Sinica Podcast

03.16.16

Everything Old is New Again

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Members of the Politburo are rarely praised for their dancing skills, but consider Xi Jinping’s almost flawless execution of the political two-step: first casting himself as the voice of liberal moderation in the face of Bo Xilai’s mass propaganda,...

Infographics

01.21.16

Visualizing China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign

“Catching Tigers and Flies” is ChinaFile’s new interactive tool for tracking and, we hope, better understanding the massive campaign against corruption that China’s President, Xi Jinping, launched shortly after he came to power in late 2012. It is designed to give users a sense of the scope and character of the anti-corruption campaign by graphically rendering information about nearly 1,500 of its targets whose cases have been publicly announced in official Chinese sources.

Media

12.08.14

Happy Friday, Zhou Yongkang

Alexa Olesen
Eight minutes after midnight on Friday, the axe fell on Zhou Yongkang: a terse news release from state-run Xinhua news agency said that China’s former security czar Zhou had been expelled from the Chinese Communist Party, his case handed over to...

Infographics

12.05.14

China’s Fallen Mighty [Graphic]

David M. Barreda, Youyou Zhou & more
Over the past thirty-eight years, twelve of China’s top leaders have been purged. This infographic and the bios of these leaders explain how and why these mighty men fell. Download the high-resolution graphic.

Features

12.05.14

China’s Fallen Mighty [Updated]

Ouyang Bin, Zhang Mengqi & more
Political infighting and purges have been hallmarks of the Chinese Communist Party since its earliest days but came to a peak during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, damaging the country and paralyzing the Party itself. When Mao died in 1976, it...

Caixin Media

08.25.14

His Start in Oil Fuelled Zhou’s Rise to Top Cop

Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Communist Party's supreme decision-making body, has been the highest ranking Party cadre to be a target of a corruption investigation.The Party's graft fighters...

Special Report: The Power Struggle Behind China's Corruption Crackdown

Benjamin Kang Lim, David Lague and...
Reuters
When Xi Jinping was named President in March last year, the 48-year-old billionaire Liu Han was detained and surrounded by corruption investigators and prison guards.

New Detail Emerges About Bo Xilai’s Downfall

Edward Wong
New York Times
Sanlian Life said Australian reporter, John Garnaut, was involved in the Bo Xilai case. 

Conversation

12.17.13

Why Is China Purging Its Former Top Security Chief, Zhou Yongkang?

Pin Ho & Richard McGregor
Pin Ho:[Zhou Yongkang’s downfall] is the second chapter of the “Bo Xilai Drama”—a drama begun at the 18th Party Congress. The Party’s power transition has been secret and has lacked convincing procedure. This [lack of transparency] has triggered...

In Mess Bo Left Behind, An Opportunity for Beijing to Set Things Right

Stanley Lubman
Wall Street Journal
Bo Xilai’s “Smash the Black” campaign used ruthless measures to curb organized crime. The recent guilty verdict handed to Bo gives the Chinese leadership an opportunity to demonstrate that illegalities committed in the course of...

Features

10.25.13

Bo Xilai May Have Gotten Off Easy

Ouyang Bin, Zhang Mengqi & more
On October 25, the Shandong High People’s Court rejected the appeal of Bo Xilai, the former Party Secretary of Chongqing who on September 22 was convicted of bribe-taking, embezzlement, and abuse of power and sentenced to life in prison.At the end...

China to Announce Decision on Bo Xilai Appeal

Reuters
A court in eastern China said it would announce a decision on October 25 on whether to accept an appeal by ousted former senior politician Bo Xilai over his guilty verdict and life sentence on charges of bribery, corruption and...

Court to Hear Bo Xilai Appeal

Xinhua
A Chinese provincial court announced on Wednesday that it will hear the appeal of Bo Xilai. Bo did not accept his sentence at the first trial at the Jinan Intermediate People's Court and submitted an appeal to the Shandong Higher...

The Good, the Bad and the Exiled? China's Class of '77

Jaime FlorCruz
CNN
After walking several blocks through New York's busy streets recently, I finally found Wang Juntao in the middle of Times Square, where the exiled Chinese dissident was holding a sit-down protest...

Chinese Official at Center of Scandal is Found Guilty and Given a Life Term

Andrew Jacobs and Chris Buckley
New York Times
Bo Xilai, the pugnacious Chinese politician whose downfall shook the Communist Party, was sentenced to life in prison after a court found him guilty of bribetaking, embezzlement and abuse of power in a failed attempt to stifle murder allegations...

