Tag arkiv for Bo Xilai

Bo Xilai: Opsamling og links om dommen

Bo Xilai blev idømt fængsel på livstid, som jeg skriver her på Kinablog. Nedenunder får du opsamling og links til analyser og kommentarer om sagen.

East Asia Forum har fået John Garnaut til at skrive om dommen og dens betydning:

The rise of Bo Xilai showed that extreme measures may well be necessary to get anything done in an ageing one-party system. His demise, however, shows that Maoist political methods don’t sit easily with a modern economy, an increasingly fragmented political elite and a society that is empowered by prosperity and informed by new networks of information. Several of Xi’s supporters within the elite say it is too early to rule out the possibility that Xi wants to leave China with something closer to a credible legal system than the one he has inherited. Many say he is blasting a path through webs of patronage and a hopelessly self-interested political-bureaucracy to enable urgent economic reforms. Whatever Xi’s plans, it is ironic, and potentially dangerous, that he first has to borrow from Bo’s playbook in order to give himself a chance.

PBS interviewer Orville Schell, der som andre siger, at den populistiske Bo var en trussel, fordi han kortsluttede den politiske proces i kommunistpartiet, hvor man gør karriere gennem studehandler og personlige netværk:

Well it was not only an isolated case about one official who was corrupt, but a very high official whose father was one of the “Eight Revolutionary Immortals” that were part of Mao’s revolution. o this sort of reached back into the deep recesses behind the veil of high party politics.

Bo Xilai was a threat to other leaders because he saw the power base that was outside of the consensual kind of backroom leadership agreements that usually decide who rises. He sought to rally a popular following. And this was very threatening to others in the top leadership.

Guardian har interviewet Roderick Macfarquhar, der er enig med Schell, og forklarer, at det var derfor Bo blev en politisk konkurrent, som præsident Xi Jinping ville have af vejen:

Although no one could have foreseen the spectacular manner of Bo’s fall, it had become clear that rivals and enemies were keen to contain him as the party prepared for the handover of power to a new generation led by Xi Jinping, who was appointed Chinese leader in March.

“Bo was a powerful advocate … he was charismatic and was very definitely – in the post-Deng Xiaoping era – behaving contrary to the normal way,” said Roderick Macfarquhar, an expert on Chinese politics at Harvard University. “I think it’s quite possible that he would have taken advantage of any splits in the politburo standing committee to edge Xi aside.”

New York Times har blandt andre interviewet Li Weidong, som peger på, at det netop på grund af magtkampen ikke handler om en kampagne mod korruption i partiet:

“The life sentence for Bo was a little heavier than many people expected,” said Li Weidong, a former magazine editor in Beijing who often writes about party politics. “He probably angered the leaders by resisting all the charges and pleading innocent. That’s not what toppled officials are generally supposed to do.”

Mr. Xi appears to hope that the punishment of Mr. Bo and other fallen officials will deter corruption, without the need for political changes that would subject leaders to much more intense public scrutiny, Mr. Li said.

“It’s like the emperors who tried to cure corruption without changing the imperial court,” Mr. Li said. “This is not about institutional change; it’s about Xi establishing his image as a clean emperor.”

Wall Street Journal har talt med Zhang Lifan, som jeg også har interview med her, der peger på, at den helt store vinder efter skandalen er Xi Jinping:

For many in the Party, the choreography aims to send a message that Mr. Xi now has unrivaled authority over the Party elite—civilian and military—as he prepares to unveil a package of potentially painful economic reforms at an important Party meeting, known as a “plenum,” in November.

“Xi Jinping wants to be a strong leader, but he doesn’t quite have the power he needs yet,” said Zhang Lifan, a Party historian and political analyst. “By dealing with Bo Xilai in this way, he’s sending a clear message ahead of the plenum that he will strike hard at any opponents.”

Mr. Zhang and others in the Party see a conscious attempt to emulate Deng Xiaoping, who launched China’s first market-oriented reforms at a plenum in 1978 after emerging victorious from a protracted power struggle after the death of Chairman Mao Zedong.

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Bo Xilai: Fængsel på livstid skal sende politisk signal

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Det var en smilende Bo Xilai, der søndag formiddag stillede sig op i retssalen i Jinan for at få sin dom, som man kan se for eksempel i det her korte klip på CCTV eller i dette længere klip, hvor der også er levende billeder fra retssalen.

Men det er måske sidste gang, at den 64-årige Bo kommer til at vise sig offentligt.

Bo blev dømt skyldig i magtmisbrug samt bestikkelse og korruption for cirka 22 millioner kroner. Men hans egentlige forbrydelse var, at han var en dygtig politiker, som havde fået for stor magt.

Bo Xilai var partisekretær i millionbyen Chongqing, hvor han blev populær efter en hårdtslående kampagne mod kriminalitet. Tusinder blev anholdt og flere henrettet. Ifølge kritikerne også flere af hans politiske modstandere.

• Læs også – alle tidligere artikler på Kinablog om Bo Xilai

Bo blev også populær blandt almindelige kinesere, fattige og venstrefløjen, fordi han førte sig frem på en bølge af kommunistisk nostalgi og en økonomisk politik og værdier, der har rødder tilbage til Mao Zedong.

Det er de samme elementer, som Kinas nye præsident Xi Jinping bruger, siger analytikere.

»Hvad er forskellen mellem den nuværende politiske rute og Bo Xilais? Xi Jinpings regime får ikke nogen point for retssagen. Den var uden betydning«, siger Zhang Ming, der er politisk ekspert og professor på Renmin Universitet i Beijing.

For Chen Ziming, der er uafhængig akademiker og politisk kommentator, har der også stort set kun været en enkelt overraskelse omkring hele skandalen om Bo Xilai.

»Vi troede, at centralregeringen ville tage afstand fra Bo Xilais politiske kurs, men i stedet har de udvidet den. Med udvidet mener jeg, at de lægger mere vægt på at ‘synge rødt’ end Bo gjorde, og at de kæmper om magten på den ideologiske kampplads«, siger Chen Ziming.

Retssagen mod Bo var ikke juridisk. Den var politisk. Præsident Xi Jinping og lederne i Kinas Kommunistparti ville have den populistiske Bo af vejen. Siden partiet arresterede ham sidste år har de kinesiske medier og partiets propaganda systematisk tilsværtet Bo og hans tilhængere i landets medier.

• Læs også – Magtkamp i Kina: Hovedpersoner og tidslinje

Inden den fem dage lange retssag begyndte i sidste måned havde analytikere forventet en straf på 15-20 års fængsel. Bo blev i stedet idømt livsvarigt fængsel. Den langt hårdere straf sætter en tyk streg under, at Bo Xilais politiske karriere er forbi.

Domstolen i Jinan brugte en mikroblog på Sina Weibo, der er en mellemting mellem Facebook og Twitter, til at offentliggøre redigerede udskrifter fra retssagen. Det blev derfor i de kinesiske medier fremlagt som et bevis på, at det var en åben retssag og Kina en retsstat.

