Chinese Political Drama a Fascinating Read

Winnipeg Free Press, March 3, 2013 | Go to article overview

Chinese Political Drama a Fascinating Read


The 2011 death of British businessman Neil Heywood in Chongqing, China, was going to be declared an accident by local police.

But Heywood's death was no accident. He had been murdered. The ripples from that crime would cause an international incident and topple some senior Communist leaders.

This valuable book has been ripped from the headlines by journalist and publisher Pin Ho, whose Mingjing News website broke many new developments in the story.

Pin worked for a Chinese government-run newspaper and left in disgust after the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

Wenguang Huang is a writer, journalist and translator who recently wrote the memoir The Little Red Guard.

Pin's previous book, China's Princelings, coined that phrase to describe the children of Chinese revolutionaries now in key political and business posts.

Two of those princelings share centre stage: Bo Xilai, the Communist party boss in the city-state of Chongqing and his beautiful but conniving wife, Gu Kailai.

Both had fathers who were Chairman Mao's comrades in arms during the 1949 revolution that brought the Communists to power.

Mao turned on both men during the Cultural Revolution and they and their families were subjected to torture and public humiliation by the Red Guards.

After Mao's death, both their families were rehabilitated, and the two old generals jailed and executed their political friends and opponents with equal alacrity.

Before Heywood's murder, Bo's friends in high places were preparing to usher him onto the exclusive Politburo Standing Committee, the supreme decision-making body for China.

But that was not good enough, according to some. Bo plotted with the head of the state security apparatus, who controls the country's police and courts, to stage a coup. …

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