Bo Xilai: Call out the red guards?
By Correspondent, March 21, 2012 —
China’s princelings, the mafia and a flamboyant leader’s downfall
The downfall of the flamboyant Communist Party Chief Bo Xilai in Chongqing may have been linked to events in the gambling enclave of Macau, according to a report in the Economic Monitor, a publication run by the US economist Nouriel Roubini.
The article, written by Kevin Yan, an analyst with Roubini Global Economics, states that the circumstances of the affair, kicked off by former Police Chief and vice-mayor’s flight to the US consulate in Chengdu, are unclear. But Yan’s article details a web of connections between China’s princelings – the children of the powerful – and organized crime.
The rest of the Economic Monitor article is here:
Wang Lijun has been protected by Bo and by extension, the princeling faction since his service under Bo in Liaoning province. During the crackdown of mafia-linked corruption in the municipality of Chongqing, Wang had become close friends with Weng Zhenjie, arguably the most powerful mafia boss in the municipality and one that was untouched by the crackdown of Bo.
Why was Weng unscathed? The root of power for Weng is derived from his wealth and reputation with China’s military industrial complex where, after he left the PLA in the 1990s, he joined the Carrier (Kaili) Group, which is one of the two main arms trading companies in China. The Kaili Group is controlled by Ye Xuanning, the spiritual leader of the Princeling faction and son of Ye Jianying, a former PLA general and the 5th NPC Chairman.
Ye Xuanning is also the current Director of the liaison office of the General Political Department of the PLA. More importantly, Ye’s father helped Mao establish pre-eminence over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the early days of the Party while protecting Zhou Enlai from the Kuomintang. Furthermore, during the era of Deng’s rise, his father prevented assassination attempts on Deng’s life as well as helped to overthrow the Gang of Four.
Now back to the modern day, Weng’s association with Ye Xuanning meant that he is protected by a family deeply associated with the PLA and established with other leading families of China. Although Weng makes no direct deals or associations with the Ye family, he sits on the board of major Chinese companies with the families key financial office, Li Junyang, and he has made connections through his gambling habits in Macau. Furthermore, Weng runs an environmental organization with the brother of Xi Jinping. To top it off, Weng had also donated RMB100 million to the Chongqing police force to ensure their health in the event they are wounded from Bo’s mafia crackdown campaign.
Looking at the Wang Lijun scandal, one ponders then why would someone connected with such a powerful patronage network have run out of luck? The actual reason for Wang’s dash for the US consulate in Chengdu remains shrouded in mystery along with his sudden fall from grace with the princelings. According to the Hong Kong Economic Times, there might have been factional infighting between Shanghai and Chongqing within the princeling faction. However, the scandal allowed Hu Jintao and the Communist Youth League (CYL) faction to go on the offensive against the Princelings. . . .