Is Bo Xilai’s Star Rising?

Monday, March 1, 2010 16:53
Posted in category The Big Picture

Almost 2 years to the day it was announced that Bo Xilai was going to be packing up and moving from Dalian to Chongqing.  It was an announcement that was part in parcel with several other high level provincial mayoral moves that I saw as an effort by Hu & Co’s to leverage the experience of trusted and respected from the East coast to clean up cities that has yet to fully prosper.. or fall in line with the movement that was underway in Beiing.

It was a move that in the case of Bo XiLai I saw as ultimately the last test for him on the road to Zhongnanhai… and now with only a short stink before the next NPC, and coming off the success of the recent gang trials in Chongqing, others are beginning to also follow Bo Xilai’s potential move up at the NPC:

The challenge for Bo is whether he can turn this Rudy Giuliani-like popularity into a spot in the Communist Party leadership‘s inner circle.

At the time of his move, my reasoning for seeing his move to Chongqing as the last step was simply this:

that some of China’s most important reforms have just been put in place, or are just now going in place, and as a trusted member of the inner circle, the central party is looking at he (and the other 4) as the persons who will ensure compliance.

In essence, he was going to – through this position – prove that he could – without his local network – prove that he could implement the reforms that Hu & Co had in mind and be someone who could carry the legacy of reforms that had been taken.

Now, to do that – and let’s assume for the length of this post that at this NPC he will take the next step – there is some interesting politics that would have to occur.  After all, they did tap replacements already, and to bring up Bo into the inner circle would essentially mean having to find a way to move away from someone who had previous been made.

A step, that if we do see, I think will show China is taking another hard step forward to support the vision of the last 8 years.

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2 Responses to “Is Bo Xilai’s Star Rising?”

  1. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    March 3rd, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Rich, he moved from his position as Minister of Commerce in Beijing to Party Secretary in Chongqing. He had actually left Dalian three years earlier than that as Liaoning Provincial Governer to take up the MOC role, prior to that he was Mayor of Dalian. Its difficult to see where he can go, too flash for a PM position, and his major support base – Madame Wu Yi – has long retired. He’s on the Politbureau, but has some credibility questions about him from his involvement with China Resources. He may have knocked some heads together and locked up a bunch of crooks, but in doing so he made a lot of political enemies too. I suspect he’ll knock about at the CPC for awhile before taking an early and repectable retirement. He may pop up at the WTO or UN as China seat as a possibility however. Cheers – Chris

  2. Rich says:

    March 3rd, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Hi Chris.

    Thanks for that. I have seen a bit of the back story, and knew that he was on one side of te equation… and would have to overcome some hurdles to make it in. If that was his plan.

    WTO/ UN – interesting. How about Climate Change negotiator… I heard that seat was vacated.