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Bo family matter a criminal case, not political incident, China says

2012/04/18 21:54:21

Beijing, April 18 (CNA) China's official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that the wife and assistant of former Chongqing City party chief Bo Xilai were the main suspects in the death of a British businessman last November.

In a news commentary, Xinhua said an investigation has confirmed that Bo's wife Bo Gu Kailai and family assistant Zhang Xiaojun were highly suspected of having murdered Neil Heywood, who was a close friend of the Bo family before the relationship soured because of a conflict of economic interests.

For the first time, China has officially defined the Bo Xilai family matter as a "criminal incident" rather than a widely believed political power struggle within the higher echelons of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The Xinhua commentary advised those "wearing colored glasses" to "clear your eyes and wait for the investigation results."

"As the investigation progresses, the truth will come out," said Xinhua. In an earlier commentary that was published in English, the news agency stressed the CPC's determination to rule the country by law.

The latest commentary, in Chinese, categorically denied that the whole saga was a "power struggle" -- a term that is very familiar to the Chinese who experienced the catastrophic Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976.

The news commentary said China's development will not be affected by any "individual" incident like the Bo case.

"China is insisting on its special brand of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This is a firm development goal and a clear policy line that will not be shaken by any individual incidents or individual persons," Xinhua said.

In addition to commenting the criminal investigation into Heywood's death in Chongqing last November, the agency also described Chongqing Deputy Mayor and police chief Wang Lijun's visit to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu and Bo's violation of party discipline as incidents that have had "extremely bad”effects.

It compared Bo's actions to those of former Beijing party secretary Chen Xitong and Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu, both of whom were behind bars for corruption.

The commentary called on the Chinese people and the rest of the world to take notice of China's resolute determination and the action it is taking to become a country ruled by law. This move will be "highly significant" to the future development of China and the rest of the world, it said.

(By Rita Cheng and S.C. Chang)
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