Bo Xilai’s 32 Million

October 26, 2010

When you hear about crime and corruption in China and how horrible it is, remember the name Bo Xilai, and what he is doing to combat that image.

In 1930, mountainous Chongqing was home to about 200 thousand people.  Today, this municipality is the fastest growing urban center on the globe with an eye popping 32 million. Seven and a half million live in the metro area.

Chongqing is not one of China’s bustling coastal cities as Shanghai is. It sits almost 900 miles inland west of Shanghai or more than 1400 kilometers from the sea. Chongqing is the biggest inland river port on the Yangtze in western China.

During World War II, Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist retreated here to set up their provisional capital—far from the Japanese front lines.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the city became notorious for organized crime and corruption well before the Communist era.

The word “alleged” means an assertion made by a party in legal proceedings that is still to be proven.

In Chongqing, gangsters oversaw businesses involving billions of yuan and the corruption reached into the law-enforcement and justice systems.

 In 2009, city authorities under the leadership of municipal Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai decided to do what none has accomplished before.

Foreign Policy magazine in Chicago on the Yangtze says the Chongqing Security Bureau cracked 32,771 criminal cases, arrested 31 mob bosses, sentenced six to death and gave the others long prison sentences.

Foreign Policy says that some of China’s political writers refer to Bo as an example of the “New Maoism” (I’ll write about “Maoism” in the next post).

Bo Xilai’s tough stand against crime earned him “Man of the Year” in a recent People’s Daily Internet Poll.  He is extremely popular among the working class and feared by corrupt officials and organized crime in China.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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