Xi Jinping har gjort kampen mod korruption til en af hans mærkesager. Medier og kommunistpartiet forsøgte også at fremvise sagen mod Bo som et eksempel, hvordan oprydningen kan ramme selv de mest magtfulde partimedlemmer – tigrene – øverst i partiet.

»Nu skal Xi Jinping og partiet fortsætte kampen mod ‘tigrene’. Det er også det eneste, som de kan gøre, for det forventer folk af Xi. Men – Kina har også masser af tigre, som han kan slås med«, siger Chen Ziming.

Retssagen mod Bo Xilai skulle afsluttes før det vigtige politiske topmøde i november, hvor Xi Jinping forventes at lancere omfattende økonomiske reformer, der kræver intern ro i partiet.

Myndighederne var mere åbne om retssagen end mange forventede. Men det var dog kun redigerede udskrifter, som der hver dag blev offentliggjort på domstolens mikroblog.

»Myndighederne ville gøde jorden for at dommen blev accepteret samt bakke op om Xi’s lederskab og give hans kampagne for anti-korruption en god begyndelse«, siger Wu Qiang, der er ekspert i politik og tilknyttet Tsinghua Universitet i Beijing.

Men samtidig havde mange heller ikke forventet, at Bo Xilai ville være så kampberedt under retssagen, som han viste sig at være.

»Bo’s forsvar betød, at situationen ændrede sig, så dommen viste sig at blive svær«, siger Wu Qiang.

Læs også – Censur: Kinas kamp mod internettet er ‘deprimerende’

Både retssagen og den store kampagne mod ‘rygter’ på internettet, hvor etpartistaten i de seneste måneder har anholdt hundreder af personer og forstærket kontrol og censur af sociale medier, skal derfor cementere ledernes magt, siger Zhang Lifan, der er en fremtrædende historiker og politisk analytiker.

»Men det har givet en voldsom modreaktion, og i medierne, som tilhører de forskellige faktioner, er der stadig mange forskellige stemmer. Hos folket er der stadig stærke følelser og opbakning til Bo. Så lederne har ikke mange garantier for, at der vil blive renset ud blandt oppositionens stemmer inden mødet«, siger Zhang Lifan.

:: Foto fra Renmin Wang

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Politisk skandale: Kina klar til retssag mod Bo Xilai

Bo og famili 400x372 shkl Kina er – langt om længe – på vej til at begynde retssagen mod Bo Xilai. Dermed håber partiet og de nye ledere at sætte punktum for den største politiske skandale i Kina i to årtier.

Den 25. juli blev Bo, der ses her ude til venstre med hans hustru Gu Kailai, der blev dømt for mordet på Neil Heywood og sønnen Bo Guagua, der studerer i USA, anklaget for bestikkelse, korruption og magtmisbrug.

Der er endnu ikke fastsat en dato for, hvornår sagen begynder og Bo får sin dom. Men alle gæt lyder på, at det vil være inden for de næste par uger.

Retssagen er dog blot mest et stykke teater, der skal give dommen en fernis af legitimitet. Den vil kun være åben for et særligt udvalgt publikum, og offentlighed og medier vil ikke få adgang. Dommen er også aftalt og forhandlet på plads på forhånd af de øverste ledere i partiet, og advokater og dommere har ingen indflydelse på den.

Læs også – alle tidligere artikler på Kinablog om Bo Xilai

Bo Xila var Kinas erhvervsminister fra 2002 og frem til 2007, hvor Bo blev udnævnt til partisekretær for Chongqing. Han var – og er – populær blandt mange kinesere og kendt over hele Kina som neo-maoist og fortaler for gamle kommunistiske værdier.

Samtidig var han også en del af den lille gruppe på 25 mænd i politbureauet, der styrer både Kinas Kommunistparti og har magten over Kina. I årene op til skandalen forsøgte han at bruge sin popularitet på at køre sig i stilling til partikongressen i 2012, hvor han sigtede efter en mere magtfuld post.

Bo er også søn af en kommunistpartiets grundlæggere, og kommer fra en af partiets politiske familier, der kan sammenlignes med amerikanske Kennedy, Clinton eller Bush.

Kinas Kommunistparti vil forsøge at sælge sagen mod Bo som en kamp mod korruption og magtmisbrug. Den vil de færreste kinesere hoppe på. Det er en politisk magtkamp, som jeg skrev i Politiken:

»For Xi Jinping handler det her om at afmontere en politisk bombe«, siger Joseph Cheng, der er professor på City University of Hong Kong

Willy Wo-Lap Lam, ekspert i kinesisk politik og professor på Akita International University i Japan, forventer ikke, at Bo Xilai bliver idømt dødsstraf, som der tidligere er blevet givet i andre alvorlige store om korruption. Han forventer derimod en dom på 15-20 års fængsel.

»Internt i kommunistpartiet ved man, at medlemmer af politbureauet ikke kan blive idømt dødsstraffe. Det er en beskyttelse og et privilegium for højstående partimedlemmer«, siger Willy Wo-Lap Lam.

Læs ogsåMagtkamp i Kina: Hovedpersoner og tidslinje

I dag har Ma Jian – det er forfatteren til blandt andet bogen Beijing Coma – en kronik på Project Syndicate, som er værd at læse:

As always where the Party is concerned, Chinese law is mere window dressing. The law is applied sparingly, if at all, to the Party elite, and the interests of justice (at least as the outside world understands the term) are rarely the highest priority in such situations. A trial such as Bo’s is invariably part of a political deal among insiders.

The real story of Bo’s career – one of infidelity, betrayal, and corruption – is appalling. The victims include the Heywood family, his Chinese wife, and their children. Their tragedy stands as a profound indictment of the CCP’s rule, because no family is safe when governments are not subject to the rule of law. Happy households and harmonious states go together. But, in China, party leaders like Bo hold life-or-death power over citizens and their families.

For the CCP, saving face is paramount. Bo will join a long line of incarcerated officials, though the special prisons where they are held may seem like recreation centers for retired senior officials when compared to the abusive and physically degrading conditions that the Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo and other prisoners have had to endure. Bo’s son, Bo Guagua, will live an invisible life abroad.

So Bo is anything but a tragic figure. When he cries for his dead daughter Cordelia, King Lear comes to understand the personal flaws that brought about his demise, and for this he elicits sympathy. When Bo appears in court, his pleas will not be so persuasive. We may see in his face Lear’s desperation: “Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stones.” But in the courtroom, and all over China, the audience will remain unmoved – and rightly so.

Pin Ho har en kronik i dagens International Herald Tribune hvor han argumenterer for, at Bo mod partiets vilje kan gå hen og blive en helt for de mere konservative fløje:

But the pretrial proceedings have dragged on for nearly a year, a sign that airbrushing Mr. Bo out of the picture is proving more difficult than anticipated. Mr. Bo’s allies and foes are deeply intertwined. Even the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee — which is led by President Xi and which Mr. Bo once hoped to join — cannot easily move against Mr. Bo’s formidable, though weakened, allies.

Most Chinese know that Mr. Bo, with his flamboyant egotism, was no angel. Under his crackdown on organized crime in Chongqing, opponents were imprisoned, tortured and executed, or lost their jobs and assets without due process of law. But they also believe that those who brought him down may be even more corrupt or despicable.

