As the Bo Xilai saga goes into the home straight it is to Jacques DeLisle, a law professor and Director at the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, that we might turn to get an informed prediction as to what is going to happen to the once seemingly omnipotent Bo.
Bo has been indicted for bribery, corruption, and abuse of power from his stint as the top official in Dalian and not, perhaps surprisingly, for his shenanigans as Mayor of Chongqing. No need to go into the politics behind that decision and we might content ourselves with the possible fate of Bo, rather than the obvious motives for removing a man who just got too big for his boots.
In answering the question as to what sentence the ex-mayor of Chongqing can expect, Mr DeLisle replies, “I’d guess it’ll be somewhere been many years and a suspended death sentence, the latter of which in China usually means life in prison.” An educated guess, I’d say and now it is just a case of wait and see while noting Mr De Lisle’s answer to a now more relevant question. Namely, is there a lesson that other Chinese officials can learn from the Bo case? Mr DeLisle answers that question by saying:
“I don’t think it teaches them anything they don’t already know. That is to say — if you engage in corrupt or abusive behavior in these high positions (Party secretary, provincial governor, etc.) you might end up with your political enemies wanting to take your down. Lots of people of course get away with a lot of stuff — but even for people like Bo in the upper tier of elite, there is that risk of getting caught.” Well, if that manages to persuade at least some of them to start behaving, some good might have come out of the Bo saga after all.