Tsar Niggalicious of Stankonia (la0wai ) wrote in ask_me_anything ,

Serious question

Readers of The Guardian voted Bradley Manning as Person Of The Year 2012. Who was your person this year?

Mine was Bo Xilai. The Financial Times wrote the best account of this debacle.

Bo Xilai: power, death and politics

I've been living in China for almost three consecutive years and I've tried very hard to learn about this country. I first heard about Bo Xilai when he was a rock star here. Communist "We are the Communist Party of China and we will decide what communism means" China's first western style politician. And at the same time an old school communist of the Cultural Revolution variety. He was in the Red Guards and he participated in struggle sessions against his own father, Bo Yibo, one of the eight immortals (if he's immortal, then why is he dead amirite) and a hero of the communist revolution. In sum, a very scary, unscrupulous, determined dude.

Xi Jinping is the unopposed head of state now, but I think that if Bo Xilai had gotten to the Standing Committee and if he had gotten the portfolio he wanted, his campaign in Chongqing would've been rolled out on a national scale. It would've been The Cultural Revolution all over again and Bo Xilai would've become a dictator.

But also, this has cracked the edifice of The Party. They're like Americans. Two major groups of lawmakers constantly squabbling.

"The death of an obscure British consultant had brought down one of China’s most powerful politicians, a man who had been favoured to ascend to the ruling nine-member Communist party politburo standing committee at a once-in-a-decade power transition later this autumn. While Gu and Bo remain in detention awaiting an official verdict, their downfall has also revealed a deep rift among the top echelons of the Communist party and debunked the idea that authoritarian China has managed to institutionalise an orderly succession process in the absence of democracy."
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