The sentencing of disgraced Chinese leader Bo Xilai to life in prison struck a blow against one of the greatest existential threats to Communist Party rule since Tiananmen Square. In addition to handing President Xi Jinping a victory in his campaign against official corruption, the verdict also discredited the radical Maoist transformation of China that Bo Xilai sought to mobilize. But now that Xi has gained a tentative credibility in the eyes of the Chinese people, he must embark on further reforms to ensure that his victory is enduring.
Xi has made anti-corruption reforms a centerpiece of his presidency, and the prosecution of Bo gave credence to his efforts.… Seguir leyendo »
A rising political star. A murderous wife. An attempted cover-up. A runaway police chief. A playboy son. A secret French villa. A corrupt official. A political downfall.
This conflagration of events surrounding the former high-ranking Chinese official Bo Xilai has captured the imagination of China watchers around the world. After 18 months of speculation, preparation and anticipation, Bo’s trial on charges of corruption and abuse of power began Thursday in Jinan, China.
The trial, with its predetermined outcome, will not be the climax of Bo’s story as much as the beginning of its long denouement as the Communist Party seeks to sweep this scandal under the carpet and turn its attention to the country’s economic problems.… Seguir leyendo »
In contrast to the 2002 farewell summit between President George W. Bush and outgoing Chinese President Jiang Zemin at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, this week’s talks between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in California mark the first time in history that a U.S. president will host a series of informal meetings with a new Chinese leader.
While issues such as North Korea, cybersecurity and the economy will likely dominate their discussions, what really matters is whether Xi and Obama can establish a trusting personal relationship that will help both leaders overcome stark policy differences.
As charismatic leaders who view themselves as transformational figures, what better way to start the conversation than to outline their aspirations and plans for resolving pressing domestic matters?… Seguir leyendo »