new social security cards that will be issued to most of China's (http://www.latimes.com/topic/intl/china-PLGEO00000014.topic) 1.3 billion people.Other family members are on the boards of related companies.

Count Bobulescu
25-04-2012, 05:31 PM
Bo explained, a thirty minute radio discussion with two China watchers. Listen or transcript. Top left or center at link.

http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2012-04-24/explaining-scandal-china

More.

http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/04/30/120430taco_talk_osnos

This was to be a year of tidy political theatre for the Chinese Communist Party, capped by the scripted handoff of power from nine senior apparatchiks to a new generation. One day this fall, the incoming cast would stride across the stage of the Great Hall of the People, politely clapping for one another, in front of a sixty-foot painting of the Great Wall.

But the plot began to unravel on February 6th, when a frantic Party official named Wang Lijun, a former chief of police—once hailed in the press for perfecting the transplanting of organs from executed prisoners—fled by car from his city, Chongqing, to the United States consulate in Chengdu. As Chinese security forces gathered outside the consulate, demanding that he come out, Wang sought political asylum. He told the Americans that he had uncovered the murder of a British businessman in Chongqing named Neil Heywood, a forty-one-year-old man of pale linen suits and a guarded manner, a “character in a Graham Greene novel—always immaculate, very noble, very erudite,” as a friend of Heywood’s recalled in the Daily Telegraph.

Heywood had worked part time for a corporate intelligence firm founded by former M.I.6 officers, and he drove a Jaguar with the license plate 007, but friends considered him more Walter Mitty than James Bond. His body was discovered last November, in a shabby room in a mountaintop hotel. Police initially ascribed the death to alcohol, but Wang concluded that Heywood had been poisoned, and put the blame on the family of Bo Xilai—his boss—the sixty-two-year-old Party Secretary of Chongqing, who was, until that instant, a leading contender to mount the stage this fall at the Great Hall of the People. (Wang was not granted asylum, and disappeared into Chinese custody.)

Read more http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/04/30/120430taco_talk_osnos#ixzz1t2o5fVyp (http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2012/04/30/120430taco_talk_osnos#ixzz1t2o5fVyp)

Yojimbo
25-04-2012, 09:03 PM
A Brookings Institute briefing here - quite good background to the whole affair.

http://www.brookings.edu/interviews/2012/0418_china_boxilai_li.aspx

Count Bobulescu
26-04-2012, 05:02 PM
A Brookings Institute briefing here - quite good background to the whole affair.

http://www.brookings.edu/interviews/2012/0418_china_boxilai_li.aspx
Good indeed.

Count Bobulescu
26-04-2012, 05:05 PM
Looks like Bo was tapping the phones of many of his colleagues.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/world/asia/bo-xilai-said-to-have-spied-on-top-china-officials.html?_r=1&ref=world

BEIJING — When Hu Jintao (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/hu_jintao/index.html?inline=nyt-per), China (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/china/index.html?inline=nyt-geo)’s top leader, picked up the telephone last August to talk to a senior anticorruption official visiting Chongqing, special devices detected that he was being wiretapped — by local officials in that southwestern metropolis

The discovery of that and other wiretapping led to an official investigation that helped topple Chongqing’s charismatic leader (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/world/asia/bo-xilai-ousted-from-communist-party-post-in-china.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all), Bo Xilai (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/bo_xilai/index.html?inline=nyt-per), in a political cataclysm that has yet to reach a conclusion.

Until now, the downfall of Mr. Bo has been cast largely as a tale of a populist who pursued his own agenda too aggressively for some top leaders in Beijing and was brought down by accusations (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/world/asia/detained-party-official-facing-ouster-from-politburo.html?pagewanted=all) that his wife had arranged the murder of Neil Heywood, a British consultant, after a business dispute. But the hidden wiretapping, previously alluded to only in internal Communist Party accounts of the scandal, appears to have provided another compelling reason for party leaders to turn on Mr. Bo.

The story of how China’s president was monitored also shows the level of mistrust among leaders in the one-party state. To maintain control over society, leaders have embraced enhanced surveillance technology. But some have turned it on one another — repeating patterns of intrigue that go back to the beginnings of Communist rule.

“This society has bred mistrust and violence,” said Roderick MacFarquhar, a historian of Communist China’s elite-level machinations over the past half century. “Leaders know you have to watch your back because you never know who will put a knife in it.”
Nearly a dozen people with party ties, speaking anonymously for fear of retribution, confirmed the wiretapping, as well as a widespread program of bugging across Chongqing. But the party’s public version of Mr. Bo’s fall omits it.