A lengthy prison term might turn Mr. Bo from a grasping regional politician into a national symbol, or even a martyr. At a time of rampant corruption and social injustice, many see him as a charismatic leftist who at least dared to challenge the status quo of organized crime and official self-dealing and to revive Mao’s socialist, egalitarian ideals. The appearance of pro-Bo images alongside Mao portraits at anti-Japan nationalist demonstrations last September and the arrest on Monday of a Chinese reporter who had urged people to protest the forthcoming trial are signs of this mood.

Predictions that the charges against Mr. Bo would deal a death blow to the revival of Maoist ideology haven’t come to pass. If anything, since the party’s 18th National Congress last fall, some leaders, alarmed by rising unrest and a slowing economy, have promoted Maoist campaigns similar to Mr. Bo’s.

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Politik skandale i Kina: Wang Lijun idømt 15 års fængsel

U=4195661699 209987013 fm=11 gp=0 200x151 shkl Wang Lijun fik 15 års fængsel. Den kinesiske robocop og tidligere politichef i Chongqing flygtede i februar til det amerikanske konsulat i Chengdu, og det blev begyndelsen på den politiske skandale, der væltede hans magtfulde chef, Bo Xilai.

Bo var ikke bare partisekretær for den enorme byprovins Chongqing, men også medlem af kommunistpartiets Politibureau, som er den gruppe på kun 25 mænd, der reelt leder Kina.

Den 52-årige Wang blev dømt for afhopning, magtmisbrug, for at tage imod bestikkelse og for at bruge loven til personlig vinding, som det hed ifølge Xinhua.

De kinesiske domstole hører under Kinas Kommunistparti og er ikke uafhængige af staten. Derfor er dommene ofte reelt afsagt inden retssager begynder. Især når det gælder politisk følsomme sager.

Læs også - alle artikler om Bo Xilai på Kinablog

For en måned siden blev Gu Kailai, der er gift med Bo Xilai, dømt for mordet på den britiske forretningsmand Neil Heywood sidste år. Ifølge den officielle forklaring var Wang Lijun den øverste ansvarlige for efterforskningen, og han var med til at dække over mordet.

Men Wang valgte, uvist hvorfor, at konfrontere Bo Xilai med sin viden om mordet. De to mænd, der i årevis havde kørt et politisk og karrieremæssigt parløb, ragede uklar med hinanden. Og i februar 2012 søgte Wang i sikkerhed i det amerikanske konsulat i Chengdu, hvor han opholdt sig i 36 timer.

Efter retssagen i sidste uge mod Wang kom Xinhua med et langt udskrift med masser af detaljer om mordet, hvor Bo Xilai også for første gang sætter ham officielt i forbindelse med sagen.

For nu er det kun Bo Xilai, der står tilbage som den sidste brik i skandalen. Indtil videre har forløbet været forudsigeligt med først retssagen mod Gu Kailai og dernæst Wang Lijun. Der er kommet en stigende stak af detaljer og informationer, og det hele leder op til en enkelt person, for det voksende bjerg af snavs venter kun på at blive blæst ud over Bo Xilai.

Hvornår kommer vi så til at høre mere om Bo? Jeg tror, at sagen skal afsluttes og Bo stuves af vejen før den 18. partikongres kan begynde.

Her får du en opsamling om sagen.

Bloomberg citerer Jean-Pierre Cabestan for, at det netop er Bo Xilai, der er den næste i rækken:

The conviction now turns the spotlight on Bo, who was considered a candidate for the ruling Politburo Standing Committee before the murder allegations against Gu. Bo’s March ouster as Chongqing party secretary sparked the party’s biggest crisis since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and roiled planning for a once-in-a-decade leadership transition set to occur at a party congress this year.

“This middle way underscores the deep divisions among leaders about the Bo Xilai case but also the need to unify and move forward,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, head of the department of government and international studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, referring to the fact that Wang wasn’t given the maximum sentence. “An image of order, calm and harmony is badly needed.”

Caixin og redaktør Hu Shuli skriver, hvordan sagerne mod Gu Kailai og Wang Lijun viser de enorme svagheder ved retsvæsenet i Kina, og hvordan det peger frem mod Bo Xilai:

The rule of law is written in China’s constitution, and states that consensus between the ruling party and the public is a goal. The trials of Bogu and Wang, and the shards of truth that have since emerged, were an important exercise in the rule of law.

According to the prosecutor, Wang “revealed important information of others’ legal activities” and “played an important role in the investigation of relevant cases.” Perhaps this represents only a prelude to another trial, which can serve as the final installment to the saga and open the door to legal reforms. While nothing has been a foregone conclusion with regard to the handling of the cases, it is clear that the establishment of a judicial system that can make horizontal and vertical checks on power must be implemented with greater urgency than ever.

Guardian har et glimrende portræt af Wang Lijun, der er skrevet af Tania Branigan. Der er masser af fantastiske detaljer om den meget mediebevidste Wang, der var Bo Xilais højre hånd:

Wang claimed to have wrestled a suicide bomber to the floor just seconds before the man detonated his explosives. He boasted about love letters from awed young women and that his classmates at police academy had nicknamed him “tiger general”. But for all the self-mythologising, he succeeded in winning popular acclaim.

As Bo’s loyal aide, he led a dramatic campaign against organised crime, which built the politician’s profile nationwide – and echoed the crackdowns Wang spearheaded in his earlier career; even, some say, in their disregard for procedural niceties.

Like his patron, he was tall and image-conscious, a populist who used dramatic stunts to enhance his standing, a transparently ambitious risk-taker who made many enemies.

His devotion to duty was such that he chose to holiday in Beijing, where – rather than sightseeing – he spent hours standing at major road junctions, watching the traffic officers work.

Once back home, he used the photographs he had taken to practise his gestures and hand signals.

Wang soon worked his way through the ranks, boasting that the police university had trained him as a special agent, with mastery in multiple martial arts. By the time he arrived in Daming, in Tieling city, as police director in the early 90s, the pattern appeared to be set.

Telegraph og Malcolm Moore har også flere detaljer i et portræt af Wang Lijun:

Even in his earliest days, at the local police academy, Mr Wang shone out, said Mr Chen. He said Mr Wang had shown him a yearbook filled with praise from his classmates. Some called him the “Hero of the North East”, while others said he was the “Pride of the Chinese Police”.

After graduation, however, Mr Wang’s first job was as a traffic cop. Throughout his career, he showed a keen interest in day-to-day policing, and filed nearly 200 patents, including for police raincoats and boots, and one for traffic police islands where officers can use their laptops.

Highly emotional, however, he also suffered from the stress of the job. In the early 1990s, he suffered a nervous breakdown. Later, the bounty placed on his head by mafia godfathers grew to as high as 12 million yuan (£1.2 million). At home, his wife feared for their safety, and refused to open the door if he was not at home.

:: Foto fra denne BBS

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Magtkamp i Kina: Opsamlig og links om Bo Xilai

Bo og famili 400x372 shkl
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.

