The political trouble surrounding political big-shot Bo Xilai has still not been solved, tells political and financial analyst Victor Shih in Business Week. More than a week after he sent 100 police men to surround the US consulate in Chengdu to fetch Wang Lijun, Beijing still has to act.
The situation is complicated by the fact that many officials hold shifting dual allegiances. And the relative openness allowed on the Internet to discuss Bo and Wang’s fate suggests that the outcome of the factional war is far from being decided, says Northwestern University political science professor Victor Shih. Otherwise, all comments on the incident would have been scrubbed from websites, he says.
More worrying, says Shih, is the fact that Beijing has not yet publicly reprimanded Bo for his apparently unauthorized decision to dispatch perhaps 100 police officers from one political jurisdiction to another (from Chongqing to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, a few hours drive away), where they surrounded the U.S. consulate. “It’s as if the governor of Ohio has just sent armed forces across the border into Indiana. What would that say about the stability of the U.S. and what does this say about the future of China?” asks Shih. “A door has been opened to using highly unconventional means to settle conflict in China.” And that could end up being “highly disruptive to stability,” he warns.
Victor Shih is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.
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