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Report links ousted Bo Xilai to Macau
The ousting of the Communist Party leader Bo Xilai in Chongqing may have been connected to his relations with leaders in Macau, according to a report by a publication run by the US economist Nouriel Roubini, which links one of the most powerful political bosses in the Mainland with one of the most influential political and business leaders in Macau, former Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah.
The report in the Economic Monitor written by analyst Kevin Yan, says that prior to his ousting earlier this month, Bo did make a high profile public appearance in the preceding month in Macau with Edmund Ho on February 23. But Angela Lei, advisor to Edmund Ho confirmed to Macau Daily Times yesterday that although Bo and Ho actually met on February 23, the place of the meeting was in Chongqing instead of Macau.
The Chinese official media Chongqing Daily also reported the meeting, and quoted Ho as saying that he was very impressed with Bo’s anti-triad initiatives because he also had experience in fighting gangs in Macau. Ho also expressed his support for Bo’s anti-mafia campaign. But it is the frontline official in this campaign, Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing Police Chief and vice-mayor’s flight into the US consulate in Chengdu last month that led to Bo’s downfall.
“The meeting (between Bo and Ho) could have had other implications,” the article says, it links the “implications” to Edmund Ho’s relations with China’s princelings – the children of the powerful Communist Party founders or veterans – and Bo is probably the most flamboyant among them.
“Edmund Ho was selected by Zhu Rongji, the former Chinese premier, to take up the position after the administrative region’s return to China. Interestingly, Ho had been on the same committee handling Macau’s return as Ye Xuanping, the former governor of Guangdong and son of Ye Jianying. On the same committee was also the son-in-law of Ye Jianying, Zou Jiahua.”
Ye Jianying is a former PLA general and the 5th National People’s Congress Chairman. He helped Mao establish pre-eminence over the Communist Party (CCP). Furthermore, during the era of Deng’s rise, his father prevented assassination attempts on Deng’s life as well as helped to overthrow the Gang of Four.
The article tried to link Bo and other princelings with Mainland organized crime syndicates, and then their links to the gangs in the much profitable gaming industry in Macau, where Edmund Ho served as Chief Executive and still has influential powers in local politics and business sector: “It is unclear what might have been discussed at the meeting between Bo and Edmund, but given the associations Edmund has, one can speculate that more than just business was discussed between the two.”
“During the crackdown of mafia-linked corruption in the municipality of Chongqing, Wang Lijun had become close friends with Weng Zhenjie, arguably the most powerful mafia boss in the municipality and one that was untouched by the crackdown of Bo, because the root of power for Weng is derived from his wealth and reputation with China’s military industrial complex where, after he left the PLA in the 1990s, he joined the Carrier (Kaili) Group, which is one of the two main arms trading companies in China. The Kaili Group is controlled by Ye Xuanning, the spiritual leader of the Princeling faction and son of Ye Jianying.”
The report says Weng’s association with Ye Xuanning meant that he is protected by a family deeply associated with the PLA and other leading families of China. Although Weng makes no direct deals or associations with the Ye family, he sits on the board of major Chinese companies with the families key financial office, Li Junyang, and he has made connections through his gambling habits in Macau. Furthermore, Weng runs an environmental organization with the brother of Xi Jinping. To top it off, Weng had also donated RMB100 million to the Chongqing police force to ensure their health in the event they are wounded from Bo’s mafia crackdown campaign.
“Reviewing all these complex relationships while making some implied associations, one can argue that the Ye family through its history in the Guangdong province has a diverse relationship with both the princeling and (Communist Party’s) youth league factions. It seems the Ye family has harnessed a myriad of relationships with both the elites and the populist market reform factions.”
“Furthermore, their dealings in Macau, a city infamous for money laundering activities through junkets, might have granted the (Ye) family a very deep set of knowledge about many powerful members of the CCP.”
But Kevin Yan was unable to give concrete evidence of any connections or dealings between Ho and Bo, or that between the princelings and Macau gangs: “In the end this is all speculation, but if these presented assumptions are true, then one can also conclude that Macau is fairly entrenched in the “dark side” of power politics in China. Whether Bo was in the city to learn more from the grapevine (as he might have been cut off from sources during factional negotiations), or to negotiate directly with other leading political families, or purely for business, we may never know.”
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