Tuesday, April 10, 2012

China's Brash Bo Suspended; Rumors Fly

High-Flying Party Chief of Chongqing,
Wife and Vice Mayor May be Charged

Reuters reports:

China's Communist Party has suspended former high-flying politician Bo Xilai from its top ranks, four sources said on Tuesday, after a scandal that has shaken a looming leadership succession.

The decision to banish Bo from the Central Committee and its Politburo effectively ends the career of China's brashest and most controversial politician, whose downfall has kindled ideological tension and sparked opposition from leftist sympathizers who insist he is the victim of a plot.

Foreign Confidential™ sources say rumors are rife that investigations underway of Bo's family members and associates could produce charges of murder and treason. [UPDATE: BO'S WIFE SUSPECTED OF MURDER]

From 'Singing the Red, Smashing the Black'
To a Long Prison Term and Possibly Worse

His career is clearly over. The man who ascended to power by "singing the red"--encouraging public singing of old, Mao-era songs--and "smashing the black"--cracking down on organized crime--is likely to soon be facing a long prison sentence or an executioner.

But the "leftist" label is misleading. The conflict between China's supposed economic reformers and so-called New Left, or neo-Maoists, is really between elite camps, or factions, fighting over the control and restructuring of bloated, state-owned firms. Bo stood for helping the left-behind poor to some extent, but mainly for preserving the jobs and privileges of state-sector corporate bureaucrats--and the money flow that the sector produces for certain members of the elite.

There are serious internal tensions and problems in China; amid rising labor unrest and crime, the specter of massive instability haunts the leadership. The military--many see the men in uniforms as the ultimate rulers--maintain a watchful eye on all developments. Not surprisingly, flight capital is pouring out of the country. Rich, well connected Chinese are acquiring dual citizenships or, at the very least, legal, overseas permanent residencies.