I would like to share this article “In Rise and Fall of China’s Bo Xilai, an Arc of Ruthlessness“, published on May 7 in the New York Times for several reasons:
1. It summarizes Bo Xilai’s biography:
“He was born with a pedigree — his father, Bo Yibo, was a war hero who was at Mao Zedong’s side during the revolution — and studied with other children of the elite at Beijing No. 4 High School, China’s best. But when Mao unleashed the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the elder Bo became one of the first targets of the purges, relabeled a revisionist traitor and dragged from stadium to factory to government office for show trials and beatings”.
2. It highlights the “privilege” that Bo Xilai and other Deng Xiaoping’s children’s friends had after Mao’s death:
After Mao’s death, father and son emerged stronger than ever. The rehabilitated Bo Yibo became vice premier in 1979, under his wartime friend Deng Xiaoping. In the succeeding decade, he was Mr. Deng’s point man in the ouster of two successive Communist Party general secretaries, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, during China’s tumultuous and failed liberalization in the 1980s.
3. It exposes where does Bo Xilai’s political support come from:
That earned him the gratitude of Mr. Zhao’s successor as Communist Party leader, Jiang Zemin. The elder Bo, who died in 2007, continued to help Mr. Jiang sideline rivals into his dotage. Mr. Jiang, who continues to wield backstage influence in China’s politics even now, is widely said to have given Bo Xilai’s political career a boost at crucial times.
4. And the reader can find a clue to the roots of enmity between Bo Xilai and today’s Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao:
Barely a decade after taking his first desk job at Communist Party headquarters in Beijing, Mr. Bo was named mayor of Dalian, a city of about six million on the north Pacific coast, in 1992. Mr. Bo began to hone the political skills and a hunger for authority that would come to define his career.
However, by 2002, Mr. Bo had made several powerful enemies.
His appointment in 2007, as party secretary of Chongqing, was in fact devised to move him out of Beijing and away from the seat of power. Two previous heads of China’s Trade Ministry, the Commerce Ministry’s predecessor, had gone on to become vice premier, a post Mr. Bo was said to crave. But one, Wu Yi, had come to dislike Mr. Bo’s abrasiveness and self-promotion; she sided with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and others in shunting him to a job in the hinterlands.