After Scandal, China Takes a Moral Inventory

In the New York Times, Didi Kirsten Tatlow writes about the crisis of legitimacy that has hit the Communist Party of China in the wake of the Bo Xilai scandal:

With Mr. Bo’s fall amid lurid accusations of corruption and murder, a sizable chunk of the party’s legitimacy has vanished among those who still believed the Communists were on the side of the ordinary person, as Mr. Bo seemed to be with his policies supporting the poor in Chongqing.

Many are wondering: After six decades of one-party rule and three decades of rapid economic growth, is there no bottom to the moral decline of their nation? And, frighteningly: Is the government so steeped in criminality, as the police official who should know more about it than nearly any other person in China seemed to be saying?

“My father, an old Communist, feels very sad about Bo’s downfall, because he can’t understand how the party could contain so many bad people for such a long time without anything being done,” a former government ministry employee said in an e-mail, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. “He isn’t the only one who thinks so. There must be millions of people today wondering the same thing.”

NPR interviews Chinese journalist Jiang Weiping, who was sent to prison after reporting on corruption by Bo and other local officials, about nepotism and bribery by Bo and his wife Gu Kailai when Bo served as Mayor of Dalian. The Telegraph reports that as many as 39 people are currently detained in connection with Bo’s case.

Read more about Bo Xilai via CDT.

April 18, 2012 10:25 PM
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Categories: Politics, Society