Bo supporters defy ban, form political party
Published: Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, 8:24 p.m.
BEIJING — 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 Nov. 6, three days before the opening on Saturday of a key conclave of top Communist Party leaders to discuss much-needed economic reforms, the sources said.
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, said by telephone.
“This is not illegal under Chinese law. It is legal and reasonable,” Wang said.
A second source, who asked not to be identified but who has direct knowledge of the founding, confirmed the news.
Calls to the Communist Party's propaganda department seeking comment went unanswered.
The Communist Party has not allowed any opposition parties to be established since it came to power following the 1949 revolution, so history suggests it will not look kindly on this new party, even more so because its titular head is a former member of its top ranks.
Activists have been jailed in the past for setting up political parties, although parties have never before coalesced around fallen top political figures.
Asked if she was worried she would be arrested, Wang said: “We are not afraid. I don't think we will be arrested.”
The new party announced its establishment by sending letters to the Communist Party, China's eight other political parties, parliament and the top advisory body to parliament, Wang said, adding that no ceremony was held.
It also sent a letter to Bo on Friday via the warden of his prison informing him that he would be their “chairman for life,” she said. It was not immediately clear whether Bo would agree.
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.
China's constitution guarantees freedom of association, along with freedom of speech and assembly, but all are banned in practice. The constitution does not explicitly allow or ban the establishment of political parties.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ex-Obama campaign strategists to battle each other in British election
- 7.2 earthquake strikes central Mexico
- In Egypt, government watchdog Genena hit by backlash in uncovering corruption
- South Korean ferry captain arrested; crew’s actions faulted in sinking
- 12 killed, 4 missing in avalanche on Mt. Everest
- Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
- 58 killed in attack on U.N. peacekeeping base in South Sudan
- Pro-Russian militants defy accord in eastern Ukraine
- Afghan officials say detainment of Taliban commander thwarts peace process