Count Bobulescu
26-04-2012, 07:36 PM
Charlie rose had a 16 min TV interview with Evan Osnos of the New Yorker.

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12320

Yojimbo
26-04-2012, 10:08 PM
The NY Times story that it all came from phone tapping sounds quite plausible. It would explain for a start his police chiefs panic when it all started to go wrong.

I think its becoming clear that whatever happens, China dodged a bullet with Bo's collapse - the thought of someone so narcissistic and reckless in charge of China doesn't bear thinking about.

Count Bobulescu
27-04-2012, 03:12 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/with-bo-xilais-ouster-chinas-premier-pushes-reform/2012/04/26/gIQAvhoCkT_story.html?hpid=z1


BEIJING — Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has seized upon the ouster of his Communist Party rival Bo Xilai (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bo-xilai-removed-from-party-posts-wife-accused-in-british-businessmans-murder/2012/04/10/gIQA1jDL8S_story.html) to reinvigorate what had until recently seemed a lonely campaign for Western-style economic liberalization and a battle against corruption.

Since singling out Bo for criticism at a dramatic March 14 news conference (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/chinese-premier-wen-jiabao-calls-for-political-reforms-even-as-peoples-congress-strengthens-detention-law/2012/03/14/gIQAI4rSBS_story.html), Wen has moved aggressively to press ahead with a reform agenda that had gained little traction during most of his nine years as China’s second-ranking official.

A series of bold pronouncements by the premier in recent weeks has been backed by editorials in the state-run media, leaving little doubt that Wen and the reformist faction in the party have gained the upper hand, at least for now, in the tussle over Bo that seems part of a broader ideological struggle over China’s future.
It was only last year that Wen appeared to have been marginalized on the reform front after he gave an interview to Time magazine containing remarks on the issue that were largely censored by the Chinese media. Yet he has remained perhaps the country’s best known and most popular leader besides Bo himself, regularly traveling to the scene of earthquake sites and mining disasters, often photographed casually dressed and comforting victims, earning him the nickname “Grandpa Wen.”

But Chinese analysts and overseas experts now agree that Wen has deftly used the scandal surrounding Bo to discredit his alternative governing philosophy in Chongqing. Bo’s methods, known as the “Chongqing model (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/after-bos-fall-chongqing-victims-seek-justice/2012/04/19/gIQAxBzGUT_story.html),” included a heavy role for the state, a redistribution of wealth, an emphasis on broad social welfare policies over growth led by the private sector, and, in practice, a heavy-handed authoritarianism, including a crackdown on crime that often trampled on the rule of law.

Elizabeth Economy, a China expert with the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said, “I think there’s no doubt that Wen Jiabao is using this particular moment in time to make a last push for his reform agenda, and that encompasses both political reform and economic reform.”
Bo’s approach in Chongqing, she said, “was clearly antithetical to the approach Wen Jiabao has advocated.”

musashi
27-04-2012, 03:21 PM
This leadership transition is generating a lot of activity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=av25rwEUot8

Count Bobulescu
28-04-2012, 03:45 PM
This leadership transition is generating a lot of activity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=av25rwEUot8
Indeed, might have to have two parallel threads.:)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/a-dramatic-tale-of-escape-for-blind-chinese-activist/2012/04/27/gIQANlUWmT_story.html?hpid=z1

As of Saturday morning in China, Chen’s exact whereabouts were unknown, but friends insisted he was “safe” — and suggested that the only truly safe place for him in China was under the protection of U.S. diplomats.

ChinaAid, a Texas-based Christian human right group, said Chen was under the protection of U.S. officials and talks were underway between U.S. and Chinese officials about his fate. The U.S. Embassy, however, maintained its silence, declining to either confirm or deny that Chen was there, with a diplomat citing the sensitivity of the situation.

