Bo Xilai’s Ex-Wife Tells of a Family’s Paranoid Side
In the tale of political intrigue surrounding deposed Chongqing Party Chief Bo Xilai and his wife, Gu Kailai, the New York Times has dug up more personal dirt in an interview with Bo’s estranged first wife, Li Danyu. Before his downfall, Bo Xilai reportedly became concerned about an alleged plot to poison Gu Kailai that his associates suspected was being masterminded by Li and Bo’s son, Brendan Li (Li Wangzhi):
Ms. Li, also a “princeling” child of a party official, said that although there has been a long history of enmity between her and Ms. Gu, her son never conspired to murder Ms. Gu.
Another family member confirmed that Ms. Li’s brother had met with Mr. Bo and had been told of the alleged plot. He also insisted the son was innocent. The son and his uncle both declined to comment. Mr. Bo and Ms. Gu are under detention.
Although she has no proof, Ms. Li said she suspected Ms. Gu was the one who first blamed her son for the perceived murder plot, and the so-called forensic evidence might have been provided by Wang Lijun, the former police chief convicted of helping cover up Mr. Heywood’s murder. Ms. Li said she feared Ms. Gu wanted to have her first son arrested or harmed.
“She can be that paranoid,” Ms. Li said. As for Mr. Bo, she said, he was “good in nature and didn’t want to believe this evidence.”
The New York Times article also includes translations of excerpts of letter Bo wrote to Li when they were courting:
Though some people’s actions do not match their words, I think this can be controlled. These people can hide their feelings. But hypocrites who perform as upright people aren’t very convincing. In the end, the fakeness will be peeled off. No wonder Dzerzhinsky [捷尔任斯基] always loved attentively gazing at “images” with his pair of sharp eyes. In interactions with friends, we all care about examining each other’s images, and we carefully emphasize the images that we present to our friends. The closer one is with someone, the more we care about this. People never want to feel insignificant in the eyes of someone else, unless we despise this person and want them to quickly forget us.
Concerning your image in my mind, sometimes I can recall you with perfect contentment. I particularly remember the two things you said to me as we parted. I was extremely moved. I can even clearly remember my exact expression and posture at the time. But at other times, your image is more indistinct – does this mean that my love for you is not true enough? Maybe not, because I always wish that I had a clear image of you. Images and emotions are related, but they are not directly proportional. It’s true that images are important, but they naturally fade. When one is carefree, images become more comfortable and relaxed.
In August, Gu Kailai was given a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. The Chinese government has also announced that Bo will be tried on criminal charges. See also a Bloomberg article from April which looked into the business connections of Brendan Li.