Bo Xilai—Too Popular?
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    This is the most worrisome thing I’ve seen lately: “owing to the encouragement of ex-president Jiang Zemin and ex-vice president Zeng Qinghong — both of whom played a pivotal role in Xi’s elevation at the 17th Party Congress . . .”

    In other words the next Chairman of the Party — the number one guy with the real power in China , not to be confused with the Premier who is in charge of routine day-to-day administration — is from the hard-line brutalist faction. And just two years ago he was a flattering admirer of Bo’s according to this well-sourced piece.

    These are they guys who torture and murder their opponents.

    The future of democratic reform in China does not look bright therefore if Xi is installed. We should not be taken in by his recent PR photo-op tour of the US.

  • Kansas Scott

    It may have come up before but every time I read about Bo I can’t help thinking of Huey Long in the 1930’s.

    Although a lot of Huey’s popularity rose out of the financial chaos of the Depression, Bo’s popularity seems to have arisen out of an equally chaotic economic change, albeit an economy rapidly growing.

    Plus, Huey and Bo are both cool names.

  • I say huey to Bo!

  • Populism as a sop to the poor always plays well. Them (rich, corrupt thieves) against us (poor but honest real people) has been a theme of populist politics as far back as the Greeks. It’s quick and easy and lends itself well to short, snappy sloganeering. Think “Free silver” or “Fair tax rates”. My guess is that Bo is as cynical as Huey ever was and I would not be surprised to see him end up just like Huey did. The powers that be in Beijing certainly won’t care.

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