China Intrigue: Political Power, Questions of Corruption – and Now Murder?

April 16th, 2012
in econ_news

Econintersect:  At the beginning of the month, as well as the middle of March, GEI News reported on the removal of Chongqing mayor and Communist Party bo-xilaiSMALLSecretary Bo Xilai (pictured) and his allies who have have been outspoken on behalf of traditional communist ideals, including the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedung, as well as successful campaigners against corruption.  At that time there were questions about the mysterious death of Neil Heywood, a British citizen who was, along with his Chinese wife, was closely and personally associated with Bo Xilai’s family.  However, they were simply shadowy rumors at the time.  Last week China state media announced that Gu Kailai, Bo’s wife, had been arrested, along with a family employee, on suspicion of murdering Heywood.

Follow up:

Here is what Wikipedia says about Heywood:

Heywood served as a comprador, or intermediary, linking western companies to powerful figures in the Chinese political structure.[11]

He ran a company named Heywood Boddington Associates, registered at his mother’s house in London. It claims to be “a multi-discipline consultancy focusing on serving the interests of UK businesses in the People’s Republic of China".[6]

He developed a business relationship with Gu Kailai, a lawyer, businesswoman, and the wife of Bo Xilai. Both Gu and Bo are children of once-prominent members of the Chinese Communist Party.

Businessmen have complained that any foreign company wishing to work in Chongqing had to appoint Gu Kailai's law firm to act on its behalf, failing which it could not get required permissions and licenses. The law firm, Kailai Law (now Beijing Ang-dao Law), is said to have charged exorbitant fees.[11]

Heywood had clients including Beijing Martin dealerships and Rolls-Royce. He was hired occasionally by Hakluyt & Company, a consultancy firm co-founded by a former officer in Britain's MI6 intelligence service.[11][12]

Neil-Heywood-008

The Mirror has suggested that Heywood had been having a love affair with Gu and had a falling out just before he died.  The same report also said that Heywood may have helped Gu “siphon” £800 million overseas.

Pictured below are Gu Kailai and her husband Bo Xilai in an undated photo.

bo-xilai-and-wife-Gu-Kailai

It has also been suggested that Heywood might have been a spy (ITV News).

A timeline of the entire episode of the fall of Bo Xilai has been published by The Guardian.

Econintersect Staff

Sources:









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