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Magtkamp i Kina: Opsamling og links

Voa chinese bo xilai 13Feb12 480 250x182 Med Bo Xilais afgang er den politiske magtkamp brudt ud i lys lue. Det er den største ideologiske kamp i Kina i to årtier, der handler om den politiske og økonomiske kurs for Kina i de kommende år, og hvem der skal stå i spidsen for landet i det næste årti. Du kan læse alle tidligere artikler om magtkampen og Bo Xilai her.

Caixin mener i en leder, at skandalen om Bo Xilai er et eksempel på, at der er brug for demokratiske mekanismer i Kina, der skal forhindre korruption, og at politikere misbruger deres magt.

As a rule, corruption thrives in an authoritarian regime. A leader with exceptional self-discipline may be able to stay above board. But, at this stage of its development, China offers too many temptations, and the collusion of money and power is commonplace.

We can’t rely on personal virtue alone to deliver a clean government. If a political leader already struggles to toe the line, how much more difficult would it be for him to ensure his family and staff do the same?

Speaking of his wife of over 20 years, Bo said last month that he was touched that she gave up her legal career to keep house for him. But now this person that he should know well is accused of killing someone over a conflict of interests. If true, what drove a once successful lawyer to such radical action? Clearly, she must have thought she was invulnerable. Though this is an extreme example, the abuse of power by the wives and children of political leaders is only too common.

Some people are fooled by the aura of power and believe that powerful people who claim to be clean must be so, and those who are the offspring of revolutionary heroes must be selfless and stainless. This is a superstition we must discard.

International Herald Tribune har en ugentlig klumme af Didi Kirsten Tatlow, der her skriver, hvordan mange kinesere frygter, at Kina er blevet en mafiastat. Efter Bo Xilais skandale har partiet mistet en stor bid af deres legitimitet, og endnu en gang er den årelange debat om nationens moralske forfald blusset op.

Secret societies, or triads, have long flourished in China, occupying a vague ground that included anti-dynastic activities, mutual help societies and outright criminality. Sun Yat-sen, the Republican revolutionary, and Chiang Kai-shek, the Nationalist leader, both participated in differing ways in different times. In the years before Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule in 1997, top leaders like Deng Xiaoping and Tao Siju, the public security minister, declared that some of Hong Kong’s triad members were “patriotic,” according to news reports at the time. The statements were read as a nod of acceptance by Beijing.

Some Chinese believe Mr. Bo and Mr. Wang’s high-profile campaign against organized crime in Chongqing may have been merely a classic maneuver whereby one gang replaces another. And despite his reported concern about the reach of organized crime into government, no one believes Mr. Wang’s hands are clean.

South China Morning Post ser nærmere på, hvad der måske kommer til at ske for Zhou Yongkang, der er Kinas svar på Dick Cheney, og som var en af Bo Xilais mest magtfulde støtter. Men, som så ofte med kinesisk politik, det bygger på spekulationer og anonyme kilder, der påstår at have kendskab til de inderste cirkler i partiet.

However unlikely it might be, any action against Zhou, a member of the innermost Politburo Standing Committee, would have more significant bearing than that against Bo on the way the world’s last major Communist Party-ruled nation evolves.

Zhou, officially ranked last in the nine-member committee, oversees state security and the police. But seasoned China watchers consider him one of the committee’s most powerful men. Some pundits have described him as a hardliner, similar to the former US vice-president Dick Cheney. “He [Zhou] grimaces even when he smiles,” said an analyst who declined to be named.

Rumours, hard facts and insider accounts have all pointed to Zhou’s political bond with Bo, though this does not mean that Zhou was personally involved in any of Bo’s wrongdoings.

Before Bo’s downfall, Zhou was among just a few senior leaders to openly support Bo’s leftist campaign in Chongqing . But Bo’s policies apparently challenged the vision of China held by President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao . It is evident that the battle between those represented by the Zhou-Bo faction, looking to China’s Maoist past, and those looking to a more democratic future, led by Hu and Wen, has been laid bare.

Party insiders said that Zhou is the only standing committee member to disapprove of the handling of the Bo affair, a claim supported by the fact that Zhou made a last-ditch effort to support Bo a week before the former Chongqing boss’ sacking on March 15.

Guardian skriver, hvordan USA gør alt for ikke at blive fanget af den kinesiske skandale, selvom det amerikanske konsulat i Chengdu spiller en hovedrolle. For hvorfor fik Wang Lijun ikke asyl, og hvad skete der på konsulatet?

Washington is desperately trying to avoid being drawn into the internal Chinese struggle that began with the attempted defection of a provincial official in February and has since expanded to include the suspected poisoning of British businessman Neil Heywood.

As the scandal surrounding Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai has spiralled into the biggest crisis confronting Beijing for years, US officials repeatedly refused to comment on the power struggle.

At the state department’s daily press briefing on Wednesday, spokesman Mark Toner declined to discuss the issue in detail, particularly the attempted defection of the Chongqing vice-mayor Wang Lijun.

Toner stuck rigidly to a short, agreed version of events. “Wang Lijun requested a meeting with the US consulate-general in early February. He was there on Monday 6 and left on Tuesday February 7. And he left by his own volition. But I can’t talk about the discussions,” he said.

Wall Street Journal citerer anonyme kilder, der uddyber USAs rolle og Wang Lijuns besøg på konsulatet.

U.S. officials felt there was little chance Mr. Wang would have quickly qualified for asylum.

That was because of what they said was his reputation as an unsavory strongman for Mr. Bo up until the two fell out over the suspicious death in Chengdu of Neil Heywood, a British businessman.

As a result, the U.S. and Mr. Wang agreed that American officials should reach out to central government authorities to retrieve Mr. Wang, rather than allow him to fall into the hands of the local party’s security forces, according to people who were briefed by both U.S. and Chinese authorities.

When Mr. Wang left the consulate he was taken into custody by national security forces and apparently taken to Beijing.

On the U.S. side, the matter reached as high as the White House, American officials said. The White House and State Department declined to comment.

Telegraph og Malcolm Moore skriver, at der indtil videre er arresteret mindst 39 personer i efterforskningen om mordet og korruptionen omkring Bo.

At least 39 people are thought to be being held, alongside Mr Bo, in the seaside town of Beidaihe, a favourite retreat for Communist party leaders.

“The detainees include Xu Ming, who had a very special relationship with Mr Bo, and some of the people who worked with him,” said Wang Kang, a well-connected independent scholar and public figure in Chongqing who is the only person with inside information on Mr Bo’s removal from power to go on the record.

“The detainees are mainly people from Dalian and other places, not from Chongqing,” he added. Mr Xu is one of China’s richest men, a billionaire who heads the Dalian Shide industrial conglomerate. The 41-year-old has not been seen at the company since mid-March.

One of the people in custody is Xia Deling, the former party chief of Nan’an district in Chongqing, the area in which Mr Heywood’s body was discovered, on November 15, in the Nanshan Lijing Holiday Hotel.

Mr Xia has been rumoured to have supplied the cyanide that killed Mr Heywood. However, Mr Wang suggested that this is unlikely. “Xia Deling was promoted from the countryside to his post in Nan’an, skipping up two ranks, so he was very loyal. But I do not think he would have personally obtained the poison,” he said.

