Former Chinese leader removed from Party congress amid scandal
BEIJING: China’s ruling Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee has removed one of its most senior members, Bo Xilai, after revelations that he had accepted bribes.
Bo is a former party general secretary and the head of the Chongqing city committee. He was removed from his position by the national party leadership, which is a rare act in China.
The Central Committee said in statement that President Hu Jintao had “expressed his regret and regret over his failure to ensure the correct performance of his duties as general secretary.”
Bo is believed to be a close friend and business associate of Xi Jinping, the likely next Communist Party chief and Xi’s wife, Peng Liyuan.
On Wednesday, the party’s Xinhua news agency reported that Bo had accepted bribes from state firms and other officials.
The party secretary in Chongqing, Li Ruihuan, resigned last month.
The party also removed Bo’s second-in-command, Gu Kailai. Gu was said to have accepted bribes from a businessman who was allegedly arrested while trying to sell state secrets.
Gu’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Bo’s downfall comes as the party is also grappling with a corruption scandal in which the nation’s former richest man was removed from office.
The son of the founder of China’s biggest state-owned energy group, Bo Xilai, has become the latest figure to lose his Party position amid widespread public anger over his treatment of his employees.
The corruption scandal involving Bo’s cousin, Bo Yibo, who was the deputy head of Beijing’s State Council, has also triggered protests across China.
In the scandal, a top official with the State Council was arrested for “serious violation of laws and regulations.” On Tuesday, the official resigned and apologized, saying he was “deeply sorry” to his family and the government.
Bo Yibo, who has been placed under police protection, is seeking political asylum in Canada, the first time a Chinese official has been granted such a stay since Xi Jinping came to power in November.
Bo Yibo said a member of the public told him in a phone call on Monday that officials had asked police