China: Wang Lijun, former Chongqing police chief and Bo Xilai ally, resigns from parliament


Wang Lijun, the former Chongqing police chief, is questioned by reporters at the National People's Congress on March 6, 2011 in Beijing, China.


Feng Li

Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun, whose visit to a US consulate in February triggered the biggest political scandal in China since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 and ended the career of one of China's most powerful politicians, has resigned from the country's parliament.

Communist Party officials in the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing on Tuesday accepted Wang’s resignation from the National People’s Congress, the Associated Press reported today, citing the official Xinhua news agency.

The move strips Wang of his immunity from prosecution as a member of parliament and opens the door to criminal charges, Reuters said.

Wang sought asylum at the US consulate in the nearby city of Chengdu after confronting his boss, Bo Xilai, who was the top Communist Party official in Chongqing, with evidence that his wife was involved in the death of British businessman Neil Heywood.

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A few days earlier Bo had sacked Wang as head of the police in the city of more than 30 million people and Wang reportedly feared for his life.

Wang was later detained by Chinese security officials and is now the subject of an internal investigation. His exact whereabouts are not known. 

According to Agence France-Presse, Bo, the son of a renowned revolutionary leader and, until this scandal, odds on favorite to enter the country’s top decision making body during a generational transition of power later this year, was subsequently stripped of his Communist Party positions and placed under investigation for corruption.

His wife, Gu Kailai, has been detained for suspected involvement in the murder of Heywood.

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