There has been some development in what is becoming “the Bo Xilai saga”, with the Hong Kong, ‘South China Morning Post’ reporting that, one month after the episode at the US consulate in Chengdu, Wang Lijun, the erstwhie Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun, has been branded as a traitor to both the country and the Communist Part. Yet, where this actually leaves Bo Xilai we still cannot be sure.
However, what we do know is that Bo failed to appear at the congress’s plenary session on Thursday and that such an absence is extemely unusual. Still, today, Friday, we did have Bo fulfilling his promise to answer questions at a news conference, where he gave the reason for his absence as he “had a cough and was feeling unwell”. Although, with ‘The Hindu’s’ Ananth Krishnan going on to emphasis that Bo appeared to be in good health, we might at least continue to speculate regarding his future. Nevertheless, facing journalists for two hours, while appearing relaxed and speaking forcefully, appear to suggest that Bo Xilai is at least fighting for that future. Will his confession of negligent supervision on his part be enough to cut some sort of deal with the Beijing leadership?
Bo has his enemies as has been pointed out in the last two posts. However, Bo also has the “Guanxi” and while the twists and turns in this story have not ended, there is enough evidence to suggest that if he can hang in their just a little bit longer, he will at least be spared Wang Lijun’s fate. Indeed, who knows, the man behind Chongqing’s popular, and populist, “red culture” campaign, who denied yesterday that his son drives a red Ferrari, might still manage to get into the powerful nine-member Polit Bureau Standing Committee. After all, Xi Jinping,who is Hu Jintao’s designated successor, is, like Bo, a “princeling”, and Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun and Bo Yibo, Bo Xilai’s father, were two of the eight influential “immortal” leaders. Yes, it really is not what you know, but who you know and we wouldn’t like to be standing in poor Wang Lijun’s shoes. There he is spilling the beans on his ex boss and nobody, not even Hu Jintao, despite his dislike of Bo, is listening.