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» 04/11/2012
CHINA
Bo Xilai expelled from the Party, wife suspected of murder
by Wang Zhicheng
Bo implicated in murder of Briton, Neil Heywood, a family friend, who was later killed by Bo’s wife. Rumors of a coup. The People's Daily calls for Party "unity" and reaffirms it’s his "holiness" and "purity." The internal struggle for power in anticipation of the Party Congress. Plots similar to those of Chen Xitong, Chen Liangyu and Lin Biao.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Bo Xilai, the former Chongqing Chief, has been expelled from the Communist Party of China and placed under investigation, but his wife is officially suspected of murdering a British citizen Neil Heywood, who died last November in Chongqing .

A brief statement from Xinhua says that Bo Xilai "is suspected of being involved in serious breaches of discipline" and that is why the Party Central Committee has decided to expel him.

The fall of Bo Xilai (pictured with his wife and son) is one of the most spectacular political dramas in China since Tiananmen. Until a few weeks ago he was seen as a successful man, destined to join the Politburo Standing Committee. His populist campaign to revive Maoism distributing wealth to the poor was shared by several fringes of the party, including several "princes" like Xi Jinping, the heir apparent of President Hu Jintao. In his attempt to "clean Chongqing" of mafia triads, he used illegal methods and even arrested hundreds of party members. At the conclusion of the National Assembly, on 14 March, Premier Wen Jiabao criticized the " Chongqing authorities" for the way in which they dealt with the Wang Lijun case. The former assistant to Bo, who later became his enemy, took refuge for a day in the U.S. consulate in Chengdu (Sichuan) to seek asylum. Taken by police, he was transferred to Beijing and accused of treason. The day after Bo was replaced by Zhang Dejiang, an ally of Hu Jintao and now is publicly disgraced.

The plot thickened even more with rumors about a possible coup that Bo was preparing with the support of some army divisions.

The tension in the party is so strong that today the People's Daily has published an editorial in which calling on all Party members to "firmly support the decisions of the Central Committee." The article explains the expulsion of Bo and his investigation "shows respect for the facts and the law," and shows "the determination of the Party to maintain its purity and a clear position for the Protection of party discipline and laws of the State ". With his attitude, it states, "Bo has seriously violated the party discipline, causing damage to the cause and image of the Party and State."

From the "facts" and "investigations" of Wang Lijun a link between Bo, his family and the death of Neil Heywood has emerged. According to Xinhua, "Bogu Kailai, wife of Comrade Bo Xilai, and their son were on good terms with Heywood. But conflicts of interests became increasingly apparent. From the results of investigations, there is evidence that Heywood died as a result of murder and so we are suspicious of Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun, a Bo family domestic worker".

Previously, Heywood's death was attributed to alcohol poisoning. Heywood, 41, lived in Beijing with his wife and two children. He was on good terms with the son of Bo, Bo Guagua, helped by Heywood to attend Harrow School in Britain and the John F. Kennedy University in Cambridge (Massachusetts).

Although the Xinhua and the People's Daily continue to emphasize the "holiness" and "purity of the Party", there is no doubt that this plot complete with complex counter-plots, has brought to light the power struggle within the Party in the lead up to the Congress to be held next October which should see the return of seven of the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Party.

Bo Xilai's fall from grace recalls the expulsions and the charges against Chen Xitong, former Party chief in Beijing in 1995, and the party secretary of Shanghai, Chen Liangyu in 2006. But the intrigues are far more complex and the shadow of the murder of Heywood remind one even more the accident that killed Lin Biao, who was suspected of having prepared a coup against Mao. His plane crashed in 1971, while flying to Mongolia. In death he was expelled from the party and accused of treason.

 


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See also
07/27/2012 CHINA
Bo Xilai’s wife risks the death penalty (or maybe just a few years in prison)
by Wang Zhicheng
08/10/2012 CHINA
Chongqing saga: police and Wang Lijun on trial. Silence on Bo Xilai
by Wang Zhicheng
07/25/2013 CHINA
Bo Xilai trial set for August, charges of corruption and above all, of defying Beijing
by Wang Zhicheng
08/26/2013 CHINA
'No mercy' for Bo Xilai, who accuses Wang Lijun of being his wife Gu Kailai’s lover
by Wang Zhicheng
08/11/2012 CHINA
Chongqing Saga: Bo Xilai’s wife accepts murder charges

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by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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