National Bureau of Asian Research har et interessant interview med Cheng Li fra Brookings Institute i Washington, hvor han diskuterer, om skandalen om Bo er en negativ eller positiv ting for Kina (.pdf). Og i første omgang er det godt, mener Cheng.

My overall assessment is that the dismissal of Bo Xilai is a very positive event in China’s politicaldevelopment. While it has already constituted the most serious political crisis since the 1989 Tiananmenincident (and perhaps since the 1971 Lin Biao incident), the Hu Jintao–Wen Jiabao administration mayhave successfully avoided an even bigger crisis. In stark contrast with the 1989 Tiananmen incident,China’s economy and society have hardly been disrupted, at least up until now. This reflects the maturityof Chinese society and the strength of the country as a whole. To a great extent, this crisis has been agood thing for China. It not only reveals major flaws in the Chinese political system, but may also helpthe Chinese leadership, intellectual communities, and the general public reach a new consensus, thuscontributing to bold and genuine political reforms. However, if the leadership fails to seize this greatopportunity, the CCP will be in greater jeopardy in the years to come.

Wall Street Journal ser nærmere på Bo Xilai og milliarderne. For er det en holdbar vækst på over 16 procent i Chongqings økonomi eller bygger den på lån og luftkasteller? Og hvad siger den om den konservative og maostiske økonomi, som Bo var fortaler for.

Authorities are questioning billions of dollars of government spending in the city of Chongqing launched under fallen leader Bo Xilai, according to people familiar with the matter, in a direct challenge to his state-heavy, populist programs that drew interest from across China.

Chongqing’s new leaders have launched a “cleanup” of government investment projects, one local financial official said—projects that helped to propel the megacity’s growth to the fastest in China and put Mr. Bo on track to be considered for a senior national leadership position. Another person said scrutiny has fallen on the city’s tree-planting campaign, a Bo pet project widely supported in the city but which he has publicly said cost an extraordinary 10 billion yuan, or roughly $1.5 billion, a year.

Financial Times ser lidt i forlængelse af WSJs artikel på, hvordan nepotisme er udbredt i kinesisk politik og erhvervsliv.

The spectacular downfall of Mr Bo, one of China’s most powerful politicians, has rocked the stability-obsessed ruling party.

It has also shone a light on China’s powerful political families who sit at the intersection between power and money and often act as facilitators for domestic and foreign businesses in the country.

“It’s totally normal, and in fact vital in many industries, to hire family members of senior Chinese officials as consultants and go-betweens,” says one veteran foreign executive of a multi-national in China. However, there is no suggestion that TPG paid for access to Mr Bo or that it is involved in any way in the Heywood affair. The purpose of the TPG meeting was to discuss establishing a renminbi-denominated fund in Chongqing.

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Magtkamp i Kina: Opsamling og links

Med Bo Xilais afgang er den politiske magtkamp brudt ud i lys lue. Det er den største ideologiske kamp i Kina i to årtier, der handler om den politiske og økonomiske kurs for Kina i de kommende år, og hvem der skal stå i spidsen for landet i det næste årti. Du kan læse alle tidligere artikler om magtkampen og Bo Xilai her.

New York Times skriver, at Storbritannien nu igen presser Kina for flere informationer i sagen om Neil Heywood.

After months of soft-pedaling by British diplomats in the case of a British businessman believed to have been murdered in China, Prime Minister David Cameron and his government abruptly changed course on Tuesday, going to Parliament with a blunt demand that China “expose the truth behind this tragic case” and do so in a manner that “is free from political interference.”

On a day when Mr. Cameron met with China’s de facto propaganda chief at 10 Downing Street and pressed the case of Neil Heywood, the 41-year-old businessman found dead in his hotel in the southern city of Chongqing on Nov. 15, Foreign Secretary William Hague faced a barrage of angry questions from opposition lawmakers concerned that Britain had played down suspicions about the death as part of a push for a larger foothold in China’s booming economy.

Setting out a chronology of Britain’s involvement in a case that has become enmeshed in a shadowy power struggle over China’s next generation of leaders, Mr. Hague revealed that British diplomats in China had waited for several weeks before he ordered them on Feb. 7 to raise suspicions about the death with Chinese authorities. Those suspicions had first been put to the British Embassy in Beijing by “the British expatriate community in China” on Jan. 18, he said. He acted, Mr. Hague acknowledged, after receiving information about the death that was relayed to Britain separately by American diplomats.

New York Times skriver også, hvordan der er ved at komme stadigt flere detaljer frem om, hvad der foregik på det amerikanske konsulat i Chengdu, da Wang Lijun søgte om politisk asyl der i februar, og hvilken rolle USA har spillet. NYT har dog haltet bagefter Reuters, Financiel Times og især Wall Street Journal, og der er heller ikke meget nyt i artiklen, men den er ok opsummering.

On the evening of Feb. 6, a vice mayor of a major Chinese city who had a reputation as a crime fighter turned up at the American Consulate in Chengdu in an agitated state, wearing a disguise and telling a tale of corruption and murder that has ensnared the Obama administration in a scandal it wants nothing to do with.

The official, Wang Lijun, sought asylum, fearing for his life even as Chinese security forces quickly surrounded the building and asked the American diplomats inside to turn him over.

Instead, after a frantic debate that reached the White House, Mr. Wang stayed until he could arrange for an official in the ministry of public safety in Beijing to come 36 hours later and escort him past the security cordon outside to safety — or, more likely, custody. He has not been heard from since, and is now under investigation for divulging internal Chinese affairs to the Americans. If charged with and convicted of treason, he could face a death sentence.

The information Mr. Wang possessed involved Bo Xilai, who was the Communist Party chief in Chongqing until last month and Mr. Wang’s onetime patron before a falling-out led Mr. Wang to seek refuge in the consulate, according to administration officials, Congressional aides, diplomats and others briefed on what had happened.

According to the officials’ version, the American diplomats who oversaw his brief, bizarre stay pre-empted any formal application for asylum because of the difficulties of spiriting him out of the country and questions about his eligibility. Instead, they said, the State Department shielded him from almost certain arrest by police officers loyal to Mr. Bo and ensured he could make his accusations in Beijing.

Telegraph fortæller, hvordan Bo Xilai opbyggede et rødt regime af frygt i Chongqing, hvor embedsmænd for eksempel begik selvmord.

The 62-year-old Mr Bo, the scion of one of China’s most powerful political families, always cultivated an image as a man of the people.

But in the wake of the alleged murder of Neil Heywood, a British businessman, and the purge of Mr Bo’s from China’s top leadership, unsettling details have begun to emerge about his rule in Chongqing.
Xie Dajun, a midlevel official in the city’s science and technology department, was the first to commit suicide, in September 2009.

After a quiet dinner with his friends, he drove to one of the colossal bridges over the Yangtze river, carefully parked his car – turning on his safety lights to alert other motorists to the hazard – and threw himself into the muddy waters below.

His friends said Mr Xie had been driven to desperation by Mr Bo’s “Red Songs” campaign, when residents in Chongqing were ordered to sing songs from China’s revolutionary days.

