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King Who Pacified the West

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平西王 (píngxīwáng): The King Who Pacified the West

This is a nickname for Bo Xilai, the former politburo member and party secretary of Chongqing who was removed from his posts in March and April 2012 when his police chief attempted to defect to the United States and his wife became the subject of a murder investigation.

The “West” in Bo’s nickname refers to China’s western city of Chongqing were Bo Xilai was the party secretary. Under Bo Xilai’s ambitious initiatives, Chongqing was given the nickname of tomato (which sounds like “red city of the West”). Many of Bo’s initiatives, like the promotion of “red” Maoist songs, attempted to hearken back to an earlier era and appease leftists who felt that China’s reforms had betrayed its communist ideology.

There was a historical “King Who Pacified the West” named Wu Sangui who betrayed the Ming dynasty to usher in the Qing dynasty – only to betray the Qing dynasty later in his life.