News

US Consulate Reportedly Shielded Bo Aide, Delivering Him to Beijing

Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun (File 2011)
Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun (File 2011)

The U.S. State Department has confirmed a New York Times report claiming that a former Chongqing police chief connected to disgraced political leader Bo Xilai visited the U.S. Consulate earlier this year.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed Wang Lijun, who served as Chongqing vice mayor and police chief under Bo, visited the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu in February.

However, Toner would not confirm whether political asylum was discussed or other details of the visit, saying only that Wang left the consulate on his own shortly after and that U.S. officials have not been in contact with him since.

Timeline of Bo Xilai Scandal

  • February 2: Bo's key ally, Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun is demoted.
  • February 6: Wang visits U.S. embassy in Chengdu, reportedly to seek asylum.
  • March 2: Xinjua says Wang is under investigation.
  • March 9: Bo defends himself, wife, Gu Kailai, at National People's Congress press conference.
  • 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 his wife is being investigated for Heywood's death.

Late Tuesday, The New York Times reported inside details of Wang's brief stay at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu. The report said U.S. officials in China held him under their protection for 36 hours so he could be handed over to Beijing authorities rather than local police.

Using unnamed administration officials, congressional aides and diplomats, the report says Wang arrived at the consulate February 6 in "an agitated state," setting off a "frantic debate" among U.S. officials that reached into the White House.

The Times says the handling of the case was decided by the State Department, which quickly rejected Wang's request for asylum because of his unsavory reputation and the difficulty of spiriting him out of China. But the officials allowed Wang to remain in the consulate while he arranged safe passage to Beijing, rather than deliver him to local police officers loyal to Bo.

Nothing further has been reported about Wang's fate, but Chinese leaders replaced Bo as Chongqing's political chief shortly after Wang's arrival in the capital.

The newspaper says Wang arrived at the consulate carrying documents detailing charges against Bo and his wife, Gu Kailai, who is being investigated in connection with the suspected murder of a British businessman. Bo has since been removed from all his posts as a top Communist Party official on charges of breaching party discipline.

The Times says Wang did not hand over the documents he was carrying, but that he did provide consulate officials a "rambling but ultimately revealing discourse on the murky intersection of power, politics and corruption" in China.

Under Bo's direction, Wang had conducted a wide-ranging crackdown on crime in the sprawling megacity of Chongqing, prompting complaints that many of the arrests were based on limited evidence.

British businessman Neil Heywood had been engaged in business dealings with Gu before his death, which is suspected of having been caused by poisoning.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wangchuk
April 20, 2012 5:36 AM
Bo Xilai is just as corrupt as all CCP leaders including Hu & Wen. The difference is Bo fell out of favor w/ Hu/Wen and now is facing the political fallout.

by: Jerry
April 18, 2012 8:13 PM
Anyway, it is very good that we Chinese will not have another Chairman. Chairman Bo, go to hell with your "Red Songs" and "Red Sea".

by: Dean
April 18, 2012 3:18 AM
Chinese Communist Party always convert the truth for its own interests . Bo has gained lots of achievements and built strong reputation amoung people in the city where he had governed . Nowadays people in China are gradually unwilling to trust any statement given by government.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs