Reflections on Chongqing

Among the stories being revisited in Chongqing following Bo Xilai’s fall from power is that of Beijing lawyer Li Zhuang, imprisoned after his own clients were coerced into falsely accusing him. At Economic Observer, Li describes the corruption, abuse of power, torture and murder that took place under Bo and his former police chief Wang Lijun, the “king of a lawless land, taking down whomever he didn’t like.”

We’ve learned a hard lesson in Chongqing at the cost of both lives and blood.

[…] If I was to describe how they acted in Chongqing over these past few years, I’d say they were like a crazy mouse on a rollercoaster going to a slippery slide. The newly-appointed leaders of the city’s public security apparatus are strongly opposed to the way that former party chief Bo Xilai and former head of the Public Security Bureau Wang Lijun handled matters in the past.

Now many just causes are gradually being rehabilitated.

But how many people were actually detained during the crackdown? How many were prosecuted? How many were sentenced to death or re-education through labor … we need to be clear on these numbers. We have a duty to history and to the people.

[…] If we don’t reveal what really went on, if we don’t expose their crimes and terrible deeds, many ordinary people will remain in the dark and we will be on the wrong side of history.

Also at Economic Observer, Li’s own lawyer Chen Youxi outlines how Bo’s ‘Chongqing Model’ almost succeeded, the damage it did, and the lessons that should be learned.

After two years of observation and deep thought, I believe that the underlying social foundations that led to the tragedy that occurred in Chongqing, continue to exist and flourish in China today. If we don’t seriously reflect on what happened in Chongqing, the soil which cultivated the tragedy in Chongqing will continue to exist, and if it doesn’t happen in Chongqing again, it just might take place somewhere else.

[…] If Wang Lijun hadn’t defected to the U.S. embassy and set off a series of other problems, it’s likely the Chongqing Model would have been copied across the country. If that happened, what would China’s rule of law be like? The more we think about it, the more we still feel have fears even after the events in Chongqing.

[…] In fact, the Chongqing’s problems are national problems that were concentrated and exposed in one municipality. It showed us the serious consequences of not continuing to deepen reform and also the great possibility and danger of the extreme-left making a comeback.

Reflecting on Chongqing is meaningful for the whole nation.