Famous Trials of China’s Communist Party

Celia Hatton
BBC
An historical look at two other famous trials in recent Communist Party history: the Gang of Four trial after the Cultural Revolution, and the corruption trials of Chen Xitong and Chen Liangyu which bears greater resemblance to the Bo Xilai case...

Bo Xilai ‘Will Appeal’ Verdict and Sentence Jinan Court Hands Down

Keith Zhai
South China Morning Post
Defiant princeling Bo Xilai is likely to appeal against the verdict and sentence a Jinan court hands down today (9/22) in his trial for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power, sources with direct knowledge of the case say. 

Chinese Court to Announce Verdict of Bo’s Case on 9/22

Xinhua
The Jinan Intermediate People’s Court announced Wednesday that it will deliver the verdict on former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (C.P.C.) Bo Xilai’s case at 10 a.m. on Sept. 22...

Conversation

09.17.13

What’s Behind China’s Recent Internet Crackdown?

Xiao Qiang, John Garnaut & more
Last weekend, Charles Xue Manzi, a Chinese American multi-millionaire investor and opinion leader on one of China’s most popular microblogs, appeared in handcuffs in an interview aired on China Central Television (CCTV). Xue is just the most visible...

Sinica Podcast

09.13.13

Petroleum and Purges

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The Beijing rumor-mill is back on overdrive. With the trial of Bo Xilai only barely concluded and the country now openly speculating on the length of the disgraced politician’s likely sentence, factional battles targeting Bo’s remaining supporters...

China Corruption Probe Reflects Struggle

Deutsche Welle
Analysts argue the investigation, which involves four other top executives of state-owned enterprises, is an attempt by Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to assert their authority over powerful S.O.E.’s. 

Deng Xiaoping’s Lessons for Today’s China

Bloomberg
The earthy Deng, father of reform-era China, favored a Chinese phrase to describe the current anti-corruption maneuvers being undertaken at Xi Jinping’s behest: killing a chicken to scare the monkeys. 

Zhou Yongkang, Former Security Tsar Linked to Bo Xilai, Faces Corruption Probe

South China Morning Post
Sources said top leaders made the decision in view of the rising anger inside the party at the scale of the corruption problem and the vast fortune that Zhou's family has amassed. Xi ordered officials in charge of the case to “get to the bottom...

Look Who’s Afraid of Democracy

New York Times
For all of China’s vaunted influence in the world, many of its top leaders are deeply fearful of losing control of their own country. That fear is reflected in the Bo Xilai trial and the recently revealed “Document No. 9” warning of subversive...

China’s Rule-of-Law Trial

Council on Foreign Relations
The just-concluded trial of former Communist Party boss Bo Xilai was unprecedented in opening up a high-profile legal proceeding to public scrutiny, says legal scholar Jerome A. Cohen.   

Ai Weiwei on China’s Trial of the Century

Ai Weiwei
Bloomberg
Ai Weiwei’s commentary on the twisted courtroom drama provided by the trial of Bo Xilai and what implications it holds for the future of “rule of law” in China, both for citizens and officials of all ranks. 

Censorship, Sex, and the Bo Xilai Trial

Jiayang Fan
New Yorker
By allowing the ousted politician to have a say at all, and by releasing portions of the daily transcript the Party has highlighted its progressiveness and successfully deflected attention from the theatrical nature of a masterfully choreographed...

How the Media Got the Bo Xilai Trial Wrong

Isaac Stone Fish
Foreign Policy
Beijing managed to keep much of the Bo saga - and the elite machinations that precipitated it - from the foreign press. As humbling as it may be to admit, we know very little about what goes on at the highest levels of Chinese politics. 

Political Staging in Trial of Fallen China Official

Edward Wong and Jonathan Ansfield
New York Times
The courtroom spectacle is an effort by the party to convince Bo’s elite party allies and ordinary supporters that he had his say in court, and that the long prison sentence he is expected to get is based on evidence of crimes committed, not...

Bo Xilai Trial Transcripts Expose a Privileged World of Wealth

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
The corruption trial of Bo Xilai is offering the world a peek past the vermilion walls of the Chinese leadership compounds and through the tinted glass of their motorcades into a private sphere of immense entitlement. 

