Straits Times: A Singaporean perspective on strong Chinese local leaders as double-edged swords.
It has not gone unnoticed by observers that the fall of Bo, 63, means that the last three most senior leaders disgraced in China were kingpins in major cities. “Probably it is not accidental,” said professor of political science Wang Jianwei from the University of Macau. Chen Xitong controlled Beijing city, a position regarded as local even though it is based in the capital, until his fall in 1995.
Bo Xilai is finally expelled from the party since the drama caught public eye in Feb earlier this year. Here is a selection of headlines from domestic and international press.
Official announcement from Xinhua: Investigations have found that Bo seriously violated Party disciplines while heading the city of Dalian, Liaoning Province, and the Ministry of Commerce and while serving as a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and as Party chief of Chongqing Municipality… Bo abused his power, made severe mistakes and bore major responsibility in the Wang Lijun incident and the intentional homicide case of Bogu Kailai.Bo Xilai expelled from CPC, public office, September 28, 2012
BBC: Under China’s system the Communist Party controls the media, the police, the prosecutors and the courts. The party is not subject to outside checks and balances. That’s why Mr Bo has been dealt with, by the party, in secret. The courts will now simply confirm the party’s decisions about how to punish him. Bo Xilai: China leaders try to put scandal behind them, September 30, 2012
See also – BBC timeline of events here.
Reuters agency: “Last night, one of the core members of the ruling party’s leadership was suddenly turned into a demon,” said one commentary on “Red China”, a far-left Chinese-language website that has issued a stream of commentary defending Bo. China leaders show unity after expelling Bo, September 29, 2012
New York Times: In his brief statement, posted Saturday evening on Tumblr, the younger Bo wrote: “Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations that were announced against my father, because they contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life. Although the policies my father enacted are open to debate, the father I know is upright in his beliefs and devoted to duty.” Chinese Ex-Official Snared in Scandal Is Defended by His Son, September 30, 2012
Telegraph:“With such a political aspect to it, you cannot judge this case solely on a legal basis,” said Pi Yijun, a law professor at China’s Law and Political Science university. ”The sentence took into account his evidence on Bo’s case, and also the likely reaction of the public. The general public liked Wang and the campaigns he ran, which hit at the mafia. It was mostly intellectuals who were unhappy with him because of the illegal way he went about his job,” he added.Bo Xilai scandal: police chief Wang Lijun sentenced to 15 years, September 24, 2012
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The curse of China’s big city warlords
Strong local leaders a ‘double-edged sword’ for the central government
by By Peh Shing Huei China Bureau Chief News Analysis
Source – Straits Times, October 1, 2012
CHONGQING: Bo Xilai was expelled from the party last week. — PHOTO: AP in Straits Times, 2012
BEIJING – In recent years, as his star shone in south-western Chongqing city, Bo Xilai enjoyed an online nickname – ping xi wang, or Prince Who Pacifies the West.
It was the title of famous Qing Dynasty warlord Wu Sangui. But the moniker was also an early sign of trouble for Bo, who was purged last week.
Wu was a rogue general who declared an independent kingdom in 1678, and such unilateral breakaways – perceived or true – do not sit well with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Read the rest of this entry »
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