Beijing Bo Xilai
March 21, 2012 by staff
Beijing Bo Xilai, China’s government sacked an ambitious senior official, Bo Xilai, after his attempt to block a criminal investigation involving his family, according to two former officials.
Bo’s abrupt dismissal as Communist Party chief of Chongqing municipality in southwest China last week exposed tension before a national leadership transition later this year.
The two ex-officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said that on the weekend the central leadership circulated an account of the tension between Bo and his once trusted aide, Wang Lijun, a vice major and until recently Chongqing police chief.
The document for the first time confirms that differences between Bo and Wang over the criminal investigation led to Wang seeking asylum at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, where he fled on Feb. 6.
He left the consulate with central Chinese officials a day later. The U.S. State Department has said Wang left voluntarily.
The two former officials said the internal account, apparently based on Wang’s testimony and delivered to closed-door meetings in Chongqing and elsewhere, left scant doubt that Bo’s hopes for a spot in the next central leadership were over, and he could be implicated in accusations of abusing power.
“The central leadership has said that Bo bears leading responsibility for the Wang Lijun incident,” said one of the former officials with close links to central leaders, citing sources in Chongqing.
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