Reuters citerer en anonym kilde for, at Bo Xilai i første omgang gik med til en undersøgelse af hans hustru, der var mistænkt for mord.

The sources’ account gives new details of the dramatic breakdown in relations between Bo, an ambitious leader who cast himself as the crime-fighting boss of Chongqing, China’s biggest municipality, and his once trusted police chief, Wang Lijun.

Reuters reported on Monday that Briton Neil Heywood was poisoned last November after he threatened to expose a plan by Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, to move money abroad.

The scandal is potentially the most divisive the Communist Party has faced since Zhao Ziyang was sacked as Party chief in 1989 for opposing the brutal army crackdown on student-led demonstrations for democracy centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing that year.

Before his fall, Bo, 62, was widely seen as a contender for a post in China’s top leadership committee, which will be decided later this year.

In a tense meeting on or about January 18, Wang confronted Bo with evidence implicating Gu in the death of Heywood, a former friend of the Bo family, said two sources with knowledge of police and government information on the case.

Bo was so angry he ordered Wang out of the office, but after composing himself he told Wang to return and signaled that he would let the inquiry proceed, the sources added.

Two or three days later, Bo backflipped and shunted aside Wang in an apparent bid to quash the inquiry and protect his wife and his career, the sources said.

Wall Street Journal har en analyse af Minxin Pei, der stiller tre spørgsmål om, hvad Bo Xilais fiasko betyder for kinesisk politik. Seks af Politbureauets Stående Udvalgs medlemmer har tidligere haft officielle besøg i Chongqing, og dermed signaleret opbakning til Bo og hans neo-maoistiske og populistiske politik. Så hvor står de i dag? Minxin Pei stiller tre spørgsmål, og her er det første.

First, how was an individual with such known flaws entrusted with so much power with so little constraint? Mr. Bo’s rise was almost as stunning as his fall. Until he was promoted to the Politburo and made the party chief of Chongqing, Mr. Bo had accumulated a mediocre record as the governor of Liaoning province and the minister of commerce. His family’s questionable financial dealings, now coming to light, could not have escaped the attention of the party’s anticorruption watchdog, the Central Discipline and Inspection Commission.

Most worryingly, after Mr. Bo became Chongqing’s party chief, he abused his power by arresting and incarcerating thousands of individuals in a so-called “smashing black” campaign, with little regard for the legal process. He cynically manipulated public opinion using the symbols of radical Maoist rule, flaunting a political ideology that represented an alternative to the party’s current policies.

Yet, instead of reining in Mr. Bo, Beijing did nothing. Worse still, it allowed him to bask in the media limelight. Six of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee paid homage to Chongqing, implicitly endorsing the now-discredited “Chongqing Model.”

Now that Mr. Bo is gone, the party seems to be patting itself on the back for cashiering him just in time. But the truth is plain: The party’s process of selecting its leaders is deeply flawed. Instead of picking the most capable and upright, the current system favors those with powerful patrons, little talent and no scruples.

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Magtkamp i Kina: Opsamling og links

Med Bo Xilais afgang er den politiske magtkamp brudt ud i lys lue. Det er den største ideologiske kamp i Kina i to årtier, der handler om den politiske og økonomiske kurs for Kina i de kommende år, og hvem der skal stå i spidsen for landet i det næste årti. Du kan læse alle tidligere artikler om magtkampen og Bo Xilai her.

Wall Street Journal har virkelig sat ressourcer af til at dække magtkampen, og avisen og Jeremy Page har for alvor sat sig på sagen om Bo Xilai. WSJ skriver her om, hvordan den britiske forretningsmand var bekymret og vidste, at der var noget galt kort tid inden han døde.

The British businessman had been summoned on short notice to a meeting in Chongqing in early November with representatives of the family of Bo Xilai, the local Communist Party chief, according to an account by a friend whom Mr. Heywood contacted at the time. Mr. Heywood told the friend he was “in trouble.”

After he flew to Chongqing, he tried to telephone his usual contacts but couldn’t get through to any of them, according to the friend. He was left waiting alone in his hotel room for instructions.

Mr. Heywood felt he had reason to be nervous, although he had taken steps to protect himself. He had told the same friend earlier that he had left documents detailing the overseas investments of Mr. Bo’s family with his lawyer in Britain as an “insurance policy” in case anything happened to him.

He had also told friends that he was concerned about his safety after falling out with Mr. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, who he said knew about the documents and was convinced she had been betrayed by someone in the family’s “inner circle” of friends and advisers.

New Yorker og Evan Osnos skriver om, hvordan kineserne debatterer den vilde sag på internettet, og han begynder med at trække trådene tilbage til 1971:

Leninist systems are built on secrecy, on a monopoly on information to prevent the wrong ideas from leading the people down the improper path. Secrecy was easier to maintain during the last Party purge of this scale, in 1971, when Lin Biao, a military leader, died in a mysterious plane crash in Mongolia, after the failure of his purported coup against Chairman Mao. It was a year before the Chinese public heard a thing about it, and forty years later China scholars are still trying to figure out what happened in the Lin Biao Incident.

The Party is reeling. Even the Global Times, a nationalist state newspaper that can find a bright side to anything, is straining to argue that “the government did not cover up but initiated an investigation accordingly. This is no longer the era where China would rather cover up issues to avoid revealing problems.” That, of course, is preposterous, but maintaining the illusion of order is especially important right now to the leaders of the country because it’s campaign season. It is at moments like this that the Chinese Communist Party acts from the brain stem, not the cortex, issuing an editorial to tell people that “the Party does not tolerate any special member who is above the law.” (The flipside of that assertion—that everybody receives equal treatment under the law—especially thin this week, as a Chinese court sentences a disabled lawyer, Ni Yulan, who has been applauded for defending people evicted from their homes, to two years and eight months in prison for causing a disturbance and fraud.)

Guardian har en leder, hvor de argumenterer for, at det konsensus drevne partistyre ikke bare kan fortsætte, som det altid har gjort. Der er behov for ændringer.

The fall of Bo tells us three things about the ability of the communist leadership to manage change.

The first is that it was enormously public. Brutal factional politics can no longer be concealed behind a screen. It is duplicated in real time all over millions of them.

The second is that, whether or not Bo’s fall was accidental or triggered by forces outside Chongqing, the myth that the grey, collective, consensus-led leadership can carry on business as usual has been temporarily dented, if not permanently shattered. The next generation of leaders faces such massive challenges – a major environmental crisis, an acute shortage of water in the north, a falling birthrate, the end of double-digit growth, the need to rebalance the economy towards domestic consumption, corruption, riots – that it patently cannot carry on business as usual.

Third, Bo’s rise and fall came amid a steady crescendo of debate about the need for reform, political as well as economic. Maybe Bo was the wrong answer to the right question.

Telegraph skriver, hvordan den tomme stol efter Bo Xilai kan give plads til den første kvinde i Politbureauet.

Mrs Liu, 66, has an impeccable political pedigree and is now in a strong position, following the demise of Bo Xilai, to become the first female member of China’s all-powerful nine-man Politburo Standing Committee, political analysts said.

