In my post “Rule of law and democracy advocator Qiao Shi returns” yesterday, I said quite much on the question of whether Bo would return as he said to his Japanese friend. Qiao Shi’s case is quite different from Bo’s. Qiao’s was a normal retirement and he was succeeded by his chosen successor. Bo has had all his positions suspended for offenses against Party discipline. The most important issues for Bo’s return are first whether he remains a Party member. Deng Xiaoping was happy that he was not deprived of his Party membership when he fell into disgrace after the April 5 Tiananmen Incident. After two months investigation, Bo was recently called “comrade” by Politburo member Zhang Dejiang, he seems to be able to retain his party membership. Second, what his followers have suffered.
We have two reports today from two Hong Kong newspapers. They report the same election results of Chongqing’s recent party congress, but they differ in their views on the results.
SCMP seems to believe that Bo’s faction suffered seriously by giving its report the title “Bo’s top aid left out of leadership”. It refers to Xu Ming’s failure to be reelected as a member of the City Party Standing Committee. SCMP says, Bo’s ally He Shizhong also suffered in failing to keep his seat in that committee.
Singtao Daily seems to hold that Bo’s faction have not suffered much. First, Bo’s close ally Wang Qifan has been elected a deputy to the 18th Party Congress and reelected as the first deputy secretary of the City Party Committee; second Bo’s top aid Xu Ming has been reelected a member of the City Party Committee though lost his seat in the City Party Standing Committee; third, Wu Zhenglong has kept his seat in the City Party Standing Committee.
The last but not the least, Yao Ning, Bo’s notorious follower who played a major role in Bo’s campaign against organized crime, was found in the list of 50 candidates to be elected as Party Congress delegates. It roused an uproar of protests but she was not elected according to some microblogs. However, the Organization Department of the City Party Commiitte refused to confirm and said the list of elected delegates would be published in due course.
In my preceding post “Bo Xilai’s wife ‘admits Neil Heywood murder’”, The Telegraph says that the authorities “have interviewed hundreds and detained ‘dozens of people’ associated with him ‘including his chauffeurs, close aides and secretaries’”, but none of Bo’s high-ranking followers in Chongqing have been detained or placed under house arrest or fallen into disgrace.
It proves Reuters’ report that Hu Jintao declared Bo’s case as an “isolated case” and intervened to prevent widening of the rift and limit purge of Bo’s policies and supporters.
Bo’s own faction suffered not heavily in Chongqing while his faction in Liaoning and the Ministry of Commerce and the faction Bo inherited from his father Bo Yibo remain intact. Bo’s power base remains much stronger than Xi Jinping’s. He certainly can say with confidence, “I will return”, if he is found not involved in his wife’s case. According to Bo’s close friend Japanese reporter Mr. Udagawa, Bo has long been separated from his wife.
Hong Kong’s Singtao Daily says in its comprehensive report that Yang Kun, the vice president of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) under investigation by the Central Disciplinary Commission, is said to have huge unaccountable assets and been involved in many cases. Besides the huge loan of 3 billion yuan (US$555 million) to Beijing commercial property project Solana, Yang is suspected to be close to Bo’s father-in-law Lieutenant General Gu Junshan, former deputy director of PLA Logistic Department, and involved in the case of Dalian Shide’s boss Xu Ming, who was closely related to former Chongqing Party boss Bo Xilai.
According to caixin.com, Yang’s case is found quite complicated through about 10 days’ investigation and there is rumor of his involvements in Xu Ming’s and Gu Junshan’s cases, but no details are given in the report.
Defense Military’s website says Gu has “departed” from his post and some sources say that Gu, who was in charge of capital construction, was removes from his post on the eve of the Chinese lunar new year for economic irregularities.
Xu Ming, chairman of the board of directors of Dalian Shide Group, is said to have been taken away for investigation of his involvement in Bo Xilai’s case. Xu is closely related to Bo and his Shide Group rose when Bo was in charge of Dalian and Liaoning. Some people even regard Xu as the source of Bo’s money.
Sources say that Wang Yaohui’s Beijing commercial property project Sonala has been losing money for years since it went into operation in 2008 and needs lots of funds as it has a large area of land exceeding 11 hectares. Yang is perhaps involved in ABC’s provision of a 10-year property operation loan amounting to about 3 billion yuan.
Last April, rumor about the whereabouts of the loan raised great concern in the ABC and the relevant responsible person told Yang to recover the loan, but Yang delayed the recovery.
People in the banking industry say that the problem is not only the loan alone but also the incidental private transactions. It is said that a certain relative of Yang’s was taken away for investigation not long ago for business transactions with Sonala.
The above-mentioned sources say that since last February, Wang has been taken for investigation by relevant departments several times and found his enthusiasm in excessive gambling and once lost at least 3 billion yuan at a Macau casino. That perhaps triggered the investigation about Yang.
Yang, 54, has worked in the ABC for almost 30 years, was appointed a vice president in 2004 to be in charge of property lending for a long time. He often enjoys food and wine with his customers. High-level sources say that Yang “looks loyal and honest” but is in fact a person who fails to attend his proper duties, but loyal to his friends.