News / Asia

    Bo Xilai's Son Doubts Father Will Get Fair Trial

    China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai (R) and his son Bo Guagua stand in front of a picture of his father Bo Yibo, former vice-chairman of the Central Advisory Commission of the Communist Party of China. (File photo)
    China's former Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai (R) and his son Bo Guagua stand in front of a picture of his father Bo Yibo, former vice-chairman of the Central Advisory Commission of the Communist Party of China. (File photo)
    Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai’s son has made an open appeal for his father just two days before he is set to face trial in a court in China. The letter from Bo Guagua was sent to The New York Times. 
     
    In a brief statement to the newspaper, Bo said he hopes that during the trial his father would be given the chance to answer his critics and defend himself without “constraints of any kind.”
     
    Bo Xilai  

    • Father Bo Yibo was one of the founders of the People's Republic of China
    • Bo Xilai joined the Communist Party in 1980
    • Was mayor of Dailan, governor of Liaoning province and commerce minister
    • Named leader of Chongqing city in 2007 and ascended to membership in the Politburo
    • Gained prominence for launching crackdown on corruption in Chongqing
    • Expelled form Communist Party in September, 2012
    • Found guilty of bribery, corruption and abuse of power in September, 2013, sentenced to life in prison
    Bo Xilai is set to go on trial on Thursday, in the eastern coastal city of Jinan, on charges of corruption, abuse of power and for taking bribes.
     
    His son’s statement said that for the past 18 months he has been denied contact with both of his parents, Bo Xilai and his mother Gu Kailai. He wrote that he can only assume the conditions of their “clandestine detention” and the adversities they have had to endure in solitude.
     
    The letter to The New York Times said David Goodman, head of the University of Sydney’s China Studies Center, is more an appeal to audiences in the United States than those in China.
     
    “Bo Guagua is a spoiled, rich boy and he's ended up by chance, as it happens in the [United] States when his family is facing political disgrace," noted Goodman. "So what does he do? He can't go back to China, somebody is presumably paying for him to go to Columbia [University], someone is presumably paying him one way or the other, whether it's his parents, offshore fund or something else, to keep him going in the [United] States.”
     
    Bo is currently living in New York, where he is enrolled in law school at Columbia University.
     
    Bo Xilai's wife, Gu Kailai, is at the center of one of the most sensational scandals to rock China's Communist Party.

    • Did not dispute charges she murdered British businessman Neil Heywood
    • Charged with the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood
    • Worked as a successful lawyer before retiring as her husband's career took off
    • Wrote a book about her experience helping Chinese companies win a U.S. legal battle
    • Daughter of a prominent Communist leader
    Since the political scandal involving his parents surfaced, his mother Gu Kailai has been convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood. His father has been in detention while authorities prepare for one of the biggest trials of a Communist Party official in decades.
     
    In his letter, Bo said that if his own well-being has been traded in return for his father’s acceptance of charges against him and his mother’s cooperation, the verdict in the trial would carry no moral weight.
     
    Media reports have suggested that Gu Kailai could appear as a witness against Bo Xilai in the trial this week in exchange for a guarantee of her son’s protection.
     
    Bo Guagua also said that his mother suffered a “sudden collapse of her physical health in 2006” without elaborating. During her trial, Chinese state-backed media said Gu Kailai blamed her 2011 killing of Neil Heywood on a mental breakdown. 
     
    “He [Bo Guagua] says 2006, which is a bit like trying to plead for her not to have been found guilty of the murder of the man she claimed to have murdered," Goodman said. "That is before he was murdered, if he was murdered.” 
     
    Goodman added that there is really no way to know the truth about Heywood’s death unless authorities provide fuller access to information about Gu Kailai.
     
    China’s state media announced the date for the trial on Sunday and have been playing up what it has called the open trial of Bo. No immediate mention of Bo’s letter to the Times was mentioned in Chinese media reports on Tuesday.
     
    The New York Times is blocked in China.  But, there were some comments to be found on social media sites, such as China’s Twitter-like Weibo service.  Those that had not already been censored focused on Bo Guagua himself, raising questions about how he could afford his life overseas.
     
    One weibo user wondered how Bo could afford to go to such a costly university as Columbia given that his mother is unemployed and father’s previous salary was less than $20,000 a year.
     
    In the wake of the scandal, Bo Guagua’s privileged life overseas and playboy-like lifestyle has been widely discussed on social media sites in China. The opportunities children of high-ranking Chinese officials have overseas is a source of resentment among the general public in China and a frequent topic online.

    Photo Gallery: The 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.
     

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: chinese from: china
    August 20, 2013 11:42 PM
    there has never been fair in any chinese court, from the very beginning of it! For so many years, Bo is one of the few chinese top leaders who have taken huge advantage of this unfair system! Even today, Bo is still taking this advantage, just not that huge, as his son, who himself should face fair trial in a chinese court, is still at large!

    by: dG from: NYC
    August 20, 2013 7:03 PM
    BOO HOO for Bo and his family, Welcome to the Chinese Communist Party that you where a part of! Did Ai Wei Wei or Liu Xiaobo get a fair trail?? They did nothing! Answer is no. We need to send Bo Guagua home to China instead he is living the high life here in the US speeding stolen money!

    by: Anonymous
    August 20, 2013 4:49 PM
    the china have more and more problems in folk and government between. but china armies power still growth in south-sea and east-sea of pacific ocean. USA of policy rebalance of pacific asian must added all allies to joint to defense power for against russia and china in pacific waters no matter what kind of cooperation with allies

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora