Thursday, April 26, 2012

Relatives of Ousted Chinese Leader Bo Xilai Ensnared in Scandal

I haven't been following this one as much as I'd like, but things are getting even more interesting than usual.

At the Wall Street Journal, "Scandal Ensnares Relatives of Fallen Chinese Leader":
The scandal surrounding fallen Chinese leader Bo Xilai spread to his wider family as his elder brother resigned as a deputy chairman of a Hong Kong-listed company, shortly after Mr. Bo's son issued a statement to counter allegations he lived an extravagant lifestyle.

The moves represented the first public acknowledgments of the crisis by members of the elite Bo family. Mr. Bo's father, Bo Yibo, was one of the revered "Eight Immortals," leaders who helped build prosperity for China after the political upheavals that followed the Communist revolution in 1949. The Bo scandal has highlighted the business interests and lavish lifestyles of offspring of such party aristocracy, often called "princelings."

Bo Xilai was suspended from the powerful Politburo this month and placed under investigation for "serious discipline violations." His wife, Gu Kailai, is a murder suspect in the death of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Their son, Bo Guagua, a postgraduate student at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, has been implicated loosely in the scandal through a government statement that said he and his mother had been close to Mr. Heywood, but that the relationship had soured over a business dispute.

Bo Xilai's elder brother, Bo Xiyong, resigned on Wednesday as deputy chairman at China Everbright International Ltd., a state-controlled energy and environmental company, "for the best interest of the company and its shareholders," according to a company statement. It added that Bo Xiyong had no disagreement with the board.

Bo Xiyong had been on the board since 2003. He is also a deputy general manager with its state-owned parent, China Everbright Group, which he joined in 1998. It wasn't immediately clear whether he also stepped down from that position. Since joining the board, Bo Xiyong has been paid cash compensation some years as high as $346,000, a total over his tenure of $1.8 million. In 2010 and 2011, Bo Xiyong exercised stock options worth $5.2 million, according to data service S&P Capital IQ. He continues to hold options worth $3.2 million.
Continue reading.

And see The Other McCain, "International Intrigue Surrounds Harvard University Graduate Student Bo Guagua."