Will implication in Bo Xilai's crimes get Gu Kailai executed?
Bo Xilai what?
In short, the official statement released on Friday by Xinhua links Bo to both Neil Heywood's murder and Wang Lijun's attempted "defection" to the United States, and alludes to criminal activity of his most recently while head of Chongqing, while serving as China's Minister of Commerce beginning in the mid-2000s, and potentially going all the way back to 1992 when Bo became mayor of Dalian, Liaoning province.
Bo had inappropriate sex with a number of women who weren't his wife. Bo was so bad he did things Xinhua won't even tell us about. Bo might even have broken Chairman Mao's reputation with his "Chongqing Model" campaigns straight out of a Cultural Revolution history book:
The CPC Central Committee called for strengthened nurturing of the Party spirit so that leading Party officials can develop appropriate views toward the world and power.
His wife, Gu Kailai, was also named for her involvement in Bo's corruption and abuse of power.
Now it's time for everyone to get their shots in. Lots of gloating on Sina Weibo. Even the person running one of People's Daily's main microblogging accounts got excited at Friday night's announcement, posting a little jab (since deleted, screen capture above) at Bo's supporters on the far left (The Utopia website was their home before it got shut down this year right when its members ralied to Bo's defence).
At their new home, RedChina, there are cries and despair, but so far no more calls for the People's Liberation Army to seize control of the country from the traitors who have taken it off the path of revolutionary socialism.
Bo's diehard supporters among the neo-Maoist intellectuals have had little to say since the announcement was made, aside from high-profile Bo cheerleader Sima Nan, who on Saturday afternoon published a lengthy blog post attacking an editorial which appeared in Guangming Daily - a influential newspaper published by the CPC Central Committee - on Saturday morning, which calls Bo's Cultural Revolution-style politics a "dead-end road" in the headline and urges readers to reflect on how cults of personality damage society and how the country is able to move on.
Sima's main comment on Friday night was that the Xinhua announcement "doesn't make a single refutation of the Chongqing model, and makes no ideological or political criticism of Bo Xilai."
Will Bo be shown the justice ("no mercy") the Chinese government claims he will? Ai Weiwei has already dismissed any hope of that.
And then there was renowned Peking University law professor He Weifang, Friday night on his microblog:
The central government says he abused power in "the intentional homicide case of Bogu Kailai", "took advantage of his office to seek profits for others and received huge bribes personally and through his family", that his position was "abused by his wife Bogu Kailai to seek profits for others, and the Bo family accepted a huge amount of money and property from others", not a bit of this was mentioned [when Gu was brought to trial] in Hefei. Does this mean she'll be retried now? If you take a murderer given a suspended death sentence and add economic crimes, won't she immediately be sentenced to execution?
Given how tightly scripted his wife Gu Kailai's trial was, as Wang Xuemei suggested, authorities are able to spin things as they choose and the facts may tell a wildly different story.
Observers of Gu's trial contacted this past week wouldn't even confirm the official version, and unless those in a position to do so brings some transparency to this ongoing saga, Bo's liberal critics will have plenty more to celebrate, his already cynical supporters will inevitably somehow end up feeling vindicated, and Guangming Daily might get to print another "dead-end" piece.