China Suspends Death Sentence for Wife of Disgraced Official

Rishi Iyengar
Time
The murder of British businessman Neil Heywood sparked one of China's biggest political scandals...

Street Vendor’s Execution Stokes Anger in China

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
In a country whose citizens widely support capital punishment, street vendor Xia Junfeng’s execution has stoked a firestorm of public anger, much of it expressed through social media and directed at the double standards applied to ordinary citizens...

Media

09.26.13

Execution or Murder? Chinese Look for Justice in Street Vendor’s Death

This morning, a Chinese street vendor named Xia Junfeng was executed. Xia had been found guilty of murdering two urban enforcers, known colloquially as chengguan, in 2009. Xia’s lawyers argued he acted in self-defense, presenting six eyewitness...

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...

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. 

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...

Former China Party Highflier Bo Xilai Is Charged With Corruption

Jeremy Page and Lingling Wei
Wall Street Journal
The indictment accuses Mr. Bo of taking advantage of his position “to seek profits for others” and accepting an “extremely large amount” in money and property, Xinhua said. 

Dead-end Trail to Bo’s Trial in China’s South

John Ruwitch
Reuters
China scotched reports that disgraced politician Bo Xilai’s much anticipated trial would open on Monday, amid chaotic scenes at a courthouse packed with expectant journalists in the south of the country.

Books

01.04.13

The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo

John Garnaut
When news of the murder trial of prominent Communist Party leader Bo Xilai’s wife reached public attention, it was apparent that, as with many events in the secretive upper echelons of Chinese politics, there was more to the story. Now, during the biggest leadership transition in decades, as the Bo family’s long-time rival Xi Jinping assumes the presidency, China’s rulers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep their poisonous internal divisions behind closed doors.

 Bo Xilai’s breathtaking fall from grace is an extraordinary tale of excess, murder, defection, political purges and ideological clashes going back to Mao himself. China watcher John Garnaut examines how Bo’s stellar rise through the ranks troubled his more reformist peers, as he revived anti-“capitalist roader” sentiment, even while his family and associates enjoyed the more open economy’s opportunities.Amid fears his imminent elevation to the powerful Standing Committee was leading China towards another destructive Cultural Revolution, have his opponents seized their chance to destroy Bo and what he stood for? The trigger was his wife Gu Kailai’s apparently paranoid murder of an English family friend, which exposed the corruption and brutality of Bo’s outwardly successful administration of the massive city of Chongqing. It also led to the one of the highest-level attempted defections in Communist China’s history when Bo’s right-hand man, police chief Wang Lijun, tried to escape the ruins of his sponsor’s reputation.
 
Garnaut explains how this incredible glimpse into the very personal power struggles within the CCP exposes the myth of the unified one-party state. With China approaching super-power status, today’s leadership shuffle may set the tone for international relations for decades. Here, Garnaut reveals a particularly Chinese spin on the old adage that the personal is political.
 —Penguin

Report Links Former Police Chief to Murder

Edward Wong
New York Times
A Chinese newspaper reports a former Chongqing police chief played a direct role in organizing the murder of a U.K. citizen. 

China’s Security Ministry Suspected Slain Businessman Was a Spy

Jonathan Ansfield and Ian Johnson
New York Times
China’s external intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security, suspected a British businessman of being a spy before his murder last year at the hands of a senior politician’s wife, according to people with close ties to Chinese state...

New Details of How Wife of Chinese Politician Thought She Was Poisoned

Edward Wong
New York Times
The wife of Bo Xilai, the disgraced Chinese politician, was told several years ago by a doctor that her nervous system had suffered irreversible damage because she had been steadily ingesting poison that someone had slipped into...

Ousted From Party in China, Bo Xilai Faces Prosecution

Edward Wong
New York Times
Chinese leaders announced on Friday that Bo Xilai, a disgraced Communist Party aristocrat, had been expelled from the party and would be prosecuted on criminal charges, as the date for the 18th Party Congress, climaxing China’s once-a-decade...

Caixin Media

09.28.12

Bo Xilai Ousted from Communist Party

The Communist Party has expelled Bo Xilai, the former party chief of Chongqing, who’s been embroiled in corruption allegations since early this year.The Politburo made the decision on September 28, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Bo will next...

Media

09.24.12

Law Professor He Weifang on Why Wang Lijun’s Trial Scared Him

Amy Qin
Today, the Chinese state news agency Xinhua announced that Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing police chief, has been found guilty by a court in Chengdu of four criminal charges, including defection, abuse of power, taking bribes, and bending the law...

As Scandal Shook China, Quiet Spy Game Unraveled

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
In spy-speak it is known as a "walk-in"—an unsolicited approach to a diplomatic mission by a foreigner claiming to have sensitive information. And when an agitated former police chief, Wang Lijun, entered a U.S. consulate in early February...

Caixin Media

08.25.12

Gu Kailai: Getting Away with Murder?

Closer Look: Nearly Getting Away with MurderBy Zhang JianjingShortly after Bogu Kailai received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve, four former high-ranking Chongqing police officers were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five to eleven...

