Beijing’s graft inquiry reins in Shanghai ‘clique’ – Simon Montlake

From The Christian Science Monitor:

With its rooftop turrets and fancy brickwork, the Moller Villa is a throwback to the Roaring ’20s, when the treaty port of , China, was a byword for speculative excess. Built by an Englishman, the Norwegian-style hotel now rents luxury suites to foreign bankers lured by the promise of China’s new bull market.

But since August, when it abruptly closed its doors to the public for “refurbishment,” a different kind of drama has unfolded behind its high walls. Investigators from the Communist Party’s disciplinary committee have turned the hotel into their temporary headquarters as they probe a blossoming financial scandal that has already snared Shanghai’s political boss and some of his closest business allies.

The fact that Shanghai has been tarred is no coincidence, say political analysts. The probe plays to the strengths of President Hu Jintao as he seeks to define his leadership and consolidate his power.[Full Text]

Also read CDT post The Aftershocks of the Shanghai Political Earthquake (part 5): Chen Liangyu’s “Personal Cashier” Under Investigation

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