Bo Xilai, seen here at the NPC just before his dismissal in March, is still popular among many Chongqing residents. (Photo/CNS)
The truth about disgraced politician's Bo Xilai "Strike the Black" campaign against organized crime and official corruption in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing has been revealed after he was expelled from the Communist Party, reports Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese.
Previously concealed, the accounts tally with many reports published in Western media outlets published after the fall of the Chongqing party chief earlier this year, which characterized his popular drive to clean up the city as often targeting legitimate businesses for extortion and using extra-judicial detentions, torture and executions, all overseen by his "gang-busting" right-hand man Wang Lijun.
While Bo is still viewed by many in the city as a true anti-corruption hero, a good deal of evidence were indicates that many convictions during the campaign were brought about through fabricated testimonies. A 50-year-old lawyer from Beijing named Li Zhuang was sentenced to one year in jail in 2010 on false evidence for perjury after defending Gong Gangmo, a former sales manager of motorbike producer Yingang, who was accused by Bo Xilai of being a gang leader. Gong was apparently forced to tell prosecutors that Li had advised him to falsely testify that he had been beaten for eight days and nights by local officials.
After Bo's downfall — he was dismissed as party chief in March and finally expelled from the party in September — Gong finally had his chance to prove the innocence of his lawyer. He told the Supreme People's Procuratorate in Beijing that he was forced by prosecutors in Chongqing to memorize the confession they wanted him to read during Li's trial. Li himself stressed that Bo not only persecuted many people he knew to be innocent but also confiscated about 100 billion yuan (US$16 billion) of their assets. Thus what Bo Xilai launched was not a "Strike the Black" campaign but a "Black Strike" campaign.
People have thus begun to question how many cases of injustice similar to that of Gong Gangmo and Li Zhuang took place in Chongqing under Bo Xilai's reign between 2007 and March this year. Duowei predicts meanwhile that the rehabilitation of Li Zhuang is only the beginning for a new political campaign to denounce Bo Xilai in order to bolster the new national administration of Xi Jinping following the Communist Party's 18th National Congress.
Tang Jianhua, the deputy party chief of Chongqing, was removed from his position after Bo Xilai was expelled from the party. Having served as the police chief of Nanchuan county in neighboring Sichuan province before he was promoted to Chongqing, Tang is looked on as a corrupt official by local citizens. "When Tang was in Nanchuan, he collaborated with gangsters and took lots of money from the people," recalled a local resident.
Li Zhuang 李莊
Gong Gangmo 龔剛模
Tang Jianhua 唐建華