Posted on | April 25, 2012 | 1 Comment
Livin’ La Vida Guagua: Son of ChiCom official partied down in England
In February, 41-year-old British businessman Neil Heywood died in China. Gu Kailai, wife of provincial Communist Party official Bo Xilai, reportedly confessed to Heywood’s murder:
According to Mr Wang, Mr Heywood, a fixer with decades of experience in China and a family friend of Mr Bo and his wife, was held down in a hotel room in Chongqing and forced to drink cyanide. Subsequently, Mrs Gu allegedly confessed to the crime. “Gu said ‘I did it’ three times to Wang,” a diplomatic source with knowledge of Wang’s account said. “It was a gruesome scene, Heywood spat the cyanide out and they had to give him more.”
In recent weeks, a series of allegations about the alleged crime have begun circulating freely, an odd phenomenon in a country as closed and censored as China, prompting speculation that the Communist Party was trying to smear Mr Bo and his wife ahead of the announcement of the findings of an investigation.
Mr Heywood, Mrs Gu and her son, Bo Guagua, are said to have had a close relationship until a quarrel over an “economic” matter, according to the Chinese government. At the time of his death, Mr Heywood was thought to be raising money for an £80 million shopping centre dedicated to British luxury goods.
Following this so far? OK, so the son of the Gu Kailai and Bo Xilai is a graduate student at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Bo Guagua has been the subject of much gossip. The New York Times reported last week:
After a pampered childhood in the walled compounds of the Chinese capital, he was sent off for schooling in England, where he developed a reputation as an academically indifferent bon vivant with a weakness for European sports cars, first-class air travel, equestrian sports and the tango. . . .
“If you’re discreet, they look the other way,” the former government employee said. “But Guagua’s behavior was striking by the standards; urinating against a fence at Oxford, kissing foreign girls — it all goes down bad in China.” . . .
American officials say he arrived in a red Ferrari last year to pick up the American ambassador to China’s daughter for a date. Classmates at Harvard say they have seen him driving around in a Porsche.
Hmmm. OK, so now the alleged ChiCom party boy has seen fit to issue a statement to the Harvard Crimson:
Recently, there has been increasing attention from the press on my private life. As a result of these speculations, I feel responsible to the public to provide an account of the facts. I am deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family, but I have no comments to make regarding the ongoing investigation. . . .
My tuition and living expenses at Harrow School, University of Oxford and Harvard University were funded exclusively by two sources — scholarships earned independently, and my mother’s generosity from the savings she earned from her years as a successful lawyer and writer. . . .
During my time at Oxford, it is true that I participated in ‘Bops,’ a type of common Oxford social event, many of which are themed. These events are a regular feature of social life at Oxford and most students take part in these college-wide activities. . . .
I have never driven a Ferrari. I have also not been to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing since 1998 (when I obtained a previous U.S. Visa), nor have I ever been to the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in China.
What’s the truth here? Dunno.