“She has one huge advantage: she is very well connected,” said Bo Zhiyue, a professor who studies China’s leadership at the National University of Singapore.

In the closely-knit world of China’s “red aristocracy”, Mrs Liu has ties to almost all of the country’s other top leaders, either through her family or through her career. Her own father, Liu Ruilong, was an Agriculture vice-minister, a key role in the early years of China’s Communist era.

“For example, she is very close to Jiang Zemin, the former president. Her father, Liu Ruilong, introduced Jiang’s foster father, or uncle, into the Communist Youth League in 1925. That is a close bond”.

Los Angeles Times har talt med analytikere, der argumenterer for, at magtkampen først og fremmest skyldes Bo Xilais personlige stil frem for en politisk kamp.

But even Bo’s sympathizers on the new left say his downfall is unrelated to ideological differences overChina’spolitical path.

“It looks like a very simple case of murder; this might be something out of a Hollywood movie, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate anything about what direction China is headed,” said Sima Nan, one of the most prominent Chinese intellectuals associated with the new left.

Indeed, analyst Jin believes that Bo or his wife could have gotten away with murder had Bo remained in good standing with the top leadership.

“Hu and Wen were determined to take him down completely,” Jin said.

“If they wanted to protect Bo, they would have separated him from his wife’s actions,” he added, referring to Gu being publicly identified by her husband’s name.

New York Times ser også nærmere på, hvordan en britisk forretningsmand og konsulent kom til at spille en hovedrolle i den største politiske skandale i Kina i flere årtier. Samt hvem Neil Heywood egentlig er.

A maverick since his school days in England, Mr. Heywood appears to have met the Bo family in the northeastern city of Dalian, where he moved from Britain in the early 1990s and by some accounts taught English. He told one British journalist, Tom Reed, that he sent out a flurry of introductory letters to Chinese officials seeking a connection to the elite, and that Mr. Bo, then Dalian’s mayor, responded.

Mr. Bo and Ms. Gu, a charismatic and ambitious couple with a pedigree of influence from Mr. Bo’s ties to Mao Zedong, appear to have been looking for the same thing that many wealthy Chinese families are seeking — a path to a Western education for their child. Ms. Gu said in 2009 that she and Mr. Bo had picked the Harrow School for their son, but he initially failed to gain admittance. Mr. Heywood, a Harrow graduate, later told friends that he served as a “mentor” to the young man, Bo Guagua. Some who knew Mr. Heywood said he helped arrange Bo Guagua’s schooling in Britain.

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Bo Xilai: Politisk mordgåde i Kina

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Så blev han fyret. Og hun blev anklaget for mord. I går havde de statslige medier travlt med at overbevise kineserne om partiets version af den største politiske skandale i Kina i over 20 år.

Den 62-årige Bo Xilai, den karismatiske politiker, der er Kinas svar på Silvio Berlusconi, blev sent tirsdag fjernet fra sine magtfulde stillinger i Kinas Kommunistparti. Samtidig blev hans hustru, Gu Kailai, sat i husarrest, og myndighederne efterforsker hende nu for mordet på en 41-årig brite, der blev fundet død på et hotelværelse i Chongqing i november sidste år.

Her var Bo Xilai partisekretær i det enorme byområde med over 30 millioner indbyggere. Bo var på vej til at få en toppost i Kinas Kommunistparti, der holder partikongres til efteråret, hvor der skal vælges nye ledere for Kina. Mange af dem kommer til at sidde frem til 2023, og det er den største politiske rokade i et årti.

• Læs ogsåalle tidligere artikler på Kinablog om Bo Xilai

Men i sidste måned blev Bo fjernet som partisekretær for Chongqing. Og sent tirsdag aften skrev det officielle nyhedsbureau Xinhua, at han også var blevet fjernet fra sin post i Kinas Kommunistpartis Politibureau, der består af de 25 mest magtfulde mænd i Kina. Ifølge Xinhua på grund af »alvorlige disciplinære overtrædelser,« som blandt andet kunne være korruption.

Dermed er der sat et endegyldigt punktum for Bo Xilais politiske karriere, siger analytikere. Det er en af de mest dramatiske politiske skandaler i Kina siden 1989, hvor den reformvenlige Zhao Ziyang, der var generalsekretær for partiet, blev fjernet og erstattet af Jiang Zemin. Han stod i spidsen for en konservativ fløj, der fik militæret til at slå ned på demonstranterne på Den Himmelske Fredsplads i Beijing. Op mod flere tusinder civile og soldater blev dræbt.

Det er højst usædvanligt, at kineserne får et glimt af de interne uenigheder, der er i den øverste ledelse i Kinas Kommunistparti. Men der kom sprækker i facaden, da Bo Xilais højre hånd, Wang Lijun, i februar søgte om politisk asyl på det amerikanske konsulat i Chengdu. Og siden har for eksempel de cirka 700 millioner kinesiske mikroblogs stået i flammer med diskussioner, debat og rygter.

Nu forsøger etpartistaten så at tage det første skridt mod at lægge låg på den åbne magtkamp. Hele onsdag var nyhedsudsendelserne på TV hver time fyldt med et slet skjult karaktermord på Bo Xilai og undersøgelsen mod hans hustru som de øverste nyheder. Avisen Folkets Dagblad, der er partiets talerør, opfordrede til at bakke op om topledelsen. Samtidig skrev den nationalistiske tabloidavis Global Tidende, at landet med Bo Xilais afgang var kommet over et »bump« mod partikongressen til efteråret. Og onsdag havde alle større aviser og netmedier Bo Xilais afgang på forsiden.

• Læs ogsåKinas røde stjerne: Magtkampen med Bo Xilai giver sjældent indblik i kinesisk toppolitik

Analytikere siger, at populisten Bo fik mange fjender, fordi han forsøgte at forfremme sig selv ved at blive populær i befolkningen. Derfor skabte han uro i partitoppen, for normalt bliver politiske stillinger i Kina aftalt bag lukkede døre og gennem personlige netværk.

Samtidig er også en magtkamp, der handler om Kinas politiske og økonomiske fremtid. Bo Xilai stod for en konservativ politik, der havde modstandere blandt mere liberale kræfter i partiet. Og den fortsætter. Men med Bo’s fyring ser det ud til, at der er skabt enighed og ro i toppen af partiet, der vil have et roligt tronskifte på kongressen om få måneder.

Der er ikke sat nogen dato for, hvornår undersøgelserne mod Wang Lijun, Gu Kailai og Bo Xilai bliver afsluttet, og kineserne har stadig utallige spørgsmål. Men på trods af stærk censur på internettet, så er der stadig debat på de mange mikroblogs, hvor en af kommentarerne i går lød:

梁加煇:重庆那点事,极其深刻的告诉我们,不管大是大非还是小事小非,站对队伍有多重要,Fucking。

»Uanset hvad der skete i Chongqing, og hvad der er rigtigt og forkert, så er læren, at man skal stå på samme side som vinderne,« skrev en af brugerne på mikrobloggen Sina Weibo.

:: Foto fra Xinhua, der siden er blevet censuret. Det viser familien Bo med sønnen Guagua

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Magtkamp i Kina: Hovedpersoner og tidslinje

Med Bo Xilais afgang er den politiske magtkamp brudt ud i lys lue. Det er den største ideologiske og politiske magtkamp i Kina i to årtier, der også handler om den politiske og økonomiske kurs for Kina i de kommende år, og hvem der skal stå i spidsen for landet frem til 2023. Du kan læse alle tidligere artikler om magtkampen og Bo Xilai her. Note: Tidslinje opdateret 26. august 2013.

Hovedpersonerne:
• Bo Xila: Kinas erhvervsminister fra 2002 og frem til 2007, hvor Bo blev udnævnt til partisekretær for Chongqing. Populær blandt mange kinesere og kendt over hele Kina som neo-maoist og fortaler for gamle kommunistiske værdier. Søn af en kommunistpartiets grundlæggere.

• Gu Kailai: Bo Xilais anden hustru. Hun er advokat og forfatter til flere bøger, men har i de seneste år været involveret i forretninger i USA og Storbritannien. Parret har en søn, Bo Guagua, der studerer på Harvard i USA.

• Wang Lijun: Blev i 2008 udnævnt som ansvarlig for politiet i Chongqing, og blev en af Bo Xilias’s nærmeste allierede. Var populær og blev landskendt som hårdtslående politimand, der ryddede op i byens mafia.

• Neil Heywood: Den 41-årige britiske forretningsmand og konsulent var tæt knyttet til familien Bo og lavede forretninger med Gu Kailai. Han blev fundet død på et hotelværelse i Chongqing i november 2011.

• Politbureauet Stående Komite: De ni mest magtfulde personer i landet. Tæller blandt andre partiets generelsekretær Hu Jintao, der også er præsident, og premierminister Wen Jiabao.

• Politbureauet: Har i alt 25 medlemmer, og Bo Xilai var indtil denne uge en af dem. Ni af dem er også medlemmerne i den stående komite. Den lille gruppe står over regeringen og har reelt magten over Kina.

Tidslinje:
2007: Bo Xilai, der var Kinas erhvervsminister siden 2002, udnævnt til partisekretær i Chongqing.

2008: Wang Lijun bliver udnævnt som ansvarlig for politiet i Chongqing, og bliver en af Bo’s tættest allierede.

2008: Bo Xilai og Chongqing begynder den »røde« kampagne, hvor beboerne blandt andet opfordres til at synge revolutionære sange.

2009: Chongqing sender digte og citater fra Mao Zedong og hans bog »Den Lille Røde Bog« ud på mobiltelefoner.

2009: Bo Xilai og Wang Lijun begynder en massiv kampagne mod korruption og byens mafia. Over 1.000 bliver arresteret og dømt. Kampagnen kritiseres for at være på kant med loven.

2011: Wang bliver udnævnt til viceborgmester i Chongqing.

2011: Briten Neil Haywood bliver fundet død på hotelværelse i Chongqing. Officielt på grund af alkoholforgiftning.

2012:
2. februar: Den populære Wang Lijun bliver uventet fjernet fra sin højtstående post som politichef i Chongqing og degraderet til at få ansvar for blandt andet sport og videnskab.

6. februar: Wang Lijun flygter til nabobyen Chengdu og det amerikanske konsulat. Her overnatter han og beder om politisk asyl, kommer det senere frem. Det er potentielt den højeststående afhopning fra Kina i årtier.

7. februar: Gennem forhandlinger indvilger Wang Lijun i at forlade konsulatet, og bliver straks ført bort af embedsmænd.

8. februar: Chongqings lokalregering forsøger at bortforklare Wangs spektakulære flugt med, at han er stresset og nu er på »ferie-agtig sygeorlov.«

5. marts: Lokalregeringen siger, at Wang frivilligt forlod konsulatet efter forhandlinger med tre fremtrædende politikere fra Chongqing. Ministeriet for Statens Sikkerhed efterforsker nu Wang for spionage og landsskadelig virksomhed.

8. marts: Det årlige politisk topmøde i det kinesiske parlament i Beijing. Her mødes også Politbureauet, som består af de 25 mest magtfulde politikere øverst i partiet. Bo udebliver som den eneste af dem fra mødet. Officielt på grund af »hoste«.

9. marts: Bo kommer med første officielle kommentar om sagen. Siger at Wang Lijun var den forkerte mand til jobbet. Afviser al snak om magtkamp, og beskylder andre for en smædekampagne mod ham og familien.

14. marts: Daværende premierminister Wen Jiabao siger, at centralregeringen ser alvorligt på sagen. Han kritiserer indirekte Bo og hans maoistiske holdninger og advarer om, at Kina kan være på vej mod ny Kulturrevolution.

15. marts: Bo Xilai forsvinder fra offentligheden og bliver fjernet fra sin post som partisekretær for Chongqing. Det skyldes officielt hans rolle i Wang Lijuns sag.

19. marts: Lækket dokument og båndoptagelser viser efter sigende, at Bo ragede uklar med Wang Lijun, da han forsøgte at standse en efterforskning mod sin hustru året før.

26. marts: Storbritannien bekræfter, at man har bedt Kina om at efterforske den britisk forretningsmand Neil Heywoods dødsfald i Chongqing i november 2011.

April Kina lukker flere neo-maostiske hjemmesider, der forsvarede Bo Xilai.

10. april: Bo Xilai bliver nu også frataget sine poster i Kinas Kommunistparti. Hans hustru, Gu Kailai, bliver nu officielt efterforsket i mordsagen mod Neil Heywood.

26. april: Ifølge New York Times stod Bo Xilai i spidsen for en omfattende netværk af aflytning i Chongqing, hvor også telefonopkald til daværende præsident Hu Jintao blev overvåget.

24. maj: Bo Xilais søn, Bo Guagua, består eksamen på Kennedy School of Govnerment på amerikanske Harvard University.

18. juni: Der har været politisk storrengøring i Chongqing, og byens nye leder, Zhang Dejiang, siger, at skandalen har rettet alvorlig skade på Kinas omdømme og kommunistpartiet.

26. juli: Gu Kailai og hendes assistent Zhang Xiaojun tiltales for mord.

9. august: Retssagen mod Gu og Zhang begynder. Ifølge domstolen anfægter de ikke anklagerne og dommerne trækker sig for at votere.

20. august: Gu Kailai bliver dømt for mordet på Neil Heywood og får en betinget dødsdom, der normalt efter to år ændres til livsvarigt fængsel. Zhang Xiaojun får ni års fængsel.

5. september: Wang Lijun bliver anklaget for afhopning, magtmisbrug og korruption.

17. september: Retssagen mod Wang Lijun begynder i hemmelighed og slutter dagen efter.

24. september: Wang Lijun bliver dømt og straffes med fængsel i 15 år. En mild straf som skyldes, at han samarbejdede med myndighederne.

26. September: Bo Xilai ekskluderes fra Kinas Kommunistpartiet.

2013:

25. juli: Bo Xilai anklages for korruption og magtmisbrug.

26. august: Retssagen mod Bo Xilai slutter efter fem dage.

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