The former security tsar served on the then nine-member super elite committee until November last year, but Willy Lam (林和立), a expert on China’s politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said a move to investigate him is highly unlikely.
“With Bo, Xi Jinping has made his point,” Lam said. “Obedience to the party is more important to the party leadership than corruption. All this going after big tigers is divisive and causes disunity among the factions and this is why Xi will not go after Zhou Yongkang.”
Bo’s leftist revival during his tenure as boss of the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing saw thousands of officials sent to the countryside to get closer to ordinary people and the staging of mass concerts with “red songs” praising former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東).
After his downfall, factions in the upper echelons of the CCP were reportedly split on how to handle him and a year-and-a-half passed following his detention before he went on trial.
“Many Chinese people liked Bo for his populist approach to politics and policy,” said Mary Gallagher, director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. “His tendency to look for popular support hurt him with his colleagues, but I think it gave some citizens the taste for more democratic politics.”
However, the lurid allegations that captivated the nation only implicated his inner circle and close family, underscoring Beijing’s tight control of the legal process.
“We have seen some kind of agreement — to not touch on intra-party struggles, to not implicate senior leaders — that certainly shows that the party is still in charge of the judiciary,” said Joseph Cheng (鄭宇碩) from the City University of Hong Kong.