China removes top leadership contender

2012-03-15 09:00
Beijing - Ambitious Communist Party chief Bo Xilai has been sacked from his post in a dramatic move exposing tensions in China's preparations for a generational transfer of power.

The official Xinhua news agency on Thursday said Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang will replace Bo as Communist Party chief of Chongqing, a sprawling riverside municipality in southwest China that Bo had turned into a bastion for Mao Zedong-inspired policies.

Bo, a high-profile and telegenic contender for top leadership, has been the subject of intense speculation since Vice Mayor Wang Lijun, his longtime police chief, went to ground last month in the US consulate in nearby Chengdu until he was coaxed out and placed under investigation.

The incident and the rumours it fanned have blotted Bo's prospects of climbing to the Party's top ruling body when a new generation of leaders is unveiled at a meeting late this year.

The 18th Party Congress will see China's biggest leadership transition in nearly a decade.

Public scolding

Bo's abrupt removal implied that while he may be kept on in some position until the party succession later this year, his chances of promotion were finished, said Chen Ziming, an independent scholar in Beijing who follows party politics.

"Now it looks like Wen Jiabao's comments yesterday represented the leadership's collective view that Bo needed to go," said Chen. "This will affect the leadership politics for the 18th Congress, because this opens up new uncertainties about who is in contention."

Premier Wen added to the cloud around Bo at a news conference on Wednesday by scolding the Chongqing government about the scandal, in the first public comment by a member of the Politburo.

Three sources with direct ties to Chongqing government officials said Bo's removal was announced at a meeting in the city. They all spoke on condition of anonymity to protect themselves and their sources.

"The fact that the Xinhua announcement did not stress that Bo will be placed in another post means that he's probably going to be put under investigation, and there won't be any conclusion on his future until the end of that investigation," said one of the sources, a journalist with wide-ranging contacts among central officials.

Speculation

Calls to two Chongqing city government officials for comment were not returned.

The interest in Bo on the sidelines of a parliament session, including a rare grilling by foreign media at a news conference last week, underscored how much he has stirred up the typically stolid Chinese political scene ahead of that succession.

Chongqing authorities said last month that Wang had taken sick leave, sparking speculation he had been purged and had sought asylum at the US Consulate in Chengdu.

Wang had been a key figure in a drive against organised crime that was pursued by Bo, who has also encouraged a revival of socialist culture from the time of Mao while seeking to transform Chongqing's economy into a model of more equal growth.

Xinhua did not mention whether Bo could lose his seat in the Politburo, a central decision-making body that sits under the more powerful Standing Committee. The Politburo itself would have to make that decision.

Read more on:    china
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.