Pin Ho: From Maoist Criminal to Popular Hero?

Roundup: Media's Take
tags: Mao Zedong, Pin Ho, Bo Xilai

Pin Ho is a journalist and co-author of “A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel: Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China.” This essay was translated by his co-author, Wenguang Huang, from the Chinese.

ANY day now — the authorities won’t say precisely when — China will begin one of the most sensational trials in its modern political history, when Bo Xilai, the former rising star in the Politburo and Communist Party boss in the megacity of Chongqing, faces corruption charges....

Predictions that the charges against Mr. Bo would deal a death blow to the revival of Maoist ideology haven’t come to pass. If anything, since the party’s 18th National Congress last fall, some leaders, alarmed by rising unrest and a slowing economy, have promoted Maoist campaigns similar to Mr. Bo’s.

Under Deng Xiaoping, who engineered China’s economic transformation, the party tried to reduce the emphasis on personality. Since his death in 1997, it has smoothly orchestrated three leadership transfers — to Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and now Mr. Xi — based on supposedly meritocratic criteria....

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