The removal of Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai from the Politburo and the announcement that his wife is under investigation for murder are a political tsunami, the likes of which have not been seen in China since the defeat of the Gang of Four shortly after Mao’s death.
To put this in perspective: Bo’s fall is the equivalent of a RFK III and George Bush Junior announcing that Richard Daley III has been banned from politics for life and his wife, Amanda Cabot Lodge-Daley, has been placed behind bars. All the players are the sons and daughters of the Maoist elite, many survivors of the Long March. Bo had been expected to be promoted to the elite standing committee of the Politburo, where he could have become a contender for the top position as general secretary of the CPC.
The true story behind Bo’s fall will perhaps become known with the passage of time, but here is what can be pieced together from news accounts and from the Chinese rumor mill: