Murder Scandal Shines Light on China’s Growing Elite
The expunging of a rising star in China’s communist leadership amid a murder scandal has gone beyond the fate of one man, and is breaking down the wall of secrecy that has until now shielded China’s growing elite class from public scrutiny of its wealth.
Bo Xilai, an ambitious regional party chief set to join the nine-member group that wields supreme power in China, vanished from sight last month amid accusations of graft and abuse of power. Soon after, his wife was named a suspect in the November death of a British businessman.
China’s ruling Communist Party said Bo was relieved of his duties after having “seriously violated party discipline.” That was supposed to end the matter.
But while Beijing’s censors have tried to control the story, China’s 500 million Internet users have turned the party’s crisis into its most public scandal ever. And it’s exposing an uncomfortable truth for China’s Communist rulers: the growing desire among China’s elite to send their money and children to the West and the seat of capitalism and democracy — the United States.