Posted by: mulrickillion | February 14, 2012

The Wang Lijun Mystery: Update No. 2

By M. Ulric Killion

wang-lijun-rdv-tmagArticle

Photo; In this Oct. 16, 2011 photo, Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing city police chief, delivers a speech during the 2nd International Forensic Science Meeting in Chongqing city.Color China Photo, via Associated Press; (Didi Kirsten Tatlow, Inside China’s Greatest Mystery, New York Times, February 12, 2012).

I earlier posted articles about the mysterious disappearance of Wang Lijun, the Deputy Mayor of Chongqing. In China, rumors were earlier circulating via China’s social media that Wang was at the U.S. embassy in nearby Chengdu, where he was seeking to defect.

For now, the rumor about his visit to the U.S. embassy is confirmed.

In the way of an update concerning the seemingly evolving mystery of Wang Lijun and his visit at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, while facts or verifiable facts are still pending, there are plenty of rumors, theories, and spins in the aftermath of his visit.

From earlier humors and speculations, such as Wang seeking to defect, seeking asylum, and suffering from overwork, the stories, humors, and theories did not stop, rather they begin to evolve and continues to evolve into a variety of possible scenarios.

Notwithstanding tidbits of information or, perhaps more accurately, theories coming from so-called “insiders,” what we are hearing are not verifiable facts, because Chinese officials are still remaining silent about official positions, if any, which might be forthcoming.

Today, for outsiders, what occurred and the future consequences of his actions are still pending.

One consequence of his actions might well be the ending of the political career of Bo Xilai. It is also noticeably that the many rumors and theories are actually beginning to focus on the relationship between Wang’s actions and the political career of Bo Xilai.

The relationship of Wang to Bo is critical, because Bo is the Communist party municipal secretary of Chongqing, which means he is Wang’s superior.

This is also a key year for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because in 2012 the “Fifth Generation Leadership” will ascend to power.

Bo also enjoys the status of being a member of the elite 25-person politburo.

What is important to Bo’s political career is that it is from this elite politburo that members of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (SCNPC) are chosen.

The Chinese National People's Congress Takes Place...BEIJING - MARCH 06:  Bo Xilai, Secretary of Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, attends a meeting during the annual National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People on March 6, 2011 in Beijing, China. Known as 'liang hui,' or 'two organizations', it consists of meetings of China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), and its advisory auxiliary, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).  (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

Photo: Bo Xilai.

The influence of scandal on Bo’s political career should now have become obvious, even more so when one considers other rumors or theories hinting at Wang being in possession of evidence of crimes and corruption, which impliedly will affect Bo.

Moreover, during this period, it only gets worse if rumors or theories hold true that Wang’s life was at risk following a rift with Bo.

For instance, the Financial Times writes, “Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing who tried to defect to the US last week, was often called RoboCop because of his ruthless pursuit of adversaries and his unquestioning loyalty to Bo Xilai, his political patron.”

Accordingly, he sought refuge in the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, China, because, “many speculate that” Mr Wang sought Mr Bo’s protection when the investigation appeared to be getting close to him, but that Mr Bo rebuffed him,” (Jamil Anderlini, Police chief turns against former mentor, Financial Times, February 13, 2012).

In the same vein, another article appearing in the Financial Times also ties the mystery to Bo Xilai.

“A mafia-busting former police chief called Wang Lijun spent more than 24 hours last week in the US consulate in the city of Chengdu arguing that his life was at risk after a rift with Bo Xilai, his boss and Communist party secretary of Chongqing municipality.” While scores of armed Chinese police surrounded the consulate, Mr Wang pleaded for asylum in the US. When that was refused he tried to cut a bargain with senior officials in Beijing, according to insiders.”. . . .

As news of Mr Wang’s attempted defection began to leak out on the Chinese internet last week, the government initially tried to claim that he was suffering from stress and was being given “vacation-style therapy”. It later said his trip to the consulate was under investigation.

After leaving the consulate, Mr Wang was taken to Beijing, where he is believed to be in the custody of state security and the party’s disciplinary inspection organisation.

