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Bo Goes Down

This was the real trial, and it is now over. Without the involvement of a judge or jury or lawyers, Bo Xilai has been found inconvenient to the Party.

Any other decision was impossible. Bo was a bigger threat to the Chinese leadership system than anything since the Gang of Four. The BBC reports:

…Mr Bo’s career is over and he will almost certainly spend time in jail. […]

The statement carried by Xinhua said Mr Bo “took advantage of his office to seek profits for others and received huge bribes personally and through his family”.

It added: “Bo’s behaviour brought serious consequences, badly undermined the reputation of the party and the country, created very negative impact at home and abroad and significantly damaged the cause of the party and people”.

With the Bo saga pushed aside at last, top Chinese officials can turn to the once-in-a-decade leadership switch that will begin on November 8. So far the transition has been a bumpy one. China’s leaders probably hope that with Bo behind them they can move on to a more stable era. But the rise of Bo was a symptom of China’s increasingly turbulent economic, social and political situation rather than a cause. If China’s growth slows. the country faces instability and disruption from clashing economic interests and disappointed expectations. If China continues to grow, instability and disruption will come as an increasingly complicated and independent minded society tests the limits of an elite and corrupt technocracy.

Either way, interesting times.

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