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Thread: The Bo Xilai Affair

  1. #16
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    More fallout from Bo.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...c=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 that many saw as a worrying throwback to China’s violent Cultural Revolution.
    Oops!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...c=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.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  2. #17
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    I read elsewhere, that the Bo affair gets only minimal coverage in China.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/24/wo...ors_picks=true
    DALIAN, China — Just a few weeks before his dramatic fall from power, Bo Xilai 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, on suspicions of corruption and accusations that his wife arranged the killing of a British business associate, 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/2012-0...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 News Agency.

    A Brendan Li is listed as managing director for a Mauritius-registered 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 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/nationwo...,5950030.story
    BEIJING
    The intersection of money and politics in China has rarely been so glaring as in the case of ousted Communist Party 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, 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 1.3 billion people.Other family members are on the boards of related companies.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    Bo explained, a thirty minute radio discussion with two China watchers. Listen or transcript. Top left or center at link.

    http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2...-scandal-china

    More.

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/commen...aco_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
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  4. #19
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    A Brookings Institute briefing here - quite good background to the whole affair.

    http://www.brookings.edu/interviews/...oxilai_li.aspx

  5. #20
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    Quote Originally Posted by Yojimbo View Post
    A Brookings Institute briefing here - quite good background to the whole affair.

    http://www.brookings.edu/interviews/...oxilai_li.aspx
    Good indeed.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    Looks like Bo was tapping the phones of many of his colleagues.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/wo..._r=1&ref=world
    BEIJING — When Hu Jintao, China’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, Bo Xilai, 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 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.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  7. #22
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    Charlie rose had a 16 min TV interview with Evan Osnos of the New Yorker.

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12320
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  8. #23
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    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.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.html?hpid=z1

    BEIJING — Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has seized upon the ouster of his Communist Party rival Bo Xilai 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, 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,” 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.”
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  10. #25
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    This leadership transition is generating a lot of activity:

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

  11. #26
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    Quote Originally Posted by musashi View Post
    This leadership transition is generating a lot of activity:

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

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.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.’ ”
    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 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/...y.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.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    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/wo...s-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.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  13. #28
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    Pot.....vs.....Kettle

  14. #29
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    Two recent pieces.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...c=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/op...=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.)
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: The Bo Xilai Affair

    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/...8500IH20120601

    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.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

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