Sinica Podcast

08.30.13

The Trial of the Century

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
The spectacular trial of Bo Xilai seized the media’s attention last week as the fallen politburo member—still widely admired in Chongqing and Dalian and heavily connected among the Party elite—defended himself with unexpected vigor against charges...

Prosecutors Say Disgraced Chinese Politician Knew About Bribes

Jonathan Ansfield and Edward Wong
New York Times
Prosecutors in the trial of Bo Xilai presented testimony on Friday asserting that he knew about a villa on the French Riviera bought for his family by a tycoon and about demands for compensation from the manager of the villa who...

6 Things You Need to Know About Bo Xilai’s Trial

Isaac Stone Fish
Foreign Policy
Day one of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai’s trial on charges of bribery, corruption, and abusing his power has come to an end. For those who didn’t spend last night glued to their devices, here’s what you missed. 

The East is Still Red

John Garnaut
Foreign Policy
China’s Left believes that only a stronger Communist Party could solve the country’s problems of corruption, inequality, and moral torpor. Those on the Right believe unbridled state power is actually the problem, as China learned during the Mao...

Bo Xilai Trial As Blogged by the Court

BBC
The court at which disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai is being tried has taken the unprecedented step of posting live updates of his trial on Sina weibo, one of China’s Twitter-like microblogs. 

38 Lenders Linked to Embattled Conglomerate

Wen Xiu and Yu Ning
Xu Ming, the billionaire chairman of Shide Group, a conglomerate based in Dalian has been missing since March 14. Following his disappearance banks have started reviewing loans made to Shide. 

China Boss’s Fall Puts Focus on a Business Ally

David Barboza
New York Times
Entrepreneur Xu Ming allegedly funneled millions of dollars in bribes to Bo Xilai and his family, including paying for trips and perhaps even giving the family a $3.5 million villa on the French Riviera, according to people briefed on the indictment...

Bo Xilai Trial Draws Comparisons to China’s Greatest Courtroom Drama

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Review of Books
In 1980, the Gang of Four trial was widely mocked in the West as a political show trial in which Deng Xiaoping purged his enemies. While there are many differences between that trial and Bo’s it is the long ago trial that is likely to prove more...

Bo Xilai Supporters Demonstrate in Shandong on Eve of Trial

Reuters
About 10 people held up signs outside the courthouse in the eastern city of Jinan in Shandong province, where Bo is set to appear in public on Thursday for the first time in 17 months to face charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power.&...

Mardi Gras In Jinan: Foreign Correspondents Flock To The Party Of The Century

Anthony Tao
Beijing Cream
If you’re a China correspondent, you’re likely in Jinan, Shandong province right now, where disgraced former Chongqing Party Chief Bo Xilai, 64, will stand open trial for corruption tomorrow at the Jinan Intermediate...

At Bo Xilai Trial, a Goal to Blast Acts, Not Ideas

Edward Wong and Chris Buckley
New York Times
In a delicate balancing act, China’s leaders aim to simultaneously parade Mr. Bo as a criminal and silence his most vocal supporters while avoiding tarring the leftist policies he championed or alienating important revolutionary families. 

Can China’s Show Trial Show the Way to Reform

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
The Communist Party and its mouthpieces will celebrate the decisiveness of the Bo Xilai verdict as proof that the party - and the courts it controls - won’t tolerate corruption in its ranks. But who will believe this? 

Conversation

08.28.13

Beijing, Why So Tense?

Andrew J. Nathan, Isabel Hilton & more
Andrew Nathan:I think of the Chinese leaders as holding a plant spritzer and dousing sparks that are jumping up all around them.  Mao made the famous remark, “A single spark can start a prairie fire.”  The leaders have seen that...

Bo Guagua’s Statement

New York Times
 Bo Guagua released to The New York Times on August 19. Mr. Bo’s father, Bo Xilai, a former Chinese Communist Party official, is scheduled to go on trial on August 22 on charges of taking bribes, corruption and abuse of power. 

Media

08.27.13

The Surprise Loser of China’s Trial of the Century: Its Corruption Watchdog

It seems like everybody has something to gain from Show Trial 2.0, a.k.a. the semi-live tweeting of fallen politician Bo Xilai’s day in court.Bo Xilai the showman takes a bow with a flourish; Gu Kailai, the scorned wife, exacts sweet revenge;...

