Don't the Chinese Know How to Stage a Show Trial Anymore?
August 27, 2013
On first glance, the just-concluded trial of disgraced former Politburo member Bo Xilai on corruption charges appears to be every bit the sham most assumed it would be.
In China, a Show Trial Without the Show
August 09, 2012
BEIJING—Back when disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai still ruled Chongqing, he took a special interest in the optics of trials. Before his sudden fall from grace this spring, he was, after all, famous for his dramatic flair—and his most artful turn as politician-cum-showman was the aggressively publicized way in which he cracked down on organized crime, and potential threats to his personal authority.
In China, a perennial T.V. favorite is the “rear palace” costume drama, depicting the conspiratorial high politics of bygone dynasties. An analogous kind of half-concealed theatre seems to be taking place today, not behind the sequestered walls of the imperial palace, but in the Chinese Communist Party’s headquarters at Zhongnanhai.