Crossing a Red Line

"...Beyond lurid headlines, the Bo case has given the world an unusual look into the inner intrigues of the Chinese Communist Party. Rifts between those who supported Bo's neo-Maoist leadership style and others pushing for further market-oriented reforms have been bared, betraying dissent within a party desperate to portray itself as united. More fundamentally, the alleged extent of Bo's personal excesses has dented the legitimacy of a party that, while acknowledging a corruption problem, tends to blame those lower in the government hierarchy for the worst abuses of power. With a widening income gap and perception of rising official impunity already discomfiting ordinary Chinese, the social compact between the party and the people could fray further."


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The TIME 2012 News Quiz

From Beyoncé to Bo Xilai, 2012 was a year of unlikely heroes, unrepentant villains and unprecedented headlines. How closely were you paying attention? Take the...

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