Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun Post-Mortem

The Economist, NYT, and Epoch Times all have pieces on the fallout from Wang Lijun in Chengdu, respectively:

There remains little doubt that Mr Xi will take over from Hu Jintao as party chief at a five-yearly congress to be held sometime in the autumn. But the prospects of another aspirant to top office, Bo Xilai (pictured above), have been overshadowed. On February 6th his one-time right-hand man, Wang Lijun, fled to the American consulate in the city of Chengdu. Mr Wang stayed inside for a day before walking out into the hands of Chinese security officials, who are believed to have taken him to Beijing.

Until recently, Mr. Bo’s tenure in Chongqing had seemed brilliant. For most of his political ascent, Mr. Bo relied on his father, Bo Yibo, a revolutionary war leader who died only in 2007. As the offspring of a top-ranking official, or “princeling,” he is part of a network of people who can bypass normal channels, both for personal and political gain.

Mr. Bo used these connections to carry out a series of populist changes in Chongqing. Once the wartime capital of China, it was expanded in the 1990s into a small, mostly rural province with a metropolis at its center.

He vowed to double the region’s urban population to 20 million by the end of the decade. And he oversaw a pilot program to award millions of farmers urban residency and built hundreds of thousands of low-rent apartments to lure them, although local experts say his underlings have relied heavily on coercion.

Another of Mr. Bo’s initiatives was a much-publicized campaign to revive Mao-era songs and ideology. He also made populist promises to double rural incomes and took on foreign companies like Wal-Mart, burnishing his credentials with people wary of the influence of multinational corporations in China.

Most famously, he attacked the triads, mafia-type groups that for decades arbitrated disputes and squeezed ordinary citizens.

To attack the triads, Mr. Bo hired Mr. Wang, an official he had known from an earlier posting. Mr. Wang had a reputation for courage — he had personally stormed a hotel and arrested a crime boss after knocking him cold with an uppercut — but also for brutality. In one case reported in the Chinese news media, he was so enraged that a pedicab driver had had the temerity to be run over by his white Mercedes that he leapt out, beat the man and had him detained for 15 days on a traffic violation.

Some mainland scholars have even said that Bo can still make it into the Politburo Standing Committee during the 18th People’s Congress, making it seem like nothing has happened.

This is definitely not possible; there are at least five forces that want to take out Bo Xilai:

First, the men who initiated this incident will not give up.
Second, the international community will not be silent.
Third, because of the spreading of anti-blocking software that can circumvent China’s Internet blockade, many Chinese already know the crimes and lies behind Bo’s Chongqing model—the Chinese regime cannot conceal this any longer.
Fourth, after things have gotten to this point, Bo himself does not want to be part of the Politburo Standing Committee anymore.
The last force against Bo is the combined opposition of CCP head Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Remember, Epoch Times is run by the Falun Gong, which has any number of reasons to hate CCP leaders- but they lay out their case in the article.


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Filed under 2012 power transfer, Chongqing Model/Bo Xilai, Communist Party

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