NYT: New Version of Bo-Wang Showdown

While the Communist Party determines how to finish off Bo Xilai, The New York Times’ Edward Wong relays a new account of the events surrounding the fallout between Bo and his former police chief, Wang Lijun, events which culminated in the dash by Wang to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu which sparked China’s biggest political scandal in decades:

That version goes like this: Mr. Wang actually confronted Mr. Bo on Jan. 18 with evidence linking Mr. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, to the murder by poisoning of Neil Heywood, a British businessman and longtime friend of the Bo family. It was the first that Mr. Bo had heard of his wife’s alleged involvement in the death. Mr. Bo agreed at the time to allow Mr. Wang to act against his wife based on the evidence, even if that meant Ms. Gu would be put on trial. At the meeting, Mr. Wang also told Mr. Bo that three police officers had asked to be transferred from the investigation after they discovered the murder was tied to Mr. Bo’s family.

That story was told to friends by Yu Junshi, a shadowy fixer in Mr. Bo’s inner court. Mr. Yu worked in the 1990s as an overseas intelligence agent and owned two dogs that bit a man to death in Chongqing last July. He was also close to Mr. Wang and has been detained in the party’s broad investigation into Mr. Bo, who was dismissed as party chief of Chongqing in March and suspended from the party’s Politburo the next month.

“At the meeting, Bo Xilai said, ‘Leave me alone for a while and let me think about this,’ ” said a person who has met Mr. Yu and spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of being officially questioned over the events. “Then, to show he’s righteous, Bo Xilai said he would be willing to allow his wife to be tried.”

Mr. Wang was pleased because Mr. Bo’s reaction showed that Mr. Bo trusted Mr. Wang, the person said, citing the story told by Mr. Yu.

But on Jan. 21, Chen Cungen, the head of the Chongqing party branch’s organization department, which oversees personnel issues, told Mr. Wang that he would be transferred from the police chief post, according to the story that Mr. Yu told his friends. Then on Jan. 28, both Mr. Chen and Liu Guanglei, the head of the local politics and law committee, gave Mr. Wang formal notice of his removal from the police force. In this account, Mr. Bo did not deliver the message in person to Mr. Wang; the two never met again after their talk on Jan. 18.

June 8, 2012 12:57 AM
Posted By:
Categories: Politics