China's Leadership Transition

A black Ferrari, a playboy’s death and political fallout for Hu Jintao’s top aide

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 September, 2012, 6:06pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

The crash of a black Ferrari on Beijing’s North Fourth Ring Road involved far more than sex, a fast car and a playboy. It also put the political career of Ling Jihua, President Hu Jintao’s top aide for more than two decades, at stake.

In the early hours of March 18 – just three days after the Communist Party sacked Bo Xilai as party chief of Chongqing – a speeding Ferrari smashed into a wall, rebounded and crushed a railing on the opposite side of the road. One naked body and two half-naked bodies were thrown from the wreckage. A half-naked man, in his 20s, died immediately while two young women – one naked and one half-naked – were seriously injured.

The accident would come to affect behind-the-scenes political jockeying in the run-up to this autumn’s 18th party congress – which will produce China’s new generation of leaders.

Read the full story in Monday’s South China Morning Post, which also kicks-start our pre-congress package “China’s leadership transition”.