It's Good Being an Apparatchik

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 5/02/2007 01:27:00 AM
I am a bit tardy on this minor controversy about Chinese Commerce minister Bo Xilai. From May of last year came this article from the Financial Times:

The pace of change in China is dizzying indeed. Take the case of Bo Xilai, the hyperactive commerce minister. His dad is Bo Yibo, the last survivor of the Eight Immortals of the communist revolution. His son is attending Harrow, that expensive and prestigious school in west London.

From veteran of the Long March to English private school in three generations is quite a transformation.

The Sydney Morning Herald recently asked how Bo Xilai could send his son to Harrow given his meager salary while observing that the next generation of Chinese "blue bloods" are preparing for careers outside of public service:
Readers who made it to the last paragraph of the recent Herald obituary of the legendary Chinese Red Army marshal Bo Yibo will have learnt an odd, but illustrative, factoid about today's China.

The veteran revolutionary's grandson is attending Harrow, the famous English public school.

The boy's father is China's Minister of Commerce, Bo Xilai, who rose to his position via a stint as governor of the Manchurian province of Liaoning, where he was known for his toughness against dissidents.

How Bo affords Harrow's stiff fees - £7345 ($18,400) a term - on his official salary of less than $500 a month, plus housing, is not quite clear.

What a surprise--there is indeed a Chinese elite prone to graft and corruption, according to Communist Party critics over at the Epoch Times:
Recently the staggering amounts Chinese officials are spending on their children's tuitions abroad have been on the news both in China and overseas. But the media in China is allowed to report on low-level government officials only, with one article saying that the Disciplinary Committee in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province requires that local officials disclose expenses for their children studying in foreign countries. An Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald , however, was able to nail an important official, revealing that Bo Xilai, the son of a Chinese communist veteran, Bo Yibo, and China's current commerce minister, spends more than 20,000 dollars a year on expenses for his son who's now studying at the Harrow School in England. Bo Xilai's salary is between 500 and 600 dollars per month, so where does he get that kind of money, the newspaper questioned.