A new book on the Bo Xilai affair “provides remarkable insight into the vicious culture of court politics in today’s China,” says a leading analyst.
“Recent power struggles in China have generated torrents of leaks and rumors,” writes Columbia University’s Andrew J. Nathan, in a Foreign Affairs review of Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang’s A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China:
The sources, always obscure, apparently seek to influence the course of the struggles by outing secrets and maligning reputations. In the case detailed in this book, they succeeded. Anonymous e-mails and cell-phone calls alerted a number of reporters, including Ho (an exiled veteran journalist who published the Chinese-language version of The Tiananmen Papers, the English-language version of which I co-edited), to a split between Bo Xilai, the Communist Party boss of Chongqing, and his subordinate, the local police chief.
“The scandal caused a delay in the power transition from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping last fall, and it still casts a shadow over the Xi administration,” says Nathan, a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Washington-based democracy assistance group.