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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

World

All in a year’s work for fallen star Bo
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times
Beijing, October 02, 2012
First Published: 17:13 IST(2/10/2012)
Last Updated: 23:57 IST(2/10/2012)
A file photo showing former Chinese commerce minister Bo Xilai listens during a news conference at the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's parliament, in Beijing. Reuters Photo

Bo Guagua, the Harvard educated son of former Communist leader Bo Xilai -- whose journey from "charismatic" to "disgraced" and "expelled" finished his political career in less than a year -- made a spirited defence of his father  two days after Bo was stripped of all his Communist credentials.

"Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations that were announced against my father because they contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life. Although the policies my father enacted are open to debate, the father I know is upright in his beliefs and devoted to duty," he wrote.

He could be particularly perturbed about one allegation, of which the state-run Xinhua news agency made a passing, sneaking reference, "Bo had or maintained improper sexual relationships with a number of women."

If allegations of corruption and involvement in the Neil Heywood murder case ensure several years in jail, maintaining a string of mistresses could bury Bo's reputation forever.

Millions of Chinese microblogs buzzed about who these women - apparently many actors, singers and celebrities included.

Some women celebrities quickly updated their statuses on Weibo (microblog) accounts that they did not know Bo.

A top Chinese woman actor, among the few known worldwide, has sued two news publications couple of months ago for linking her name with Bo.

But the slew of allegations raises a question: did Bo become corrupt, abused his power and got involved in sexual impropriety all in one year? Is such a rapid fall of perceived morality possible?

About two years ago - and this is only one example – party mouthpiece China Daily's blog gushed about Bo in the usual glowing, flattering way newspaper in China talk about the country's leaders.

"The charismatic leader of China's largest municipality (Bo) found himself at center stage on Saturday, surrounded by close to 200 surprisingly cheery reporters at the Great Hall of the People, where he vowed to continue his high-profile crackdown on crime," it said.

Or does that mean Bo's allegedly corrupt ways were accepted - probably like that of others in the CPC - till his popularity and ambition singed his contemporary 'princelings'?

These doubts will remain. Even if state media continues to portray Bo's fall as the CPC's way of ensuring that no member will be spared for walking the path of corruption, crime and sleaze.


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