Corruption & Murder in China's Communist Party

The story of a smooth power transfer began to unravel last February when a Party official was accused of murder. The tale is emblematic of the State's problem with transparency. 

What's the Latest Development?


Last February, a real-life crime novel unfolded at the top levels of the Chinese Communist Party, exposing some of its leaders as corrupt cutthroats. Americans became aware of the scandal when Party official Wang Lijun fled for his life to an American consulate in the city of Chengdu. Seeking political asylum, Wang said he had knowledge of a murder carried out by the family of Bo Xilai—his boss—a sixty-two-year-old Party Secretary, who was, until that instant, to participate in the national transfer of power to a newer generation of leaders. Wang was not granted asylum and has since disappeared into Chinese custody. 

What's the Big Idea?

The Bo Xilai family is emblematic of how China's state capitalism can create rich and powerful oligarchies, perhaps dampening Western analysts’ infatuation with the success of China's economic management. "The gap between rich and poor has become so inflammatory and unsustainable that the Chinese government has simply stopped releasing an official measure of the distribution of wealth." Ironically, Bo made his name channelling Mao’s call for social equity while his wife maintained a business worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In the years ahead, the government's willingness to be transparent will pose a major challenge. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

Getty Images and Wikimedia Commons
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
  • The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less