Magtkamp i Kina: Opsamlig og links om Bo Xilai

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Der er kommet mere ro omkring Bo Xilai, hustruens mordsag, Wang Lijun og magtkampen i partiet. Men det er langt fra slut.

Det næste skridt bliver retssagen mod Wang Lijun, der efter sigende begynder om en måned. Det bliver en forløber for de to sager mod Bo Xilai og hans hustru, Gu Kailai, der efterforskes for mord.

Du kan læse alle tidligere artikler om magtkampen og Bo Xilai her på Kinablog. Og du kan se en tidslinje og få overblikket over hovedpersonerne her.

Her nedenunder får du en opsamling over, hvad der er sket i de seneste par uger.

New York Times har en spændende artikel om tre magtfulde mænd, der var med i inderkredsen omkring Bo Xilai. To af dem er forretningsmænd og den tredje agent. De flygtede i den enes private jetfly til Australien, hvor de har været tilbageholdt i to måneder. Men i Januar, før sagen brød ud, fløj de til Chongqing for at forsøge at løse krisen, før den eksploderede.

The most famous of the three, Xu Ming, 41, listed by Forbes as China’s eighth-richest person in 2005, had flown in on his private jet. He and the others held separate meetings with Mr. Bo and Mr. Wang. The damage was irreparable. The former intelligence agent, Yu Junshi, rushed home and stuffed a bag with 1.2 million renminbi, or nearly $200,000, to take to a bank with Ma Biao, the other businessman, known for his girth. Then all three fled to Australia within days, fearful of the fallout from a possible investigation of Mr. Bo.

Those figures are now being detained as central suspects or witnesses in the Chinese government’s broad investigation into Mr. Bo’s use of power. His fall from the party’s top echelons has opened a window on how some of his closest allies from his years as a rising official in northeast China became entwined in the social and economic fabric of Chongqing, a fast-growing western municipality of 31 million that Mr. Bo governed for four years. The accounts about those allies, which raise questions about Mr. Bo’s relations with tycoons, are based primarily on interviews with six people associated with the circle, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of facing official scrutiny, and a review of financial documents and company Web sites. Together, they reveal the workings of the shadowy court of one of China’s leaders, and of the panic that set in when these ambitious figures realized their world was about to collapse.

Wall Street Journal skriver, hvordan partitoppen var blevet bekymrede over Bo Xilais forbindelser til militæret. I februar besøgte Bo en base i Kunming, der ligger over 600 kilometer fra Chongqing, hvor Bo dengang var partisekretær, hvor han besøgte den 14. Hærenhed, som hans far Bo Yibo var leder af i 1930erne.

By visiting the military base in Yunnan province, Mr. Bo appeared to be flaunting his revolutionary ancestry and courting political support from the People’s Liberation Army at a time when his career was in crisis, according to Communist Party and military officials. “Bo’s trip to Yunnan caught people at the highest level off guard,” said one high-ranking military officer.

Mr. Bo’s ties to the military and his irregular use of his police forces are now key elements of the investigation at the heart of China’s worst political crisis in more than two decades, the officials said. The saga also could affect the contours of a planned leadership succession in the fall.

At least two prominent army generals have been questioned about their connections to Mr. Bo and other senior officers are under scrutiny, said officials, military officers and diplomats briefed on the situation.

Sydney Morning Herald har også fået emailen fra den konservative kinesiske organisation af maoister, Utopia, der beskylder myndighederne for at tilsværte Bo Xilai og opdigte anklager mod ham.

‘Utopia believes Bo and Wang are the biggest cases of political injustice since opening and reform,” said Utopia, referring to Mr Bo’s former police chief, Wang Lijun, who apparently fled for his life to a US consulate and is likely to face treason charges soon. The Utopia website shut down after Mr Bo’s downfall and was accused of slandering party leaders.

The Utopia statement went on to blast authorities for ”evil measures” including fabricating allegations of criminality and corruption against Mr Bo.

”Thus it might be used by the domestic traitorous forces who collaborate with Western hostile forces to foment social chaos, split China into pieces and bring it to the abyss!” it said. ”Long live invisible Mao Zedong Thought; Long Live the Chongqing Road.”

Reuters fortæller om de tre pensionerede embedsmænd i Kinas Kommunistparti, der offentliggjorde et åbent brev. De opfordrer for det første Zhou Yongkang til at træde tilbage. Og de kinesiske ledere til at offentliggøre deres indtægter, så det bliver vanskeligere at få en ny skandale om magtmisbrug og korruption som med Bo Xilai.

The retired officials, led by Ma Xiaoli, have long been out of power and proposals from them and other party reformers have little prospect of shaping China’s leadership succession, which will be settled at the party’s 18th congress later this year.

But the public denunciation of corruption from members of China’s political elite shows how the fall of Bo has magnified worries that self-enrichment and corruption by officials and their families is eroding the party’s grip on power.

“This incident has particularly shocked the broad numbers of ordinary party members,” the retired officials said, referring to the Bo case, in a letter that accompanied their petition to central leaders.

“What state is the party in that its high echelons produced a case of evil that far surpassed any story in The Thousand and One Nights?

“Thoroughly rooting out corruption, and starting by eradicating corruption in the party’s leadership, has become an urgent task that cannot be delayed. Tens of millions of eyes are fixed on the 18th party congress.”

