22 April 2012.The Communist Party of China (CPC) has launched in recent days a massive propaganda campaign, using both official media and micro-blogs, to mobilise public opinion against Bo Xilai, the Chongqing party chief who was suspended for “serious discipline violations”.
The campaign is seen as an attempt to present the Bo Xilai case as a clear-cut corruption issue and not a reflection of factional political infighting.
Bo Xilai is a member of the CCP faction loyal to Jiang Zemin, former Communist Party general secretary. That faction has been locked in a ten-year-long struggle with the faction headed by Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao for dominance in the CCP. Other leading members of Jiang’s faction include:Zeng Qinghong, the head of the National People’s Congress; Zhou Yongkang, the head of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC); and Luo Gan, the head of the PLAC immediately prior to Zhou.
The members of Jiang’s faction are tied together by the crimes committed against Falun Gong practitioners. According to analysts, the power struggle with Hu and Wen has been driven by the fear of the members of the Jiang faction that they will be tried for their crimes against Falun Gong.
Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline first introduced in China in 1992 through public lectures by its founder, Li Hongzhi. It combines the practice of meditation and slow-moving qigong exercises with a moral philosophy. It incorporates Buddhist philosophy and elements drawn from Taoist traditions for better health and, ultimately, spiritual enlightenment. The movement was banned in China and hundreds of thousands of practitioners were persecuted.
Here is a YouTube video on the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The video is in Chinese language but English sub-titles are available. Some of the scenes depict how cruel the persecution was. The images speak for themselves.
Bo Xilai’s Biggest Injustice
Eighty five year old Jiang Zemin has recently reappeared in public following the Bo Xilai scandal and is said to be looking to assert his political influence to ensure a smooth handover of leadership from incumbent Hu Jintao to Vice President Xi Jinping at the upcoming 18th National Congress.
A news report suggested that Bo was willing thrust Google out of China in favour of Baidu, the Chinese language search engine, in return for Baidu’s co-operation with Chongqing officials and lift the censorship on articles criticizing Party head Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and next Party head Xi Jinping. The articles would be published on websites outside China favouring former Party head Jiang Zemin.
In another news it was reported that Bo Xilai’s son, Bo Guagua, left his apartment near Harvard University, escorted by private security guards. He has only a few months left to complete his course. It is not known where he had headed.
Bo Xilai has another son, Li Wangzhi, by his first wife, Li Danyu. Very little information is available on him. He was born in 1977 and graduated from Peking University. Later he went to Columbia University in the United States to study law. He is said to be practicing law in China now. His mother Li Danyu changed his surname from Bo to Li after they were abandoned by Bo Xilai. Bo refused to follow a court verdict to pay alimony to his wife and son. It was not until the late 1990s when Bo Xilai saw his eldest son enrolled in China’s most prestigious university that he decided to take his son under his wing once more. Bo gave financial help to Li to study in Columbia University.
A US-based Chinese-language website, Boxun.com, that has reported extensively on the Bo Xilai scandal in China says it was crippled for several hours by a concerted hacking attack. The Boxun website had to move to a new web-host after the denial-of-service attack on Friday, its manager said.