• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 3:29am

Bo Xilai

Chinese Communist "princeling" Bo Xilai, expected by many to take a key leadership position in the leadership transition of 2012, was expelled from the Communist Party in September after a career that saw him as Mayor of Dalian City, Minister of Commerce and Party Chief of the Chongqing municipality. His wife Gu Kailai received a suspended death sentence in August 2012 for murdering British business partner Neil Heywood. 

CommentInsight & Opinion

How they see it

Trial of former political star Bo Xilai

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 September, 2013, 5:06am

1. Global Times

On the one hand, some believe Bo will be given a tough sentence, much heavier than the punishment he deserves. On the other hand, some speculate that the verdict will be much lighter. The two opinions, though contradictory, are the same in nature. They make judgments, which are too subjective and individual. An impartial trial only responds to facts, and never submits to speculation. Those rumours are creating a clip of political bullets, which are being used to sabotage China's system. But they are just a stream of bubbles set off by Bo's case. The internet dramatically lowers the cost of making these bubbles, but their exponential growth cannot prevent them from bursting. Beijing

 

2. The Guardian

There can be no doubt that Mr Bo's treatment in court has been privileged and unusual. [It] reflects the fact that he, or his supporters, still have some leverage over the Politburo's standing committee, the seven-man body that runs China … leader Xi Jinping is treading a fine balance between keeping faith with both his anti-corruption campaign, and the class he comes from. Both he and Mr Bo belong to the princelings - children of the party's founding fathers. The country operates on guanxi, a network of friends in high places without whom nothing gets done. Although guanxi at this level is paid for in French villas, the principle is the same. Mr Xi's campaign can only go so far, and so, one assumes, can Mr Bo's fall from grace. London

 

3. Taipei Times

Given Bo's gift for dazzling an audience, his allies must have felt confident that a spirited defence would serve him well, both legally and politically. Bo certainly did not disappoint … Bo understands that he should not be perceived as a pitiful loser. By appearing dignified, defiant and forceful, Bo evidently sought to preserve his image among his allies as a strong leader. Denouncing himself to gain leniency - in a case that he portrayed as a grievous miscarriage of justice - would have made him look like a coward. Bo may be heading to jail, but he retains some chance of political rehabilitation should things change … his botched - but riveting - trial may be over, but the Bo Xilai show will go on. Taipei

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