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China wants to settle Bo case prior to party congress: scholars

Central News Agency

2012/09/29 21:56:45

Taipei, Sept. 29 (CNA) China's announcement of the date of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the expulsion of disgraced former party chief Bo Xilai from the party and public office Friday means China has cleared the remaining hurdle before the party congress, which will see a once-in-a-decade party leadership transition, according to local scholars.

Professor Chang Wu-yue of Tamkang University said that the "dual stripping" of Bo's titles means the CPC has reached a consensus on dealing with Bo's case.

Bo, former Chongqing party chief who was widely considered to be in line for the core Politburo Standing Committee before he was investigated in the wake of the revelation that Wang Lijun, his close aide and former Chongqing deputy major, had fled to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu in February to reveal to U.S. diplomats that Gu Kailai, Bo's wife, had murdered a British associate, Neil Heywood, over a business dispute.

Chang analyzed that being stripped of party membership and public office means the end of Bo's political life.

Chen Te-sheng, a former adviser to the National Security Council and a researcher at the Institute for International Relations at National Chengchi University, said Beijing has sent a message that it wants to settle Bo's case before the congress.

"This also means that the battlefront is now cleared" before the congress and that the leadership transition is now basically set.

Bo might face the same fate as former Beijing party chief Chen Xitong or former Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu, who were sentenced to 16 years and 18 years respectively for bribery, he said.

Meanwhile, Chinese analysts said that the "dual stripping" of Bo has dealt him a severe blow, which is not only a death sentence for his political career, but has also let the left-wing conservative force that galvanized around him to fall apart with little possibility of a resurgence in the short term.

The analysts said that Bo's tilt toward the left was totally "opportunistic," which is not his personal ideal.

His use of left-wing forces and his clampdown on organized crime to win public support were carried out to expand his influence, which they said have only heightened suspicion within the party long time ago.

(By Tzai Su-chia, Chiu Kuo-chiang and Lilian Wu)

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