Associated Press har som flere andre skrevet om, hvordan kinesisk politi har henvendt sig til en kendt retsmediciner, der var involveret i sagen mod O. J. Simpson, for at få ham til at bedømme blodprøver fra Neil Heywood. Det er den britiske forretningsmand, som Bo Xilais hustru, Gu Kailai, er anklaget for at have myrdet. DNA prøver kunne bekræfte, om Neil blev myrdet, siger retsmediceneren, der dog aldrig fik blodprøverne:

A prominent American forensic scientist said that Chinese police asked him to analyse an unidentified blood sample, in a possible link to a spiralling political scandal surrounding the death of a British man.

Henry Lee said police did not directly ask for help investigating the death of Neil Heywood, whose body was found in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. The wife of the city’s Communist party chief has been named a suspect in Heywood’s death.

Leehas worked on thousands of criminal cases around the world including the OJ Simpson murder case, war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia and a review of the assassination of US president John F Kennedy.

Lee said he was asked by Chongqing police in early February for help in testing a blood sample for drugs or poison. He was told it came from someone who died after drinking wine but was given no other details about the victim or cause of death. The sample never arrived.

Authorities in China initially said Heywood died from either excess drinking or a heart attack. His body was cremated without an autopsy. If blood or tissue samples were taken from Heywood’s body, it would have a major impact on the case.

Lee, a fluent Chinese speaker, is a longtime professional acquaintance of Chongqing’s former chief of police, Wang Lijun, who visited a US consulate near Chongqing on 6 February to raise concerns about Heywood’s case.

Reuters har en analyse om Wang Yang, partisekretær i Guangdong, står til at blive en af vinderne af Bo Xilais fald. Der er en fin gennemgang i artiklen af, hvorfor han bliver anset som reformvenlig (som jeg dog mener, skal tages med et gran salt). Der er dog tre konkurrenter til Wangs fortsatte karriere i et-partistaten.

Wang, however, has competition from other provincial party leaders who also see an opportunity for advancement to the pinnacle of power now that Bo has fallen away.

Shanghai party chief Yu Zhengsheng opened his municipal congress on Friday and Zhang Gaoli, the party boss of the northern port city of Tianjin, kicks off his meeting on Tuesday.

Wang, Yu and Zhang are all contenders for the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee – expected to be led by Hu’s anointed successor, Xi Jinping – and their congress speeches offer clues to how warmly the new leadership will embrace economic, and even political reform.

Other contenders hail from central government or party bodies and do not have local party congresses to stage, and their political hues are more difficult to discern.

“These municipal, provincial party congresses, they are platforms for the local party bosses to showcase their policy orientations, their policy thinking. It is a platform for them to impress the centre,” said Wang Zhengxu, with the University of Nottingham’s China Policy Institute in Britain.

Minxin Pei har en fin analyse på Project Syndicate. Han argumenterer for, at det er en myte, når man i Vesten tror, at Kina er baseret på meritokrati. Lederne gør dermod karriere ved at snyde, bedrage, være korrupte og bruge forbindelser, skriver han.

Because of their relatively short tenure in one position before promotion (less than three years, on average, for local mayors), Chinese officials are under enormous pressure to demonstrate their ability to produce economic results quickly. One sure way of doing so is to use financial leverage, typically by selling land or using land as collateral to borrow large sums of money from often-obliging state-owned banks, to finance massive infrastructure projects, as Bo did in Chongqing.

CommentsThe result is promotion for such officials, because they have delivered quick GDP growth. But the economic and social costs are very high. Local governments are saddled with a mountain of debt and wasted investments, banks accumulate risky loans, and farmers lose their land.
CommentsWorse, as competition for promotion within the Chinese bureaucracy has escalated, even fake academic credentials and GDP growth records have become insufficient to advance one’s career. What increasingly determines an official’s prospects for promotion is his guanxi, or connections.

CommentsBased on surveys of local officials, patronage, not merit, has become the most critical factor in the appointment process. For those without guanxi, the only recourse is to purchase appointments and promotions through bribes. In the Chinese parlance, the practice is called maiguan, literally “buying office.” The official Chinese press is full of corruption scandals of this type.
CommentsGiven such systemic debasement of merit, few Chinese citizens believe that they are governed by the best and the brightest. But astonishingly, the myth of a Chinese meritocracy remains very much alive among Westerners who have encountered impressively credentialed officials like Bo. The time has come to bury it.

Roderick MacFarquhar skriver i en kronik i New York Times, at skandalen om Bo Xilai har afsløret partitoppens og partiprinsernes enorme rigdom og luksuøse livsstil, der samtidig viser deres frygt for Kinas fremtid.

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.)

Today, the party’s 80 million members are still powerful, but most join the party for career advancement, not idealism. Every day, there are some 500 protests, demonstrations or riots against corrupt or dictatorial local party authorities, often put down by force. The harsh treatment that prompted the blind human-rights advocate Chen Guangcheng to seek American protection is only one of the most notorious cases. The volatile society unleashed against the state by Mao almost 50 years ago bubbles like a caldron. Stories about the wealth amassed by relatives of party leaders like Mr. Bo, who have used their family connections to take control of vast sectors of the economy, will persuade even loyal citizens that the rot reaches to the very top.


Hurtige klik fra Kina af Kim Rathcke Jensen. Jeg er journalist og BA i kinesisk. Jeg bor i Beijing, hvor jeg arbejder som Politikens korrespondent i Kina og Asien.

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