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What Bo Xilai lost vs. What China lost

Posted August. 28, 2013 06:00,   


The court hearing of Bo Xilai, the former Communist Party Chief of Chongqing Province, ended on Monday and he is waiting for a court decision. The Chinese authorities wanted to show their political willingness to eradicate corruption through this trial. For the Chinese people and the world, however, the case has showed what the politics of the Chinese highest leadership is like.

Just as Mao Zedong set up a socialist political structure through the anti-rightist struggle in 1957, this case showed that the Xi Jinping administration tried to eradicate leftists and lay the foundation for its power. It is why the trial was defined as China’s largest political incident since the Cultural Revolution.

The trial displayed the dark side of China, which emerged as one of G2 nations. Bo Xilai, who was a leading candidate for the Politburo’s governing Standing Committee, blamed his wife and his former subordinate for charges of corruption and power abuse. He even confessed that he had an affair and his wife and his subordinate were in an affair. His son got a charter plane from a sponsor on the back of his father’s power and went a trip to Africa. His wife took millions of dollars from a businessman and bought a summerhouse in Nice, France, in other person’s name to pass it onto her son. She privatized national power by controlling the leadership of the communist party of Chongqing on the back of her husband’s power.

Although the Chinese government claims the transparency of the trial, it seemed less confident than the show-trial of the Gang of Four during the Cultural Revolution (in 1981-1982) three decades ago. It did not air the trial on TV. The court spokesman gave a daily media briefing but it edited contents on the Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

The city of Jinan of Shandong Province, where the trial was held, was controlled heavily. Prosecutors were counterattacked for lack of evidence except for testimonies of his acquaintances despite a year-long investigation including the probe by government auditors.

The trial deprived Bo Xilai of his family and power. It also disclosed the corrupt Chinese communist leadership, dealing a blow to the country’s creditworthiness and damaging the transparency and fairness of the legal system.

China is trying to create a new hegemony of the world as well as Asia using the world’s second largest economic power. The trial only heralded that China has a long way to go to become a leader of the world. China is also to blame for making other countries uncomfortable about its emergence and its tough rules to follow.

China seems to have lost a lot more than what it gained from the Bo Xilai trial in that China is far short of global standards.