Anti-triad drive fails to get top leaders' backing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 March, 2010, 12:00am

Despite heightened media attention on Chongqing during this year's NPC session in Beijing, municipality party chief Bo Xilai's anti-mafia crusade has yet to gain public endorsement from either President Hu Jintao or Premier Wen Jiabao .

With only a day to go before the end of the annual session of the National People's Congress, only the mainland's security tsar has made a formal appearance at Chongqing delegation meetings since the opening of the session last week.

Zhou Yongkang , the mainland's top law and order official, who ranks last in the nine-strong Politburo Standing Committee, joined a group discussion with Chongqing delegates yesterday, Xinhua said. In a terse report, Zhou was quoted by the official agency as making comments on the need to improve the judicial system. Intriguingly, the report made no mention of Zhou making any remarks about Bo's high-profile war on organised crime, which was apparently the talk of the gathering.

Analysts said it was strange, given Zhou was the first Politburo Standing Committee member to praise Bo's crackdown, in September last year.

He Guoqiang , the mainland's top anti-graft official and the eighth most senior leader, endorsed the crackdown in an informal meeting with the Chongqing delegation two days before the NPC session started.

Analysts said the fact most top leaders, particularly Hu and Wen, had avoided making any comments on the anti-triad drive, nine months after it was launched, let alone voiced support for Bo, said a lot.

It is widely believed that the anti-triad campaign, an unusual phenomenon, was a calculated move by Bo to garner popular support and media exposure in his quest for higher office.