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LinkAsia | Nov 16
China's new president Xi Jinping is the son of a revolutionary leader and has a reputation for being a business-friendly problem solver. But does t...
China's National People's Congress is supposed to be an uncontroversial affair. The delegates hear reports from the top leadership and vote on new policies and programs drafted by the Communist party. The idea is to show a government apparatus working smoothly and effectively. Things went pretty much according to script for most of the week. But on the last day, a bombshell. The party purged one of its up and coming leaders, Bo Xilai, head of the Communist party in the huge city of Chongqing. Here's a report from South Korea's MBC.
The Chinese government announced that Bo Xilai has been dismissed as party secretary of Chongqing. This came after Premier Wen Jiabao referred to Bo Xilai yesterday and publicly criticized him.
Premier Wen Jiabao:
The current party committee and municipal government of Chongqing have to reflect seriously on the Wang Lijun incident and learn lessons from it.
Bo was a strong candidate, along with Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, to become one of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, who will take office in October. Bo is an important member of the so-called "princelings," the sons of Communist revolutionaries. He came into conflict with the Communist Youth League, whose main leader is Hu Jintao, paramount leader of China. But after it emerged that Bo's protege, Wang Lijun, attempted to defect to the U.S. on February 6th, it took fewer than 40 days for Bo to be ousted. His replacement is Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, who is neither a "princeling" nor from the Communist Youth League. Zhang is from the so-called "Shanghai Faction." His promotion seems to be a compromise among the factions. There is controversy whether Bo Xilai is the last or only the first victim of a power struggle among China's next leaders. The names of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, who will be in power for the next 10 years, will most likely be known in August.