Bo’s Fall Highlights China’s Regional Governance Problem

Bo Xilai, the dismissed Communist Party chief of the western municipality of Chongqing, began his long fall from grace in February, when his police chief, Wang Lijun, sought refuge in the United States Consulate in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China.

Wang’s short-lived “defection” lifted the lid off a corruption scandal that is likely to complicate the once-in-a-decade transfer of power to new party leaders in the fall, drawing international attention to internal politics that party officials prefer to keep far from public view.

The charges currently being brought against Bo, which include disturbing details about his career-making crusade against organized crime in Chongqing and range from official accusations of corruption to allegations of torture and murder, raise the question of how he managed to avoid detection for so long.

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