“His story,” said friend and fellow activist Hu Jia, “is the Chinese version of ‘The Shawshank Redemption (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000P0J0EW?ie=UTF8&tag=washpost-books-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B000P0J0EW).’ ”
And just as in the movie, Chen had clearly thought far ahead when plotting how to elude his captors. Soon after his disappearance became publicly known Friday, his face was beamed around the world (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/blind-chinese-lawyer-flees-house-arrest-backers/2012/04/27/gIQAZjARlT_video.html?hpid=z2) in a video released by a U.S.-based rights group. In it, he directly addresses his country’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/blind-chinese-lawyer-activist-escapes-house-arrest/2012/04/27/gIQAdzTAlT_story.html?hpid=z1

Hu Jia, another prominent activist and friend of the Chen family, said Chen left his village in Shandong province Sunday night and arrived in Beijing on Monday. Hu said Chen was “in the U.S. Embassy or under the shelter of diplomats, at least.”

Neither the U.S. Embassy in Beijing nor the State Department would confirm or deny reports that he was at the embassy. That helped fuel rumors, including one that Chen was already on a plane bound for the United States, and possibly Washington’s Dulles International Airport. But a commercial flight that arrived Friday night at Dulles from Beijing did not appear to have Chen among its passengers.

If the U.S. government is aiding or sheltering Chen, it would be the first time the embassy in Beijing had played such a role since the crackdown on Tiananmen Square demonstrators in 1989, when astrophysicist and democracy advocate Fang Lizhi was given refuge at the embassy. He stayed there for about a year before China granted him permission to leave for medical reasons and settle in the United States. Fang, who later taught at the University of Arizona, died this month.

Count Bobulescu
07-05-2012, 10:17 PM
John Pomfret in The Washington Post on how China views the U.S. The case of Chen Guangcheng has revealed the "outsized" expectations the U.S. and China have for one another. "The Chinese vest the United States with a moral authority that Americans are flattered by but are often loath to accept. For its part, the United States, in need of a hand around the globe, wants China to start acting like a superpower. But the Chinese — for tactical reasons or otherwise — reject the responsibilities inherent in big-power status..." Pomfret points to the fact that both Wang Lijun and Chen turned to the American Embassy for support, revealing that the Chinese see America as a moral leader far more than they are allowed to admit. Meanwhile the annual economic trade talks in Beijing reveal America's recurring expectations for China's leaders, he writes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/world/asia/in-rise-and-fall-of-chinas-bo-xilai-a-ruthless-arc.html?_r=

BEIJING — “News 1+1” is a sort of Chinese “60 Minutes,” a newsmagazine on state-run China Central Television that explores — as much as the censors permit — the more contentious corners of Chinese society. In December 2009, the program took aim at a much-publicized anticorruption campaign in the metropolis of Chongqing, a crusade that had grabbed national attention for its sweep, but raised deep concerns about its brutality and disregard for the law.

C. Flower
07-05-2012, 10:24 PM
Pot.....vs.....Kettle

Count Bobulescu
22-05-2012, 05:58 PM
Two recent pieces.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-chongqing-bo-xilais-legacy-and-popularity-endure/2012/05/22/gIQATcVUhU_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines


CHONGQING, China — The legacy of Bo Xilai, the ousted regional Communist Party chief, endures in this southwestern Chinese megacity with its four-lane highways, expanding factories and hundreds of thousands of new apartment units.
While Bo remains under house arrest in Beijing, longtime residents hail what they describe as the transformation during his four-year reign of what not long ago was a provincial, insular, inland city. For the most part, a new regional leader appointed by the central authorities appears to be moving cautiously for fear of antagonizing Bo’s many backers.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/opinion/in-china-fear-at-the-top.html?_r=2&ref=opinion


But if even a fraction of the stories about the wealth and lifestyles of China’s “princelings” — the descendants of Mao’s revolutionary generation — are to be believed, China’s New Class wants not only control, but also ownership. Few of China’s netizens are likely to believe that Bo Xilai, the Politburo member and party boss of the mega-city of Chongqing who was ousted in March on corruption charges, was an aberration.
Why has ownership of wealth become so important for the Chinese elite? And why have so many Chinese leaders sent their children abroad for education? One answer surely is that they lack confidence about China’s future.
This may seem strange, given that the Chinese have propelled their country into the top ranks of global economic powerhouses over the past 30 years. There are those who predict a hard landing for an overheated economy — where growth has already slowed — but the acquisition of wealth is better understood not just as an economic cushion, or as pure greed, but as a political hedge.
China’s Communist leaders cling to Deng Xiaoping’s belief that their continuance in power will depend on economic progress. But even in China, a mandate based on competence can crumble in hard times. So globalizing one’s assets — transferring money and educating one’s children overseas — makes sense as a hedge against risk. (At least $120 billion has been illegally transferred abroad since the mid-1990s, according to one official estimate.)