Insiders said they believed this might have been the outcome Mr Wang was hoping for when he sought refuge in the US consulate because he is now probably in the hands of people who answer to Mr Bo’s political rivals. (Jamil Anderlini, The humbling of Bo Xilai, Financial Times, February 13, 2012).

The take on this story by the New York Times is no different, which reads,

Mr. Wang was Mr. Bo’s top cop until early February. Yet no one knows for sure and no one doubts that the truth, when it finally comes out, will prove extremely complex.

China’s blogosphere has been transfixed, with Sina’s weibo, or microblog, service, so far registering almost 2 million posts on the topic. (Mr. Wang later walked out of the consulate and likely flew to Beijing, personally escorted by a vice minister of state security, Qiu Jin, Bloomberg Business News reported.), (Didi Kirsten Tatlow, Inside China’s Greatest Mystery, New York Times, February 12, 2012).

 Chinese Netizens Speak Out

As also observed by the New York Times (February 12, 2012), following an earlier leak on the Internet, China’s social media was also busy formulating rumors and theories.

Their speculations, however, were a wide-ranging variety. Such as Wang’s attempt to defect to the United States, Wang is suffering from stress or overwork, Wang was seeking asylum at the U.S. consulate, and to being a mystery involving the politician Bo Xilai.

In illustration, a sampling or excerpts of these speculations from Oiwan Lam, at Global Voices, provides an excellent sampling of some of the rumors and theories of Chinese netizens.

Meanwhile on Twitter, netizens have their own speculation about what took place.

Bo Xilai left in the lurch: Corruption fighter Wang hops away, leaving Chongqing mayor and deputy Party Secretary Huang Qifan ("red songs") behind; Image by Rebel Pepper.

Tufuwugan, for one, believes [zh] that Wang Lijun has been made Bo Xilai’s scapegoat:

估计有人要搞薄都督,想阻止他进常委分赃,先卸了都督的左右膀,都督当然为了自保要牺牲王立军,在文革时连自己老爹都能把他肋骨踹断几根的人,牺牲王立军算什么,王立军估计看到处境不行,也知道都督会把他出卖,所以为了自保,做出跑到美使馆的事,精彩大戏正在上演。

I think someone wants to stop Bo from entering the Politburo standing committee and they do this by taking away his arms. Bo will sacrifice Wang Lijun to protect himself. During the cultural revolution, he even broke a few ribs of his dad’s, so betraying Wang Lijun is nothing. Wang Lijun probably sensed that Bo would betray him, which is why he ran into the U.S. Consulate. This is such an exciting opera.

Alan Huang feels that Wang has been too naive in his political career:

蒙古族人王立军从小练得一身好武术,如果领导内蒙古独立,估计能成民族英雄,丫非走蒙奸的道路,最终身败名裂。在这个拼爹的年代,出生于铁路工人家庭的王立军,竟然幻想和太子党党魁薄熙来鱼死网破。连店是谁开的还没搞清楚就敢来砸场子,相当naïve啊。

Mongolian Wang Lijun learned martial arts since he was very young. He could have led the independence movement of Inner Mongolia and become a national hero. But, he betrayed his people and lives in shame. In a society where people’s status is defined by that of their fathers, there is no way that a railway worker’s son can fight against the head of the princelings, Bo Xilai. He has no idea who is in control, so naive.

Qiumazha on the other hand feels [zh] that Wang has made a good move:

我忽然觉得,王立军不傻。闯美领馆避难只是寻求轰动效应,以防被蒸发。另外,他声称他已经将内幕证据等放在了安全的地方,杀他就会自动解密。谁知道这个安全的地方就不是美领馆呢?这个老侦查出身的人,应该比好莱坞谍战片编辑更有想象力。嘲笑王立军闯关之举恐怕是不智的。

Suddenly I feel that Wang Lijun is not stupid at all. He ran into the U.S. consulate in order to draw public attention, so that he wouldn’t be vaporized. In addition, he claims that he has all the evidence [on Bo] hidden in a safe place. In the case that he’s killed, the secrets will be revealed. That safe place might be the U.S. consulate. He has enough investigation experience that he should be more imaginative than any Hollywood director. Those laughing at Wang Lijun are too ignorant.

