I’ve been traveling so I don’t know if the blogosphere has been talking about this:
This week’s spectacular firing of Bo Xilai, a Communist Party “princeling” long seen destined for a seat in the country’s all-powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo, has delighted the country’s liberals.
The rise and fall of the controversial (and now former) boss of the southwestern city of Chongqing has shed rare light on the rampant factionalism within China’s Communist Party, an organization that usually manages to appear united to outside eyes. Mr. Bo was seen as a standard bearer of the country’s leftists, who praised him from his anti-mafia campaigns and his efforts to resurrect socialist culture.
This is the biggest political news out of China since 1989. (Which means it’s the biggest political news in the world.) Terms like ‘leftist’ and ‘liberal’ have different meanings in China, but on balance he had the potential to do more harm that good, by turning back the clock. Before his ouster he was viewed as a possible future leader of China. It looks like the liberals have the upper hand right now. This makes it considerably less likely that China will end up stuck in a middle income trap (which I never viewed as particularly likely.)
I’m traveling, so I won’t have much time to address comments for a few more days.