China’s Fallen Former High-Flyer Bo to Stand Trial

Benjamin Kang Lin and Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The long-awaited trial of Bo who is still popular with conservatives and the disaffected, will be the country’s highest-profile hearing since the 1976 downfall of Mao Zedong’s widow, Jiang Qing, and her Gang of Four at the end of the Cultural...

Viewpoint

08.22.13

How Bo Xilai Split the Party and Divided the People

Ouyang Bin from Chinese Law Prof Blog
After the 1989 Tiananmen Incident, Chinese political struggles became milder and more mundane. Members of the Politburo and politicians of higher rank rarely were toppled (except for Chen Liangyu in 2006) and ideology seldom triggered significant...

Media

08.22.13

You Can’t Handle the Truth: Bo Xilai’s Courtroom Performance Wins Fans

A show trial this is not. But is a twist ending in the major blockbuster “The Life of Bo Xilai” in the offing?The long-awaited trial of Bo Xilai, once a rising star in the Chinese Communist Party, took place Thursday morning, but instead of the...

Conversation

08.21.13

Is Xi Jinping Redder Than Bo Xilai Or Vice Versa?

Michael Anti & Shai Oster
Michael Anti:Competing for Redness: The Scarlet Bo vs the Vermilion Xi?Bo Xilai, the fallen Chinese princeling famous for leading a “Red Songs” communist campaign in southwest China's megacity Chongqing, is on trial today, live-Twittered from...

China Vanke Chairman Wang Shi Defends Right to Speak out on Politics

Adrian Wan
South China Morning Post
Property tycoon Wang Shi has defended the rights of businessmen like himself to speak up on political issues, citing disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai’s efforts to enlist his support for his controversial campaigns.

Where Is China’s Gorbachev?

Matt Schiavenza
Atlantic
Why China hasn't had—and isn't likely to have—a political reformer in the mold of the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

Family of Murdered Briton Seeks Up to $8.2 Million Compensation in China

Ben Blanchard and Benjamin Kang Lim
Reuters
The family of a British citizen murdered in China is seeking compensation of up to $8.2 million from his convicted killer, the wife of former top leader Bo Xilai, a lawyer with knowledge of the talks said on Monday.

From Maoist Criminal to Popular Hero?

Pin Ho
New York Times
China will begin one of the most sensational trials in its modern political history, when Bo Xilai, the former rising star in the Politburo and Communist Party boss in the megacity of Chongqing, faces corruption charges.

From Maoist Criminal to Popular Hero?

Pin Ho
New York Times
At a time of rampant corruption and social injustice, many see Bo Xilai as a charismatic leftist who at least dared to challenge the status quo of organized crime and official self-dealing and to revive Mao’s socialist, egalitarian ideals.&nbsp...

China Detains Prominent Bo Xilai Supporter Ahead of Trial

Reuters
Song Yangbiao, a reporter for the magazine the Time Weekly, was detained on Sunday according to friends and supporters, apparently after using his Sina Weibo microblog to denounce the trial and call for an uprising to oppose it. ...

The Chinese Communist Party Has Embraced the Internet—For Public Polling

Adam Pasick
Atlantic
Beijing has started to glean political intelligence from the same systems they restrict access to.

China's Bo To Plead guilty, But Maybe Not To All Charges

Benjamin Kang Lim, Ben Blanchard
Reuters
Disgraced Chinese leader Bo Xilai has agreed to plead guilty at a trial likely to be held within weeks, three sources said, in an apparent bid to earn a more lenient sentence and allow authorities to close the door on the country's biggest...

Bo Xilai's Son Bo Guagua Continues His Studies at Columbia University

Joanna Chiu, Patrick Boehler
South China Morning Post
Bo Guagua, the son of disgraced former Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai, appears to be enrolled in the prestigious Columbia Law School at Columbia University, according to public records available on the school’s website. 

Fallen Leader Is Indicted in China

Edward Wong
New York Times
Bo Xilai, the disgraced former Communist Party official, was indicted on Thursday on criminal charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power, paving the way for a prominent trial expected to start within weeks.

China Sets Timeline for Resolving Bo Xilai Scandal

Bloomberg
China set a timeline for the prosecution of disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai, moving to resolve a scandal that overshadowed a once-in-a-decade transfer of power and tested the unity of new Communist Party leaders.