Over the past few days, Chinese netizens have been following the story of former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun's secretive meeting at the U.S. Consulate closely. Many believe that Wang tried to seek asylum in the U.S. in order to protect himself from becoming the scapegoat of Chongqing Chinese Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai's power struggle in Beijing.
Wang Lijun has been portrayed as a role model of the Chinese police since 2000 after his successful crackdown on a triad network in Liaoning province in 1999. In June 2008, the anti-triad hero was appointed as the head of police bureau in Chongqing city. Working side-by-side with Bo Xilai, he arrested a large number of former government officials in Chongqing on charges of corruption, including former head of the Justice Bureau Wen Qiang and former deputy chief of the Police Bureau Pang Changjian. In May 2011, Wang was elected as deputy mayor of Chongqing.
A dramatic turn took place on February 2, 2012, when the Information Office of Chongqing municipality posted a message via Weibo stating that [zh]:
While Wang still attended a public function in February 6 2012, two days later on February 8, the information office announced [zh] in Sina Weibo again:
On the same day, the U.S. State Department confirmed that Wang had had a meeting at the consulate in Chengdu, from which he departed “of his own volition”.
Political analysts with mainstream media [zh] believe that the incident reflects the internal struggle within the Chinese Communist Party and that President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have joined hands to sideline Bo Xilai before they step down in the upcoming 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The word in Chongqing, it seems, is that Wang's power play was successful and he is now in the custody of Party Central. Meanwhile on Twitter, netizens have their own speculation about what took place.
Tufuwugan, for one, believes [zh] that Wang Lijun has been made Bo Xilai's scapegoat:
Alan Huang feels that Wang has been too naive in his political career:
Qiumazha on the other hand feels [zh] that Wang has made a good move:
Since Wang Lijun has been very harsh in cracking down on political activists, dissidents in Twitter are happy to see him seeking help from the “enemy forces”.
Gongmingyaoyao mocks [zh] Wang:
Wuyuesanren echoes [zh] Gongmingyaoyao's comment on Sina Weibo:
Shang Guangluan reports [zh] on what he heard from the street:
Political dissident Ye du points out [zh] that:
Writer Ye Kuangzheng believes [zh] that Wang Lijun's move signifies a turn in China history: