Disgraced Chinese official Bo Xilai has been accused of abuse of power, corruption and a range of unspecified crimes. His 24-year-old son, Bo Guagua, says those allegations are hard to believe. Bo Guagua defended his father on September 29 through a statement on the social media site Tumblr.
This came one day after Chinese state-run media announced Bo Xilai's expulsion from the Communist Party, and that further criminal investigations are underway.
Analysts have questioned Bo Guagua's statement though, saying it was not likely he knew nothing of his father's alleged dealings. Bo Guagua has spent much of his student life in prestigious western schools, and has a reputation for leading a life of luxury that would have been difficult to support on Bo Xilai's official wages alone. In his Tumblr statement, Bo Guagua said his knew his father to be (quote) "upright", and that (quote) "the accusations against [his father] contradict everything he knew about [him]."
[Li Tiantian, Chinese Human Rights Lawyer]
"It's quite obvious he is lying, just as his parents did. If his parents were really so upright, how did the family amass such wealth to support his overseas studies for so many years?"
Bo Guagua was named as the reason why his mother, Gu Kailai, murdered British businessman Neil Heywood. The Harvard graduate has kept a relatively low profile so far, but some believe he is now trying to pre-empt a defense for himself through his statement over the weekend.
[Li Tianxiao, NTD Senior China Analyst]
"I think in defending his father, he's trying to set up a defense for himself. Because the report by the Central Disciplinary Inspection Committee talked about Bo Xilai's family accepting huge amounts of money and property from others. By claiming his father is innocent, he can deflect questions about the sources of school tuition fees. So he's really trying to defend himself."
Bo Guagua is believed to still be in the US. Chinese rights lawyer Li Tiantain says it's not out of the question that Chinese authorities may try to bring him back to China as investigations against Bo Xilai continue.
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