Bo Xilai Spied on Regime Leaders, Angering Top Brass

March 31, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015

Reports have emerged that the sacked party chief of Chongqing, Bo Xilai, and his powerful friend, Zhou Yongkang, ordered subordinates to spy on and uncover secrets within the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party leadership.

Latest News: Crackdown Hits China’s Internet

Get the RSS feed. Get the Timeline of Events. Who are the Major Players?

When communist party leaders Xi Jinping, He Guoqiang, Li Yuanchao, Wu Bangguo, and others visited Chongqing, Wang Lijun arranged an eavesdropping operation, according to the recent edition of Asia Weekly.

Wang Pengfei, a lieutenant to Wang Lijun, carried it out, according to Radio France Internationale (RFI).

Click this tag or to read about the most recent developments in the ongoing power struggle within the Chinese communist regime. Intra-CCP politics are a challenge to make sense of, even for veteran China watchers. Here we attempt to provide readers with the necessary context to understand the situation. Get the RSS feed. Get the Timeline of Events. Who are the Major Players

And most recently, Wang Pengfei has also been detained for investigation, according to Caixin media.

Wang Pengfei’s arrest was revealed by a Caixin reporter after interviewing three police officers at the Yubei District police department in Chongqing, where Wang was deputy head. Allegedly, Wang Pengfei had provided the car that Wang Lijun used to escape to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu.

Wang Pengfei was the most trusted aide of Wang Lijun and has been in charge of criminal investigation and spying for a long time, RFI sources said. Police officers from Tieling, Liaoning Province, told Caixin that when Wang Lijun was chief of police in Tieling, Wang Pengfei was promoted to deputy-chief. When Wang Lijun transferred to Jinzhou City, Wang Pengfei also transferred and became deputy-chief of police in Jinzhou. When Wang Lijun moved to Chongqing in later 2010, Wang Pengfei also followed him.

Ordering surveillance of top officials was not new to Bo Xilai. The former Northeastern China bureau chief of the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po, Jiang Weiping, told The Epoch Times that when Jiang Zemin visited the Northeastern city of Dalian in August of 1999, his conversations were tapped. “To listen to Jiang’s conversations with others, Bo Xilai told the National Security Bureau in Dalian to employ new spy equipment from West Germany.”

The revelations of eavesdropping on top leaders may have come into play as a factor in Bo’s removal. Communist Party leaders may have been angered that Bo was privy to their movements and private conversations; as evidence of Bo’s tactics continue to emerge, his former lieutenants are falling like dominos.

Wang Lijun was the first. He was Bo’s right-hand man and Chongqing’s top cop. Things started to sour after he was removed from his post by Bo on Feb. 2. On Feb. 6 Wang turned up at the U.S. consulate in nearby Chengdu—with an unknown amount of information, and apparently seeking asylum.

This heralded the beginning of Bo’s demise—an ambitious man who rose in the Party ranks by remaining loyal to former leader Jiang Zemin and carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners with zeal. Bo was removed from office on March 15.

Wang Lijun was only a hit man under Bo Xilai and most likely didn’t have the ability to get contacts within the Central Guard Bureau, according to an analyst cited by Asia Weekly. The inner access may have been arranged by Zhou Yongkang—the Party’s head of security and one of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, who is now thought to be in a fierce factional struggle with Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao.

Read the original Chinese article.

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.