Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tilting at the big windmill

Bo Xilai's best chance may now be to develop a "medical condition" that requires treatment in the United States.

The reporters missed the significance of the new party's name: the constitutionalism movement in China that argues for real rule of law in the country.

Bo Xilai supporters launch new political party in China
Supporters of China’s disgraced senior politician Bo Xilai, who has been jailed for corruption, have set up a political party, two separate sources said, in a direct challenge to the ruling Communist Party’s de facto ban on new political groups.

The Zhi Xian Party, literally “the constitution is the supreme authority” party, was formed on November 6…

Bo Xilai
It named Bo as “chairman for life”, Wang Zheng, one of the party’s founders and an associate professor of international trade at the Beijing Institute of Economics and Management, told Reuters by telephone…

The Communist Party has not allowed any opposition parties to be established since it came to power following the 1949 revolution…

The party was set up because it “fully agrees with Mr Bo Xilai’s common prosperity” policy, according to a party document seen by Reuters, a reference to Bo’s leftist egalitarian policies that won him so many supporters…

Bo, once a rising star in China’s leadership circles who had cultivated a following through his populist, quasi-Maoist policies, was jailed for life in September on charges of corruption and abuse of power…

China’s Communist rulers have held an iron grip on power since the 1949 revolution, though they allow the existence of eight government-sanctioned non-Communist parties, which were founded pre-1949. Technically, their role is to advise rather than serve as a functioning opposition, ostensibly to give a veneer of democracy.

The Communist Party views the founding of opposition parties as subversion…

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