News / Asia

    Chinese Court Rejects Bo Xilai's Appeal

    FILE - In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, fallen politician Bo Xilai, center, is handcuffed and held by police officers as he stands at the court in Jinan, in eastern China's Shandong province, Sept. 22, 2013.
    FILE - In this photo released by the Jinan Intermediate People's Court, fallen politician Bo Xilai, center, 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 court in China has rejected an appeal by ousted politician Bo Xilai who was sentenced to life in prison last month on charges of corruption, bribery and abuse of power.  The ruling effectively closes the door on one of China’s biggest political scandals in decades. The case not only gave the Chinese public an up close view of the entitlements the country’s ruling elite enjoy, but stained the Communist Party’s image.
     
    The Shandong Provincial Higher People’s Court ruling came quickly and unlike Bo Xilai’s trial - where he feistily defended himself - the former Chongqing party secretary and rising political star could do little but listen to the court’s decision.
     
    Hou Jianjun, a spokesman for the court told reporters after the hearing that Bo’s appeal lacked any factual or legal basis.
     
    “Bo Xilai should be punished in accordance with the law and serve time concurrently for his crimes of abuse of power, corruption and bribe taking," said Hou.  "The facts that were verified during the sentencing for the first review of the case were clear, the evidence sufficient and truthful, and the sentencing correct and appropriate based on the crimes. The entire process was held in accordance with the law.”
     
    Four of Bo’s family members were at the hearing, where once again foreign journalists, including a reporter from VOA’s Mandarin Service, were barred from attending the proceedings.
     
    Political analysts say the ruling is not surprising as the trial was seen by some as a largely political effort to sideline Bo and end his political career.
     
    Because of that, it was important for the appeal to at least seem to be considered, says David Goodman, a political scientist at the University of Sydney.
     
    "Going through all the motions was important for the party, because it wants to convince itself it has some belief in the rule of law," Goodman said. "Putting an end to the process is so that, it makes some of them think that they are allowed to get on with things, now that they have dealt with these issues."
     
    In just a few weeks, China’s Communist Party leaders will hold a key party meeting that is expected to plan reforms over the next five years. With Bo’s case behind them, Chinese President Xi Jinping will have more room to unify the party and his new core of leaders.

    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
    • October 9: Court says Bo will be allowed to appeal his conviction
    • October 25: Court rejects appeal by Bo
    The political scandal that dashed Bo’s career also wounded the Communist Party’s reputation. The case came at a time when the Chinese public is growing increasingly weary of how the country’s ruling elite use public office to enrich themselves and their families.
     
    Ironically, fighting corruption and creating a more just society were ideals Bo championed in Chongqing.  He cracked down on gangs and corruption while promoting policies that sought to address social inequality. He also promoted public singing of revolutionary songs popular during the era of Mao Zedong.
     
    Despite his removal from politics, the policies and leadership style he popularized in Chongqing remain important to the Party, Goodman said.
     
    "Some of the things that he took a lead in both symbolism and substance are still coming to pass. In the symbolic stuff, all the symbolic referrals to an earlier age have got much more mainstream now, you only have to travel on the public transport to see that, there are posters and the way people talk about things in the newspapers, all that kind of red talking stuff is very much in the wind.”
     
    Han Deqiang, an economist and supporter of Bo, said Bo's treatment by the courts has left some people puzzled because of the similarity between Bo's policies and those embraced by China’s top leaders.
     
    “Especially Xi Jinping, the concepts that he stresses on are very similar to the ones that Bo Xilai was promoting," said Han. "That you have to serve the people, that you have to follow the path of serving the public, that you have to follow the mass line of the Communist Party, and oppose the opinions that stress marketization, these are all Bo Xilai's words.”
     
    Although Bo has been sentenced to life in prison, it’s likely that the Chinese public has not heard the last about this legacy or ideas. Legal analysts say that despite the harsh sentence, he could be eligible for medical parole in less than a decade.

    • 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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: tiddle from: nyc, ny
    October 25, 2013 1:28 PM
    very few people would shed tears for bo xilai. afterall, it's common knowledge that everyone at or near the top enrich themselves and their families and pee-ons greatly. this whole notion of "rule of law" in china is most farcical since it's just a circus show for foreign media, nothing more. his fate with prison term is sealed once bo fell from grace and is stripped of power in the internal power struggle.

    by: neeraj kumar from: Bishnupur,Bankura,W.Benga
    October 25, 2013 9:18 AM
    Give a bigger hand clap to communist government of China.it has proved its zero tolerance against corruption.In china ,corruption means anti national.In India corruption is a necessary tool to get bigger ministerial birth.like Salman Khursid has proved my sentences.Thanks again to Communist Party of China.India must follow the steps taken by government of china.Indian judiciary system ought to follow The china's Judiciary system,in which there is no one above the law.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.