Bo Xilai: the Latest Rumors

If you're already familiar with the Bo Xilai chain of events, beginning back in February when his police chief Wang Lijun took a trip to the US consulate in Chengdu, you can skip to the bulleted updates. If "Bo" brings to mind the Obama family dog before a formerly prominent Chongqing politician, it may be worthwhile to check out the BBC's excellent timeline of the matter. In short, it's a story of political intrigue, wrapped in just enough mystery to be interesting and just enough truth to be believable (but it certainly is as much lies as truth). The latest developments, according to US-based Chinese-language news and speculation website, Boxun, are:

  • Ling Jihua, a member of the Politburo, had a hand in Bo's downfall.
  • Ling Jihua made a deal with Politburo Standing Committee Member Zhou Yongkang that would help them both, in which:
    • Zhou would make certain that news of a high-profile car crash that supposedly killed Ling Jihua's son would disappear, so that it would not influence his rise to power, and would also help Ling Jihua join the Politburo Standing Committee and replace Xi Jinping, so that the two could work together to seize total control by 2014, and
    • Ling would ensure that Hu Jintao would not conduct any further investigation into Zhou's "crimes" related to the Bo Xilai incident, and try to lessen the impact of it and separate the case against Bo from the murder case against his wife, Gu Kailai, whom he would protect from the death penalty. 

All of this is unverified and extremely dubious, especially bits about young Ling's car crash (a naked Tibetan girl on his lap, a half-naked Han girl in the backseat, a sex game and drunken speeding) -- one netizen noting that that model of Ferrari doesn't even have a backseat. Another remarked all of this should be read as one would read a novel -- not the news. The powers that be, though, are silent, creating a vacuum that rumors rise to fill.


Why would these rumors would circulate now, why would Boxun publish them, and whose purposes do they serve? Could they have anything to do with the equally sordid rumors that Zhang Ziyi had sex with Bo Xilai (and others) for money? Will China's censors and the lovely committee of helpful regulators at Weibo be able to keep up with it all?

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