The Day After The Day After And Such: Bo Xilai’s Family And Associates, As Depicted In Media
Here are the more interesting bits in a day of frenetic media coverage of the Bos.
“Very beautiful” apparently just means “has big baps.” “Mr Bo has been romantically linked to Chen Xiaodan, the daughter of the governor of the China Development Bank and the granddaughter of Chen Yun, one of the Communist party’s eight elders. But at Oxford he dated Lale Can, a Turkish student who now works for KBW investment bank. Together they organised a ball at which the DJ Tim Westwood performed, and Mr Bo also arranged a lecture by Jackie Chan, the Chinese actor. // ‘She was quiet and nice, and of course, very beautiful. He seemed quite smitten with her,’ said a friend.” [The Telegraph]
Meanwhile, @NotoriousBGG hasn’t updated since March 29.
Hypocritical, some? Jiang Weiping (姜维平), a journalist who was jailed for investigating Bo’s corruption, told Voice of America that Gu Kailai, Bo Xilai’s wife, has Hong Kong ID and Singapore greencard. // ‘She does not only have Hong Kong ID, but also a Singapore green card. I am sure, because she has transferred her assets to Hong Kong and sent her child to Singapore for education, where he learnt English. Gu Kailai approximately spent three to five years travelling around the world, mainly to Singapore and the UK,’ Jiang Weiping said in the interview.” [Shanghaiist]
“So… you have the ‘politician’ who has his citizens out signing red songs and fighting corruption, while the rest of the family that has clearly set up the exit plan.” [All Roads Lead to China]
Struggling will only make it worse. “Analysts say that by moving decisively to bury Ms. Gu and her husband, party leaders are trying to send a message to allies of Mr. Bo who are still putting up resistance. ‘This is why the dog who has fallen into the water is still being beaten,’ said Steven Tsang, director of China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham in England.” [NY Times]
Neurotic, you say? “Ms. Gu had always been emotionally volatile, but she grew increasingly neurotic after she was subjected to a corruption investigation around 2007, Mr. Heywood told friends. People close to her said she suffered from depression in recent years. // At one point in about 2010, she asked members of her inner circle to divorce their wives and swear an oath of loyalty, according to one friend. Mr. Heywood refused, which angered her for a while, this person said.” [Jeremy Page, Wall Street Journal]
Yikes. “After he flew to Chongqing, he tried to telephone his usual contacts but couldn’t get through to any of them, according to the friend. He was left waiting alone in his hotel room for instructions. // Mr. Heywood felt he had reason to be nervous, although he had taken steps to protect himself. He had told the same friend earlier that he had left documents detailing the overseas investments of Mr. Bo’s family with his lawyer in Britain as an ‘insurance policy’ in case anything happened to him. // He had also told friends that he was concerned about his safety after falling out with Mr. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, who he said knew about the documents and was convinced she had been betrayed by someone in the family’s ‘inner circle’ of friends and advisers.” [Jeremy Page again, WSJ, same link as above]
Heywood’s link to the family: Bo Guagua. “A maverick since his school days in England, Mr. Heywood appears to have met the Bo family in the northeastern city of Dalian, where he moved from Britain in the early 1990s and by some accounts taught English. He told one British journalist, Tom Reed, that he sent out a flurry of introductory letters to Chinese officials seeking a connection to the elite, and that Mr. Bo, then Dalian’s mayor, responded.
“Mr. Bo and Ms. Gu, a charismatic and ambitious couple with a pedigree of influence from Mr. Bo’s ties to Mao Zedong, appear to have been looking for the same thing that many wealthy Chinese families are seeking — a path to a Western education for their child. Ms. Gu said in 2009 that she and Mr. Bo had picked the Harrow School for their son, but he initially failed to gain admittance. Mr. Heywood, a Harrow graduate, later told friends that he served as a ‘mentor’ to the young man, Bo Guagua. Some who knew Mr. Heywood said he helped arrange Bo Guagua’s schooling in Britain….
“In conversations about Mr. Heywood, friends depicted him as charming but elusive, and in some ways a contradictory character. He was, they said, outspoken in his pride in Britain, its imperial history, its monarchy and its culture, and he was contemptuous of socialism.
“But he was a wanderer, too, and seemed drawn to the breezy, every-man-for-himself culture he found in the United States. After graduating from Harrow, he spent a year driving cross-country in a camper he named ‘the mule.’” [NY Times]
This would be Neil Heywood’s wife. “Outside her home, Mr Heywood’s Chinese wife said she was ‘sorry’ she could not speak about the death, but she was too ‘sad’. // But a close friend, who did not want to be named, told the BBC: ‘She’s really suffering at the moment so please understand her – she’s just lost her husband.’ // He added: ‘It’s not easy for her because she has to bring up her children.’ // She has a son and daughter, who attend an international school in Beijing.” [BBC]
ZHANG XIAOJUN, BO FAMILY AIDE
He worked in the Bo home, but no one else knows anything about him. Accused along with Gu Kailai of homicide. Prisoner’s dilemma?
BJC coverage of what Bo knows (rollover for story description, click to open in new window):