BEIJING: The son of fallen Chinese politician Bo Xilai defended his academic record and social life while at university in England and the US in a letter that was the latest example of the extraordinary public evolution of China’s messiest political scandal.
Bo Guagua, a Harvard graduate student, denied he received preferential treatment in admissions, was a poor student and drove a pricey sports car. In a letter to the Harvard Crimson student newspaper published Tuesday, he said he attended social events as an Oxford University undergraduate to broaden his perspective.
Bo Xilai was believed to have been a leading candidate for one of the nine seats on the ruling Communist Party’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee, but his political career is now considered over. Bo fell out of favor with some in the leadership over his flashy personal style, suspected corruption, and the excesses of a dual campaign to fight gangsters and promote Mao Zedong-era communist culture.
He is under investigation for unspecified malfeasance after being suspended from the Politburo. Since the April 10 announcement of the suspension, accusations of heavy partying by his son have appeared in some Western media reports and on Chinese blogs.
Bo Guagua’s mother, Gu Kailai, and an assistant were named at the same time as suspects in the murder last November of British businessman Neil Heywood, whose relations with the Bo family had soured.