Bo Guagua letter to Harvard Crimson defends lifestyle


Forder Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai attends a meeting during the annual National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People. His son, Bo Guagua, who has come under scrutiny for his lavish behavior, was cited by name in the official document dismissing Xilai from power.


Feng Li

Bo Guagua, the 24-year-old son of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, has defended his lifestyle and said he is "deeply concerned" about his family.

In an open letter to the Harvard Crimson, Bo Guagua denied he was a bad student, and explained how his top-drawer education at Harrow School, Oxford and Harvard University had been funded.

Bo Guagua also denied a Wall Street Journal report that he drove a Ferrari to the US Embassy in Beijing to pick up the daughter of then ambassador Jon Huntsman.

More from GlobalPost: Bo Guagua, son of disgraced Communist leader Bo Xilai, stirs up trouble for his parents

Bo, a student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is expected to graduate with a Masters in Public Policy in a month's time.

The ouster of his father Bo Xilai, a former Communist Party boss of Chongqing who was tipped for China's highest office, has been a major political scandal. 

His mother Gu Kailai is being investigated in connection with the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

"I am deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family, but I have no comments to make regarding the ongoing investigation," Bo Guagua said in the letter.

Harvard Crimson president Benjamin Samuels told the BBC the statement came from Bo's Harvard's Kennedy School email address, and that the newspaper had spoken to him by telephone to verify that the statement was his.

More from GlobalPost: China's Bo Xilai sacked as Communist Party leader in Chongqing

The New York Times recently described Bo as "an academically indifferent bon vivant with a weakness for European sports cars, first-class air travel, equestrian sports and the tango."

His extravagant behavior earned him a citation by name in the party's official reasons for dismissing his father, who is facing charges of corruption and abuse of power, the Times reported.

Bo Guagua has also been scrutinized for his connections to Heywood, who lived in China and was close with the family.

Heywood is thought to have served as a mentor to Bo, helping him get admitted to the prestigious English private school Harrow, as well as to Oxford, the Daily Mail reported, but he and his mother are reported to both have had a falling out with Heywood.

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