Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Bo Xilai, marriage broker

Bo Xilai.  Photo AP, courtesy South China Morning Post
I count my meeting with the now infamous Bo Xilai, back in Dalian in 1995, as the reason I am now married to Mrs Tours.  (here for more of that story; and, related).
So I've followed his up-rising and down-falling with more than casual interest.
Now the ever interesting Tom Holland in the South China Morning Post reports on the publication of two books on the Bo story: "Bo Xilai story reads like a violent mafia blood feud". (you may have to register to read it).
Clip below the fold...

Bo Xilai story reads like a violent mafia blood feud
Two new books give great insight into the way senior Chinese officials do business and politics in the dynastic corridors of power on the mainland
Sex (probably), spies (possibly), fast cars (allegedly), power politics (undoubtedly) and a grisly murder (no question); the Bo Xilai case had it all.

So it's hardly surprising that journalists who covered the story for the international media have been rushing to publish books on the affair.
By the end of last year both Jamil Anderlini, Beijing bureau chief for theFinancial Times , and John Garnaut, China correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald, had managed to get accounts into print.
Their books make fascinating reading, not so much for their descriptions of the murder of unfortunate British business man Neil Heywood, which has been well hashed over in the media, but for what they reveal about how senior Chinese officials conduct their business and political affairs.
Inevitably the two books cover much of the same ground. But whereas Anderlini's The Bo Xilai Scandal: Power, Death and Politics in China begins with the poisoning of Heywood - a slightly sad Walter Mitty-like figure - in a shabby Chongqing hotel room, Garnaut accords Heywood only a walk-on part.
Instead, in The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo Garnaut focuses on Bo the politician and princeling, and delves into the backstory of dynastic alliances and rivalries that both shaped his rise within the Communist Party and determined his fall.  More..