Since Wang Lijun has been very harsh in cracking down on political activists, dissidents in Twitter are happy to see him seeking help from the “enemy forces”.

Gongmingyaoyao mocks [zh] Wang:

王立军教育我们,不管怎么当五毛,关键时刻还是美国人才是亲爹啊

Wang Lijun teaches us that all 50 cents know that the Americans are their daddy in critical moments like this….

Wuyuesanren echoes [zh] Gongmingyaoyao’s comment on Sina Weibo:

早就说咱们官员最信任的政府是美国政府,中美关系那不是一般的好,好多人还不信。王立军跑美领馆这事儿再次确证了这种说法吧?我们这帮你们嘴里的美分带路党最多是看好美国的制度,认为值得我们学习,他们才是真把身家性命押在美国那边。五毛们,你们醒醒吧。

I always said that our officials trust the U.S. government more than any other. People just don’t believe that Sino-U.S. relations are that good. Now, Wang’s move has proven it again, right? For us, those who are labelled as the US dollar gang [as opposed to the 50 cent party], we appreciate the U.S system and want to learn from it. But they [the officials] keep their family and wealth in the U.S. Please wake up, 50 cents!

Shang Guangluan reports [zh] on what he heard from the street:

晕啊,刚刚在小店吃面,听见几个民工都在谈王立军的事,这事儿成了全民娱乐了。但他们集体得出的结论是:王立军肯定被以叛国罪枪毙。这个……

My god… just now I had noodles in a small shop, a number of rural workers were talking about Wang Lijun. The incident has become people’s entertainment. Their conclusion is: Wang Lijun will be shot to death for treason…

Political dissident Ye du points out [zh] that:

【网络热点观察】全民网络热炒王立军。王捕头事件深刻反映了在一个互害型社会里,即使是体制中人,也没有一个人是安全的。今天加害于人的,明天也随时因为站队、利益等问题而被害。这就是为什么我们说一个民主社会的来临才是全体公民福泽的原因,这样才可避免互相恐惧、互相伤害。

[Observation online] All people are talking about Wang Lijun online. The incident shows that in a society where everyone hurts everyone else, even though you are from the Establishment, there is no safety. Today you hurt someone, tomorrow you will be hurt either because of the clan you belong to or over someone’s interests. That’s why we say democracy is the way out of such mutually inflicted fear and harm.

Writer Ye Kuangzheng believes [zh] that Wang Lijun’s move signifies a turn in China history:

王立军进入美国使领馆,已被证实。这是1949年以来,高层官员第一次做出这种令人震惊的举动。林彪那次属出走未遂。由此可想象,王所置身的政治环境,没有巨大恐惧,极难迈出这一步。王立军的这一步,王立军的未来,会对中国未来的政治生态和官员心理有重大影响。王立军引发的政坛地震,也只是刚刚开始

It has been proven that Wang Lijun did enter the U.S consulate. This is the first time since 1949 that such a high-ranking government official has made such a shocking move. Lin Biao’s escape, that failed. The fear that Wang is was confronting must have been enormous, or else he wouldn’t have made such a move. Wang Lijun’s actions and his future will have significant influence on China’s future political ecology and the psychological state of government officials. This political earthquake has only just begun.

Source: Oiwan Lam, China: The Political Drama of Wang Lijun’s “Stress Leave” · Global Voices, February 11, 2012.

As earlier mentioned, for now the mystery of Wang Liwung remains a mystery, and will remain so until we hear an official statement from Beijing or other appropriate source.

For now, China-watchers only have the rumors, theories, and spins on this story, which are rumors, theories, spins, and statements from so-called “insiders”, which might or might not be sources of reliable information. However, in the end, time will tell all.

Copyright © Protected – All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2012.

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