As the drama surrounding the Bo Xilai incident continues to unfold, Beijing has taken a smart step by launching a judicial investigation into a murder case involving the wife of the former Chongqing Communist Party chief.
This has helped prevent the incident from being interpreted as infighting within the Chinese leadership. In addition, it has allowed Beijing to shatter the leftist myth created by Bo and to curb the outrageous and corrupt conduct of China's so-called "princelings."
The development was largely thanks to Chongqing deputy mayor and police chief Wang Lijun, who brought Bo's secrets to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu in February, unveiling some of the little-known inner workings of Chinese politics. The move prompted the Chinese authorities to deal with Bo in a way that conforms to international expectations.
In fact, the Bo saga is a product of China's non-transparent politics and its obsession with the cult of personality. It is unbelievable that Bo was able to cover up a murder case implicating his wife, forcing Wang to seek protection from the United States.
The leftist "red culture" campaign promoted by Bo in recent years has constituted a provocation against China's central leadership. Dispelling such a populist climate is thus a goal Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao are seeking to achieve before they step down.
The murder case alone is enough to knock Bo down. If he is involved in other irregularities, the Beijing authorities should put him on open trial to disclose the truth to the public.
Bo's case has provided an opportunity for China to reexamine and adjust its political system. It has unmasked a hypocritical leftist politician and has allowed the people to see the importance of checks and balances.
Meanwhile, China should thank the United States for staying quiet on the case, which has allowed Beijing time to deal with it properly. (Editorial abstract -- April 13, 2012)
(By Y.F. Low)