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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...
Last week, we reported that the Chinese Communist Party had fired one of its top officials, Bo Xilai. There was rampant speculation about what caused this. But now, Beijing contributor Charlie Custer tells us that a secretly taken video, leaked onto the internet, is revealing the truth about what happened.
The attempted defection of Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun and the subsequent purge of his boss, Bo Xilai, has kept China's rumor mill ablaze for months. But recently, a YouTube video purports to be a recording of an internal party briefing on the Wang Lijun/Bo Xilai affair. The recording, which is just audio over an image of some Chinese officials, says that Wang Lijun originally fled to the US consulate in Chengdu because he had information implicating Bo Xilai’s family in corruption. Bo was an up-and-coming politician with a ruthless streak and an eye on a seat on the powerful Politburo Standing Committee. He apparently took this news badly and plotted to get rid of Wang. Wang fled to the consulate, and eventually both men ended up in the hands of the central government. Bo's once-promising political career appears to be over.
The video was posted to popular overseas Chinese news portal Boxun and has been viewed nearly 100,000 times. Most comments on YouTube seem to accept the authenticity of the reporting:
"This seems about right," says one.
Others praised the recorder's courage in uploading and capturing what was likely meant to be a confidential briefing. This comment read:
"Uploading this is very risky! We already knew these two were at each other's throats, but we didn't know the reason. So this is why it happened."
Meanwhile, commentators on Boxun were mimicking the tense factional conflicts that seem to be happening within China's Communist Party:
"What CCP Central Office," wrote one, "It's all Hu Jintao's dangerous hoodlums now, they should all be arrested!"
Another post got nasty:
"At least they're better than your masters, Jiang Zemin and Zhou Yongkang."
Jiang is China’s former president, and Zhou runs China’s security apparatus. Both are believed to be supporters of Bo Xilai. Unsubstantiated rumors of an attempted coup d'etat swept the Chinese internet this week, with many positing that Bo and the aforementioned Zhou Yongkang had attempted to seize power from current president Hu Jintao. There doesn't appear to be any truth to these rumors. What is true is that searching for names like Bo Xilai, Wang Lijun or Zhou Yongkang on Chinese social media, like Sina Weibo, has become all but impossible. In Beijing, I'm Charlie Custer for LinkAsia.
While Bo Xilai may be down, he's not out completely just yet. China's upcoming leadership transition makes Bo's removal a sensitive balancing act for the Communist Party. In fact, one expert says that whatever Chinese leaders do next with regard to Bo "could potentially provoke a challenge to the entire political system."