By NVONews.Com Correspondent,
The news of the involvement of the wife of Bo Xilai, a top leader of the Chinese Communist Party, in the murder of 41-year old British businessman, Neil Heywood, in China last November came as a big surprise for the family members. His mother, Ann Heywood, was horrified by the news which broke late on Tuesday after the arrest of Bo’s wife Gu Kailai and a family employee.
Earlier, when Heywood died his relatives had dismissed suggestions of foul play and said that he died of a heart attack.
Bo’s ouster from the politburo of the Communist Party of China and subsequent arrest of his wife on Tuesday is the greatest upheaval in China since the 1989 bloody crack down on students’ protestors in Tiananmen Square. The general secretary, Zhao Ziyang, was purged by the then boss, Deng Xiaoping, following the incident.
Neil’s mother told media in London that she was horrified by the news. This has come as a total shock, Ann added.
On the other hand British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who is on a visit to Indonesia, praised the Chinese authorities for investigating Heywood’s death and said it was vital to get to the bottom of a very disturbing case.
He said his government did ask the Chinese to hold an investigation. “We are pleased that they are now doing that. I stand ready to co-operate in any way that we can. It is very important that we get to the bottom of the truth of what happened in this very disturbing case, this very tragic case,” he said.
Bo, born in the year of Chinese Revolution, that is 1949, was considered as leftist of a sort. His removal is being considered as a victory of the reformists, who want further change, in the country.
The Chinese media is full of news of his disgraceful exit and the alleged involvement of his wife in a murder case. Bo is under investigation by central party officials for serious violations of party discipline.
The People’s Daily, the official party newspaper, said Bo had damaged both party and state and urged people to unite around the leadership.
The latest development came ahead of the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in autumn. The country will witness a transfer of power on that occasion and Xi Jinping will take over as the new President.
Earlier, Bo was dismissed on March 15 as party secretary of the south-western city of Chongqing–– where Heywood died last November––but had held on to his Politburo and Central Committee seats, apparently because leaders had not agreed on how to handle him.
However, some independent observers dub it as another drama, related to the power struggle. They say his opponents in the party were already seeking ammunition against Bo.
What is strange is that notwithstanding tight censorship Chinese internet users on Wednesday both lauded and criticized Bo’s ouster.
While one user wrote that Bo did so many good things for people others said he wanted to restore the Cultural Revolution. The third comment is very interesting: “No matter what is right or wrong, it is important to stand on the winning side.”