China’s communist government is preparing to file treason charges against a former official who sought political asylum at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu but was turned away to avoid upsetting U.S.-China relations, according to U.S. officials and Chinese reports. The former official, Wang Lijun, a Chongqing police chief and deputy mayor until his visit to …
The office of Vice President Joe Biden overruled State and Justice Department officials in denying the political asylum request of a senior Chinese communist official last February over fears the high-level defection would upset the U.S. visit of China’s vice president, according to U.S. officials.
U.S. intelligence agencies are closely watching China’s military for any signs of division or unrest related to the ouster of leftist leader Bo Xilai. The former Chongqing party chief, who promoted a return to hardline, Maoist-style communism and had close ties to the military in the region, was formally dismissed from the party’s ruling Politburo last week.
China’s powerful regional Communist Party chief in southern Chongqing, who was angling for a seat on the collective dictatorship that rules China, was ousted on Thursday, state-run media reported. U.S. officials and outside China watchers said the ouster of Bo Xilai, who was behind a Cultural Revolution-style revival of Maoism, signals high-level divisions within the Party hierarchy months before a major leadership change.
A senior Chinese communist party leader who dispatched armed forces to a U.S. consulate to head off the defection of a former police chief was shown on state-run television this week, a sign he has survived allegations of corruption. Bo Xilai, Communist Party leader in China’s Chongqing city, was shown attending a meeting of the ruling Politburo and sitting next to a senior military official.
The failed defection of a high-ranking Chinese police official is shining a light on a power struggle at the highest levels of China’s communist system—and bringing to the fore a debate among U.S. intelligence officials as to what is really happening in the People’s Republic of China. The dramatic events of Feb. 6 at the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, in southern China, involved a rejected asylum appeal by Wang Lijun, a former director of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is investigating whether the U.S. government mishandled a request for asylum from a senior Chinese Communist Party official who was turned away from a U.S. consulate after spending a night at the diplomatic post in southern China. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, disclosed the staff investigation in a letter sent Friday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.