Friday, April 20, 2012

Bo Xilai

The downfall of Bo Xilai from the Chinese governing hierarchy speaks volumes as one of the top contenders to succeed President Hu Jintao falls by the wayside. Bo's wife is charged with the murder of a British businessman. Bo was until recently a paragon of anti-corruption in the Chinese leadership. He fashioned a reputation as willing to take on organized crime in Chongqing (the world's most populous city) and Dalian, two Chinese cities where Bo held top administrative posts. His chief of police recently sought asylum at the US consulate, the first public sign something untoward was afoot. Some Chinese journalists fell afoul of him years ago when they investigated his practices but nonetheless he had a stellar reputation. Now all that has gone. To Canada he was the main conduit with the Chinese inner circle and our PM and the likes of Paul Demarais have gone out of their way to visit him in the past. How this fall from grace effects Canada's relationship with our newly proclaimed "strategic partner" remains to be seen, but it does not look good.