Bo Xilai was fired as Chongqing chief of the Chinese Communist Party on Thursday. Thus ends his initially popular but eventually unstable reign in Chongqing and his quest for a seat at the most powerful table in China.Bo Xilai is a fascinating and scary figure. He is a demagogue in a non-democratic society, and he had friends in powerful places.Some tea leaf readers think Bo’s friends and rivals made a deal over what to do with him. A ceremonial position or cozy retirement could be in his future. Consider this from the Washington Post:
Bo’s replacement in Chongqing, Zhang, is known to be, like Bo, a protege of former president Jiang Zemin, who is elderly and ailing but believed to still play a powerful behind-the-scenes role. The replacement of Bo by someone of the same “faction” suggested a political deal had been worked out beforehand to preserve the balance between various power groups.
Others have carefully picked apart the latest stage in the Bo Xilai saga. Suffice it to say here that this episode made divisions at the top of China’s leadership more visible than they have been in years, and that the red Maoist revival Bo stood for will likely not disappear with him.