Chongqing Revisited

In the wake of the spectacular downfall of former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai and his once right-hand man Wang Lijun earlier this year, SCMP revisits the southwestern metropolis – the epicentre of the communist party’s worst scandal in more than two decades. By tracking down and interviewing various people directly involved in, and victimized by, Bo’s “singing red, striking black” campaign, SCMP correspondent Keith Zhai unlocks the secrets of a once menacing political figure and his empire. 

Dumplings, workouts: Jailed ex-police chief Wang Lijun's 'comfortable' prison life

Since being jailed in September, Wang Lijun has been both praised and criticised for his time as Chongqing police chief. Photo: AP

Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing is leading a comfortable life in a prison on the outskirts of Beijing, a source close to his family said. "He stays in a good mental state and has put on some weight compared with when he stood trial in September," the source quoted a family member who had visited Wang as saying.

Friday, 29 March, 2013, 2:18pm

Doubts cast on story of cash stash in Wen Qiang's fish pond

Wen Qiang on trial before being sentenced to death. Photo: Xinhua

The story of the piles of cash found buried beneath former Chongqing police chief Wen Qiang's fish pond was frequently used to justify the massive anti-triad drive led by his successor, Wang Lijun.

3 Jan 2013 - 8:51am

Trying to escape Bo Xilai's shadow: How victims still bear scars

Illustration: Henry Wang

Despite being tortured for 37 days in a Chongqing motel room, businessman Chen Guixue remained defiant.

28 Dec 2012 - 3:08pm

Surviving Bo Xilai's reign of red terror

Disgraced Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai. Photo: Reuters

On a two-hour flight from Beijing to Chongqing early this month, Ren Jianyu spent most of the time with his face pressed against the window, watching the clouds streak past. At one point he murmured: "This is freedom."

25 Jul 2013 - 1:10pm 3 comments

Mysteries surrounding Heywood murder begin to unfold

Gu Kailai (left) visited Wang Lijun (right) when he was working in 2010. Photo: the Southern Metropolis Weekly

An investigative report about China’s most infamous former police officer Wang Lijun by China’s Southern Metropolis Weekly magazine has answered some questions relating to the murder of British businessmen Neil Heywood, whose death precipitated the downfall of China's once powerful and ambitious politician Bo Xilai.

19 Dec 2012 - 5:56pm 2 comments

Inside Bo Xilai's dungeon: victims reveal ruthless torture

Bo Xilai, pictured during a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in March 2012. Photo: AP

In the first of a four-part series, Revisiting Chongqing, we look at one of the earliest and most high-profile victims of the disgraced party chief's crackdown on so-called gangsters.

20 Aug 2013 - 7:55pm 4 comments

The real Wang Lijun revealed in magazine exposé

Wang Lijun during his post in Liaoning province. Photo: Southern Metropolis Weekly

Police chief, criminal, designer, calligrapher and fashionista - it may come as a surprise that the man who encompasses all of those things is China's most infamous former cop, Wang Lijun.

19 Dec 2012 - 5:49pm

Chongqing balls wiped clean of Wang Lijun legacy

The two large stone balls outside the Public Security Bureau, before (left) and after. Photo: SCMP Pictures

The two large balls sitting outside the Chongqing Municipal Building's Public Security Bureau once epitomised former top cop Wang Lijuan’s iron-fisted crusade against rampant crime and corruption.

19 Dec 2012 - 5:59pm

Questions over fate of Bo Xilai after jailing of ex-police chief Wang Lijun

Then Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai (L) and Deputy Mayor Wang Lijun attend a meeting in Chongqing municipality in this January 7, 2012 file photo. Photo: REUTERS

The 15-year jail sentence handed down to former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun did little to shed light on the fate of his boss, disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai .

Analysts said the lenient sentence for the former anti-triad hero, who was once Bo's right-hand man, was part of a political deal aimed at putting an end to the Bo scandal ahead of the party's leadership succession.

19 Dec 2012 - 6:00pm 2 comments

The rise and fall of Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun

Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen

When Bo Xilai , the new party secretary in Chongqing , was looking for someone to head the municipality's police force and crack down on its rampant gangsters, his eyes turned to 52-year-old Wang Lijun , a police chief who had made a name for himself as a crime fighter in the northeastern province of Liaoning .

19 Dec 2012 - 5:59pm