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'My education was funded by scholarships, family savings'

world Updated: Apr 26, 2012 00:32 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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In the latest turn in the scandal to shock the Chinese government, the purged Communist leader Bo Xilai’s son has come out with a public statement claiming that his education at Oxford and Harvard was funded by scholarship and family savings and that he never drove a Ferrari.

Soon after the Bo scandal broke out in February and gathered steam in the following weeks, incessant rumours talked about his son Bo Guagua’s flamboyant lifestyles at Oxford and Harvard where he is studying now. And that scholarship money alone could not have sustained his apparently fast lifestyle and expensive apartments.

Bo has since been sacked from the Party politburo and wife Gu Kailai and a family aide have been charged with murdering British national, Neil Heywood.

In a signed statement to the Crimson, daily student newspaper at Harvard, the politician’s son said though he would not comment on the investigation – he also stayed clear from mentioning Heywood’s name -- he was “deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family…It is impossible to address all of the rumours and allegations about myself, but I will state the facts regarding some of the most pertinent claims.”

The statement has been heavily shared on the internet and picked up by the international press keenly following the scandal.

“My tuition and living expenses at Harrow School, University of Oxford and Harvard University were funded exclusively by two sources—scholarships earned independently, and my mother’s generosity from the savings she earned from her years as a successful lawyer and writer,” Bo Guagua wrote under a sub-head “facts”.

He defended his academic record, saying they were “solid throughout my schooling years.”

“At the University of Oxford, I studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics. I was a ‘tripartite’, being enrolled in all three subjects, rather than dropping one in the second year, as is the norm. Upon graduating, I earned a 2:1 degree (Second Class, First Honours) overall and achieved a First in Philosophy.”

Bo Guagua denied ever driving a Ferrari. “I have never driven a Ferrari. I have also not been to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing since 1998 (when I obtained a previous U.S. Visa), nor have I ever been to the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in China. Even my student Visas were issued by the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, which is closer to my home of five years.”

He urged the media not to intrude into the lives of his family and friends.