A Former Chinese Security Chief Still in Jail for Criticizing Bo Xilai

August 3, 2012 7:09 pm Last Updated: September 22, 2015 8:42 pm
Gu Kailai and Bo Xilai
Gu Kailai and Bo Xilai. (New Epoch Weekly Photo Archive)

While the fate of Bo Xilai, the ousted Chongqing Party chief, is still being secretly deliberated by China’s top leaders, another story of how Bo dealt with his political enemies while in power has come to light.

In 2008, when Bo Xilai was Party chief of the megacity of Chongqing, Rao Wenwei, a local county Party secretary of the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee (PLAC) offended Bo by writing articles criticizing him and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In January 2009, Rao was sentenced to 12 years prison on charges of “inciting subversion of state power.” According to a person close to Rao, Bo personally oversaw how the case was handled.

Rao was the youngest Party secretary of the PLAC in Wushan County, Chongqing City. He was also an investigative researcher for the Chongqing Municipal Research Center, and secretary-general of the Chongqing Institute of Policy Research, the highest decision-making agency within the Chongqing municipality.

Rao wrote 52 articles based on his work experience within the system, stating various opinions and criticism about issues in China related to politics and human rights. He also criticized Bo Xilai in one of his articles. 

When Bo took office as Chongqing’s Party Secretary on Nov. 30, 2007, he vowed in a cadre meeting that he and his wife had agreed they would not allow any relatives, friends, or anyone around them to seek privileges or benefits in Chongqing.

On April 17, 2008, Rao commented in an article: “We will see what is hidden behind Bo Xilai’s inaugural speech as soon as the fig leaf is removed–all the dirtiest things in human politics, such as totalitarianism, authoritarianism, privileged cliques, contained within the CCP’s system.”

Rao’s friends took the liberty of sending his articles to The Epoch Times for online publication, and the articles were also reposted on other websites. 

A fellow prison inmate of Rao’s, Zhang Qi, who served two years with Rao in Chongqing’s Yuzhou Prison, spoke with The Epoch Times about Rao’s case. Zhang is a representative and founding member of the Union of Chinese Nationalists. 

Rao Wenwei, former security chief of Wushan County, Chongqing City was sentenced to 12 years after publishing 52 articles critical of the Chinese Communist Party and Bo Xilai. (Courtesy of a person familiar with Rao)

Zhang said that Bo had instructed Chongqing National Security Bureau to set up a special task force to investigate Rao, and that Bo used this as a major steppingstone before the 2008 Beijing Olympics to boost his political position.

On July 9, 2008, Rao was summoned by Chongqing National Security Bureau. On Nov. 18, at a secret trial, Rao was sentenced along with another man named Chen Xiaofeng, who was accused of publishing the articles on behalf of Rao. They both appealed, but on Jan. 19, 2009, the Chongqing High Court upheld the original sentence, and the two men were sent to Yuzhou Prison.

Zhang said that Rao’s case was widely known within the circle of Chongqing officials, since Rao was a key young cadre with a promising future in the Chongqing PLAC system. Yet a heavy sentence was imposed on him.

Zhang also said the arrests and trial in the Rao case were completely secret. “The authorities threatened his family and lawyer. There was absolutely no report on this case by domestic media.”

Rao’s father, 72-year-old Rao Jingjiang, has been making appeals on behalf of his son for the past several years. He also stated on his microblog that he is proud of his son. 

“Bo Xilai acted above the law. There is no [Chinese] law that forbids people criticizing Party leaders or giving them suggestions. I will seek justice for my son to the end,” Rao Jingjiang told The Epoch Times.

On July 30 Zhang accompanied Rao Jingjiang to the Chongqing High Court to file another complaint. A Chongqing High Court judge eventually agreed to accept the filing, but did not say when Rao might expect a reply.

Bo Xilai had a reputation of getting rid of political rivals and critics under the guise of ridding Chongqing of corruption and crime. He was ousted in March of this year after Wang Lijun, the former police chief and deputy mayor of Chongqing, and Bo’s right-hand man, sought refuge from Bo’s reprisal at the American consulate in Chengdu, unleashing the biggest political scandal in China’s recent history. 

Bo’s wife Gu Kailai has been accused of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, an associate of the Bo family. 

Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing any longer to participate in the persecution. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.

Read the original Chinese article. 

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