Count Bobulescu
01-06-2012, 04:59 PM
This arrest took place around the same time that Bo's chief of police sought asylum at the US Consulate. Echoes of the US/USSR cold war.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/01/us-china-usa-espionage-idUSBRE8500IH20120601


Reuters) - A Chinese state security official has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States, sources said, a case both countries have kept quiet for several months as they strive to prevent a fresh crisis in relations.

The official, an aide to a vice minister in China's security ministry, was arrested and detained early this year on allegations that he had passed information to the United States for several years on China's overseas espionage activities, said three sources, who all have direct knowledge of the matter.

The aide had been recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and provided "political, economic and strategic intelligence", one source said, though it was unclear what level of information he had access to, or whether overseas Chinese spies were compromised by the intelligence he handed over.

The case could represent China's worst known breach of state intelligence in two decades and its revelation follows two other major public embarrassments for Chinese security, both involving U.S. diplomatic missions at a tense time for bilateral ties.

The aide, detained sometime between January and March, worked in the office of a vice-minister in China's Ministry of State Security, the source said. The ministry is in charge of the nation's domestic and overseas intelligence operations.
He had been paid hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars and spoke English, the source added.

"The destruction has been massive," another source said.
The sources all spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of punishment if identified.

China's foreign ministry did not respond immediately to a faxed request for comment sent on Friday.

The sources did not reveal the name of the suspected spy or the vice minister he worked for. The vice minister has been suspended and is being questioned, one of the sources said.

Count Bobulescu
15-06-2012, 05:06 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/risks-over-bo-xilai-case-could-prompt-china-to-seek-low-profile-resolution/2012/06/14/gJQAdJHmeV_story.html


BEIJING — As they prepare for a once-in-a-generation turnover of power, China’s leaders now appear to be seeking a quick and quiet resolution in the case of Bo Xilai, the top official ousted from his Communist Party posts, Western diplomats and Chinese analysts say.

Rather than risk a sensational trial, the Chinese authorities appear most likely to simply expel him from the party, a step that could be taken swiftly and out of public view, the diplomats and analysts said. The approach would be intended to minimize public scrutiny of a Chinese system of graft and greed that Bo has come to symbolize.

Yojimbo
05-08-2012, 07:18 PM
A nice succinct summary here of what is 'known' and what seems likely about the Bo Xilai affair so far:

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/aug/02/bo-xilai-unanswered-questions/

Some interesting observations including the question of why is the US government not telling us what it knows? It had plenty of time to interview Wang Lijung when he took refuge in the consulate- he must have told them quite a story.

Yojimbo
09-08-2012, 12:05 PM
Nothing much new here, but a fair summary of whats likely to happen in the trail of Gu Kailai (it seems like the butler will be getting a bullet, she might just avoid one).

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/08/the-non-trial-of-the-century.html

Yojimbo
09-08-2012, 12:06 PM
woo, blink and you'd miss it - the trial is already over! A lesson for our courts, only 8 hours long!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/09/gu-kailai-murder-trial-neil-heywood

Yojimbo
12-08-2012, 10:45 AM
Account here of the trial by a Chinese law professor who attended it:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/china_law_prof_blog/2012/08/unofficial-report-of-proceedings-in-the-gu-kailai-trial.html

It is significant I think that the court was happy to accept her claims that Heywood had been threatening their son (from what I've read, I would think that highly unlikely, he would have known that was far too dangerous). It looks to me like they are setting it up to show 'mercy', find her guilty, but quietly lock her away for a few years rather than give the usual bullet. I wonder though if this is because some sort of deal has been done, or because they just want to cool everything down a bit.

I'd think the latter, because for a sensational trial, it seems to have been remarkably dull.


The whole courtroom was quite quiet. During the long stage of introducing evidence, some of the audience slept and was audibly snoring.

C. Flower
12-08-2012, 10:56 AM
Account here of the trial by a Chinese law professor who attended it:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/china_law_prof_blog/2012/08/unofficial-report-of-proceedings-in-the-gu-kailai-trial.html

It is significant I think that the court was happy to accept her claims that Heywood had been threatening their son (from what I've read, I would think that highly unlikely, he would have known that was far too dangerous). It looks to me like they are setting it up to show 'mercy', find her guilty, but quietly lock her away for a few years rather than give the usual bullet. I wonder though if this is because some sort of deal has been done, or because they just want to cool everything down a bit.

I'd think the latter, because for a sensational trial, it seems to have been remarkably dull.

I'm still quite unsure what her motive was supposed to be.

Fear of blackmail ?

Yojimbo
13-08-2012, 08:05 AM
I'm still quite unsure what her motive was supposed to be.

Fear of blackmail ?

The 'official' motive is that he threatened to do something to their son and that she acted out of panic, but that isn't really credible I think. There are plenty of indications that she is a pretty paranoid and unstable person.

The likeliest explanation is that she and her husband were aware that they were under investigation by political enemies in Beijing and saw Heywood as a potentially dangerous loose end. He probably knew where all their corrupt gains were hidden outside China, and she believed (possibly with some justification) that he could not be trusted to keep quiet, unlike their other courtiers. I think Heywood was in way over his head, he had no idea how ruthless and dangerous she was, and he probably overplayed his cards, thinking he was just engaging in a bit of negotiation over his cut of the spoils.

TotalMayhem
20-08-2012, 11:46 AM
Bo Xilai's wife sentenced to death... with a two-year reprieve.

musashi
20-08-2012, 04:53 PM
Well Hey, that's nice, Bo's wife get's off with a non custodial sentence for murdering a foreign devil.

the message this sends is unmistakable.

musashi
20-08-2012, 04:55 PM
Well Hey, that's nice, Bo's wife get's off with a non custodial sentence for murdering a foreign devil.

the message this sends is unmistakable.


The sentence means Gu Kailai is likely to face life in jail for murdering British businessman Neil Heywood last year, provided she does not commit offences in the next two years.

I stand corrected.

Yojimbo
21-08-2012, 11:06 PM
The FT states (without giving a source, unusually), that the woman up on trial is not actually Gu Kailai, but a body double. Its not unknown in China for the rich to pay someone to take the fall for them, but it seems extraordinary that this could happen in such a high profile trial.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/23650754-e9b3-11e1-b011-00144feab49a.html#axzz245aMuYcr

The writer Ma Jian here argues (not terribly convincingly in my opinion), that the trial is a sign of a deeply fractured leadership.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/china-s-show-trial-of-the-century-by-ma-jian

Count Bobulescu
21-08-2012, 11:22 PM
The FT states (without giving a source, unusually), that the woman up on trial is not actually Gu Kailai, but a body double. Its not unknown in China for the rich to pay someone to take the fall for them, but it seems extraordinary that this could happen in such a high profile trial.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/23650754-e9b3-11e1-b011-00144feab49a.html#axzz245aMuYcr

The writer Ma Jian here argues (not terribly convincingly in my opinion), that the trial is a sign of a deeply fractured leadership.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/china-s-show-trial-of-the-century-by-ma-jian

FWIW, I thought the photo of the person on trial that I saw had just a passing resemblance to an earlier photo of a younger lighter Gu Kailai. That may be feuling the speculation.

Yojimbo
24-08-2012, 08:39 PM
This Slate article hired a specialist and concluded it was 'probably' Gu Kailai

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2012/08/gu_kailai_trial_chinese_netizens_believe_that_bo_x ilai_s_wife_has_hired_a_body_double_to_represent_h er_in_court_and_possibly_serve_her_time_in_prison_ .html

Count Bobulescu
25-08-2012, 05:11 PM
This Slate article hired a specialist and concluded it was 'probably' Gu Kailai

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2012/08/gu_kailai_trial_chinese_netizens_believe_that_bo_x ilai_s_wife_has_hired_a_body_double_to_represent_h er_in_court_and_possibly_serve_her_time_in_prison_ .html

I'll take that as confirmation that I am not yet crazy.:)

Count Bobulescu
05-09-2012, 06:31 PM
From a WSJ news alert.


Wang Lijun -- the former police chief of the Chinese city of Chongqing who triggered the scandal surrounding his former boss, Bo Xilai -- has been charged with defection, power abuse, bribe-taking and “bending the law for selfish ends,” China's state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Prosecutors in the western city of Chengdu filed charges against Mr. Wang with the city’s Intermediate People’s Court, which had agreed to accept the case and was choosing a date for a trial, Xinhua said.

Mr. Wang sparked a political crisis when he sought refuge in the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in February and told American diplomats he had evidence that Mr. Bo was involved in the murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood.

Count Bobulescu
24-09-2012, 08:03 PM
China took another step Monday toward concluding its political crisis and setting the date for a once-a-decade leadership change, when a court handed a 15-year jail sentence to the former police chief of Chongqing city who triggered this year’s turmoil in the Communist Party elite.