Crocodile Tears? CCTV Blasted Over Pre-Cooked Liu Xiang Coverage

Lillian Lin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
What do convicted murderer Gu Kailai, serial killer Zhou Kehua and Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang have in common? As of Wednesday, all three stand at the center of viral, conspiracy-driven controversies that say unflattering things about the...

China’s Show Trial of the Century

Ma Jian
Project Syndicate
The trial, conviction, and suspended death sentence of Gu Kailai, the wife of purged Chinese leader Bo Xilai, has called into question not only China’s legal system, but the very unity of the Communist Party leadership.

Winning? China Internet Users React to Gu Murder Verdict

Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Gu Kailai has scored another courtroom victory. Such was the takeaway for many of China’s Internet users after it was revealed Monday that the wife of fallen Communist Party heavyweight Bo Xilai had been given a suspended death sentence after being...

Sinica Podcast

08.17.12

The Fourth Estate

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Following the Chinese media’s intense coverage of the blitzkrieg trial of Gu Kailai, those of us at Sinica want to take this opportunity to look back at the most riveting China story of the year. And while we’ve covered developments week-by-week and...

The Bogu Kailai Case: Underwritten by Privilege

Hu Shuli
A review of Xinhua News Agency's account of the Bogu Kailai and Zhang Xiaojun murder trial released last Friday revealed a trove of fresh information. The details included the criminal charges, the type of evidence brought forward, expert...

Random Thoughts on the Gu Kailai Trial

Donald C. Clarke
Chinese Law Prof Blog
Did she indeed confess to everything? All the reports state in various ways that Gu confessed. The Zhao Report says, “She fully admitted her acts in the case without reservation; she offered no objections.” The Xinhua Report says that she “confessed...

Bo’s Brand of Justice Leaves Timebomb for China

Chris Buckley
Reuters
China's fallen politician Bo Xilai left a timebomb as a parting gift for the Communist Party leadership that threw him out—the smoldering demands for redress from the many targets of his harsh version of justice in the city he ruled...

Unofficial Account of Gu Kailai Trial (Translation)

Donald Clarke (translator)
Chinese Law Prof Blog
An unofficial report of proceedings in the Gu Kailai trial has surfaced. I can't vouch for its authenticity, but have done a quick and dirty, and not entirely literal, translation anyway. Comments, corrections, and suggestions welcome...

Court Observer: Gu Kailai's Trial

Keith Richburg
Washington Post
China’s most widely anticipated trial in a generation ended Thursday less than eight hours after it began, with Gu Kailai — a daughter of the Communist Party’s “red aristocracy” and the wife of deposed charismatic leader...

Murder Trial of Chinese Official’s Wife Begins and Concludes

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
The murder trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of the deposed political leader Bo Xilai, began here on Thursday morning and came to an end seven hours later, with officials saying that the defendant and an accomplice had all but confessed to...

The Non-Trial of the Century

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
When China’s fallen political grand dame, Gu Kailai, steps into a courtroom this week to face a murder charge, one of the few things we can expect with any certainty is the verdict: guilty. Barring a political tornado between now and the scheduled...

Bo Xilai: The Unanswered Questions

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
The Chinese Communist Party has always put great emphasis on smooth surfaces, maintaining political “face” through a decorous exterior. Men at the top dye their hair black and every strand must be in place. But sometimes there are cracks in the...

Bo Xilai: The Unanswered Questions

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
The Chinese Communist Party has always put great emphasis on smooth surfaces, maintaining political “face” through a decorous exterior. Men at the top dye their hair black and every strand must be in place. But sometimes there are cracks in the...

Politics and Crime in China: The Final Act

The Economist
Economist
As weeks have passed without news of the fates of Bo Xilai, a suspended Politburo member, and his wife, Gu Kailai, a suspect in the murder of a foreigner, some speculated that party leaders were having difficulty agreeing on the verdicts, both...

Minxin Pei: What China's Leaders Fear Most

Minxin Pei
Diplomat
The news that Chinese prosecutors have filed formal murder charges against Gu Kailai, the wife of disgraced former Communist Party boss of Chongqing Bo Xilai, has conjured up tantalizing images of a sensational trial at which the dirtiest laundry of...

Chinese Media Downplay Indictment of Bo Xilai’s Wife

Josh Chin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
When former Chongqing Communist Party boss Bo Xilai was stripped of his positions in the party in April following his former right-hand man’s attempt to seek asylum at a U.S. consulate, the news blared across the front pages of nearly every...

Bo Xilai's Wife Charged in Killing of British Businessman

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
Gu Kailai, the wife of the disgraced political leader Bo Xilai, has been charged with the intentional homicide of a British businessman, a crime that triggered China’s most serious political crisis in decades, the state media...

Tale of the Dragon Lady: Gu Kaili

Paul French
Foreign Policy
The press has called her China's Jackie Kennedy, Lady Macbeth, and the Empress. There's been no trial, except by the blogosphere; no real evidence, beyond rumor and innuendo. Yet Gu Kailai, the wife of fallen Politburo member Bo Xilai has...