Disgraced former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai is still being kept out of the public eye, leaving a question mark leading up to the upcoming 18th CCP Congress. From Barbara Demick at Los Angeles Times:
The government appears poised to remove him this week as a member of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese equivalent of a parliament, during a five-day committee meeting that is supposed to conclude Friday. According to the congress’ website, the meeting will deal with “personnel changes” and “legal matters”; political analysts believe that is code for Bo.
“It is definitely a signal that they are about to deal with Bo’s fate,” said Chen Ziming, an analyst and former political prisoner. Chen believes that Bo also will be expelled from the Communist Party. “One hundred percent, they have got to get rid of him.”
Meanwhile, the pro-Bo camp is casting its ire and suspicion. From the same source:
Chanting “Long live Chairman Mao,” die-hard supporters demonstrated outside the courthouse in Hefei in Anhui province, where Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, stood trial this month. Supporters last month gathered 1,644 signatures on a petition on the Red China website calling for Bo’s rehabilitation and the removal of current leaders.
[…] Bo’s supporters also continued to swirl a persistent conspiracy theory that the murder charges against Gu Kailai were fabricated to keep Bo out of political power. Although Chinese television aired a snippet of the court proceedings Aug. 9 in which Gu confessed, skeptics claim that the woman shown in the courtroom (who appeared much larger and less attractive than previous photographs of Bo’s wife) was actually someone else.
For more on the current opinion split over Bo’s issues, see Bo Supporters Drawing Battle Lines Within the CCP, via CDT.