Wang Lijun, who fled to a U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu in February, was found guilty of defection, bribery, abuse of power and “bending the law for selfish ends” following his two-day trial last week at the Intermediate People’s Court in Chengdu, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444813104578014331362054530.html?m od=djemalertAsianews

Yojimbo
25-09-2012, 07:43 PM
I'm still curious to know what Wang Lijun said to the Americans during his few hours holed up in the Consulate. The US isn't saying. I wonder if the fairly light sentence is part of some sort of deal.

Count Bobulescu
28-09-2012, 04:54 PM
China Forensic Expert Defiant After Casting Doubt on Gu Kailai Story
A top Chinese forensics expert who challenged the official story behind the murder of Briton Neil Heywood in a blog post on Wednesday published another defiant blog post on Friday that has won near universal praise online.

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/09/28/china-forensic-expert-defiant-after-casting-doubt-on-gu-kailai-story/




Former Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai has been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party and will "face justice," the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Meanwhile, the 18th Party Congress, which will select the next generation of Chinese leaders, will be convened on Nov. 8, Xinhua said.

Mr. Bo was dismissed from his position as Chongqing party chief for unspecified infractions of party discipline. A Chinese court last month convicted his wife, Gu Kailai, for the murder of a British businessman. http://stream.wsj.com/story/bo-xilai/SS-2-42626/?mod=djemalertNEWS



BEIJING — China’s ruling Communist Party has expelled the once-powerful political leader Bo Xilai and accused him of corruption and moral crimes, officials said Friday, ending months of rampant rumors and signs of debate within the country’s leadership over his fate.
Party officials also have scheduled China’s once-a-decade transition of top leaders for Nov. 8, the state-controlled Xinhua news agency reported.http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/bo-xilai-expelled-from-chinas-communist-party/2012/09/28/fec8e846-0958-11e2-858a-5311df86ab04_story.html?hpid=z1

Count Bobulescu
06-11-2012, 10:20 PM
Did Bo Xilai's wife (or someone else) murder an MI6 informant? The Wall Street Journal reports that Neil Heywood, the British consultant who died a year ago in mysterious circumstances in Chongqing, was passing information to Britain's secret service. Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, was convicted of Heywood's murder in a dubious trial. Back in March, the Journal reported that Heywood was working for a British private intelligence firm, Hakluyt. Other reports suggested he was a so-called "white glove", who helped rich Chinese politicians and their families move money out of China.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204846304578090740894694144.html

C. Flower
06-11-2012, 10:59 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204846304578090740894694144.html

Hakluyt more or less = M16.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakluyt_%26_Company

Yojimbo
06-11-2012, 11:07 PM
Hakluyt more or less = M16.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakluyt_%26_Company

It all sounds a bit like Our Man in Havana. Graham Greene would be writing it up no doubt if he was still alive.

Heywoods type would always be on hand to give a bit of info to 'the right type of chap' in foreign parts, all in aid of justifying someones intelligence budget. I doubt it would mean much in reality. But having said that I always found it quite curious how quiet the British government has been about the murder of one of its citizens.

C. Flower
06-11-2012, 11:31 PM
It all sounds a bit like Our Man in Havana. Graham Greene would be writing it up no doubt if he was still alive.

Heywoods type would always be on hand to give a bit of info to 'the right type of chap' in foreign parts, all in aid of justifying someones intelligence budget. I doubt it would mean much in reality. But having said that I always found it quite curious how quiet the British government has been about the murder of one of its citizens.

I remember being forcibly struck by the resemblance to Greene's hoover "blueprints" of the WMD "evidence" produced by Colin Powell, as a precursor to the war on Iraq.

Dr. FIVE
21-11-2013, 03:30 AM
Long article here


What was increasingly at issue, and was emphasized by the press, was the contrast between two models of development: the “Guangdong Model” and the “Chongqing Model.” Guangdong symbolized a more free market approach, rising inequality, and an export orientation. Chongqing was characterized as looking to revitalize socialist ideas and populist claims in its push for rapid and balanced growth. At stake today, then, is not just the fate of Bo, but also China’s revolutionary past, the complicated intersections of domestic and transnational class politics, and the unfinished struggle for socialism in China.

http://monthlyreview.org/2012/10/01/the-struggle-for-socialism-in-china#_=_