News / Asia

Chinese Communist Party Expels Bo Xilai

Then Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai attends a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 11, 2012.
Then Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai attends a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 11, 2012.
William Ide
Chinese state media are reporting that Bo Xilai, once one of China's rising political stars, has been expelled from the Communist Party and that he will also face criminal charges.

After months of anticipation and on the eve of a week long national holiday in China, state media are reporting that the Chinese Communist Party has not only expelled Bo Xilai, but released a list of allegations against him including abuse of power, bribe taking and other crimes.

A report from Xinhua news agency says a party investigation of Bo revealed serious violations in several local postings he previously held as well as during his tenure with China's Ministry of Commerce. It also listed violations during the time he served as the party's top leader in the southern metropolis of Chongqing.

Timeline of the Bo Xilai Scandal

2012
  • February 2: Bo's key ally and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun is demoted
  • February 6: Wang visits U.S. consulate in Chengdu
  • March 15: Bo dismissed as Chongqing party chief
  • March 26: Britain asks China to investigate November death of Briton Neil Heywood in Chongqing
  • April 10: Bo suspended from Communist Party posts. China says Gu is being investigated for Heywood's death
  • August 20: Gu given suspended death sentence after confessing to Heywood's murder
  • September 24: Wang convicted of defection, power abuse and bribe taking
  • September 28: Communist Party expels Bo


2013
  • July 25: Bo indicted for bribery, corruption, abuse of power
  • August 22: Bo trial begins in Jinan
  • September 22: Bo sentenced to life in prison
The report says that Bo used his post for his own personal gain and his family to funnel in bribes from others. The allegations stretch back more than a decade and up to the point that he was removed from his post in Chongqing earlier this year.

Zhang Ming, who is a political scientist at People's University in Beijing, says he is surprised that the party released so much information about Bo and his misdeeds.

Zhang says that since the investigation has produced some extensive results and that since those results have been public it definitely means he might receive a harsh sentence.

State media say that Bo will be handed over to authorities for criminal investigation.

Earlier this year, Bo was widely seen as a rising member of the Communist Party and expected to win a powerful spot in China's new party leadership during a once-in-a-decade reshuffle that is set to begin next month. But, a murder scandal involving his wife Gu Kailai and his former police chief in Chongqing Wang Lijun cut short his political ambitions and has overshadowed preparations for the closely watched political event ever since it was made public earlier this year.

A little over a month ago, Bo's wife received a suspended death sentence after confessing to killing British businessman Neil Heywood. Bo's former police chief Wang Lijun was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this week for initially trying to cover up the murder and other crimes.

State media say that Bo should be held responsible for the Wang Lijun case as well as Gu's murder and accused him abusing his power and committing grave mistakes in connection with the case. It was not immediately clear what was meant by Bo's responsibility in the murder.

At the same time China's state media carried news of Bo's expulsion and list of charges they also announced that the highly anticipated party congress will be held next month on November 8. During the congress, China will see President Hu Jintao step down as party chairman after 10 years as party boss. Hu will be replaced by China's Vice President Xi Jinping.

Zhang Ming says that getting Bo's case out of the way before the congress begins was important.

Zhang says that while some may have thought about handling Bo's case in a low key way, they also knew that if they did not deal with Bo's crimes, he might become a populist leader. Zhang adds that Bo could have made the leadership transition difficult for those will take over next month. 

Bo was and still is widely popular among some residents in the southern city of Chongqing where he last served.  Many residents believe he is innocent.  He gained prominence by launching a crackdown on corruption.

Photo Gallery: Bo Xilai Scandal

  • In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, Bo Xilai is handcuffed and held by police officers as he stands at the court in Jinan, in eastern China's Shandong province, Sept. 22, 2013.
  • A minivan believed to be carrying Bo Xilai arrives at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court ahead of the fifth day of Bo's trial, August 26, 2013. 
  • In this image taken from video, Bo Xilai addresses a court at Jinan Intermediate People's Court in eastern China's Shandong province, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • A woman protests outside the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, eastern China's Shandong province, August 21, 2013.
  • Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, is seen in a still image taken from an August 10, 2013 video provided by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court.
  • Policemen are seen at a court building where the trial for Bo Xilai was held in Jinan, Shandong province.
  • Former police chief Wang Lijun speaks during a court hearing in Chengdu, China, in this still image taken from CCTV video, Sept. 18, 2012.
  • This video image taken from CCTV shows Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, being taken into the Intermediate People's Court in the eastern Chinese city Hefei, August 9, 2012.
  • Police officers stand guard at the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court for the murder trial of Gu Kailai, Anhui Province, China, August 9, 2012.
  • A  combonation photo showing Neil Heywood and Gu Kailai.
  • Bo Xilai, walks past Communist Party leaders at the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 9, 2012.
  • Bo Xilai, right and his son, Bo Guagua, 2007.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
September 28, 2012 11:10 AM
This is the very definition of communism! You might as well expell everybody.

In Response

by: S.H.. Huang from: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
September 29, 2012 7:49 AM
Each nation has its own definition of democracy, totalitarianism, fascism, communism, etc. Whatever its definition, it is left to the world citizenry to decide whether Bo Xilai deserves to be expelled from the top Communist Party Council. What is right to one nation may be wrong to another; and what is wrong to one may be right to another. Finally, the world is the judge; and no nation, least of all an individual, could avoid the judgement of the world.

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