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Was demotion of key Hu aide related to Ferrari accident?

Was demotion of key Hu aide related to Ferrari accident?

Posted September. 04, 2012 08:46,   

한국어

Ling Jihua, a senior Chinese official and a close ally of Chinese President Hu Jintao, was given a new post in a move that several Communist Party experts call a demotion related to a car accident involving an Italian sports car in March this year.

In the predawn hours of March 18, a black Ferrari crashed into a guardrail. A young man was killed and two young Uighur and Tibetan college students were injured.

They were naked or half-naked, and stories began to spread that the trio was playing sex games in the car when the accident occurred. Media censorship was put in place and when the man`s surname was identified as Jia, speculation spread that he was the son of Politburo member Jia Qinglin.

The Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported Monday that the young man was Ling Gu, son of Ling Jihua, chief of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party`s Central Committee. A number of sources were quoted and the report said Ling Jihua, who was rumored to be the next person to join the Politburo Standing Committee, was demoted for this reason.

The demotion is known as a preemptive action to prevent damage to Hu`s image as a man of integrity since Ling Jihua is a close aide. Had the matter been left alone, the Chinese public would have questioned how Ling Gu bought a luxury car worth 5 million yuan (788,295 U.S. dollars) and consider the incident as another drunk driving accident involving China`s second-generation rich.

The accident was concealed immediately and the identities of the victims were manipulated. The surname of the dead man was falsely reported as Jia, and Beijing media reported that high-ranking politicians put a gag order on the case.

How the person involved was identified also led to speculation. Frustrated over gossip, Jia Qinglin secretly ordered an investigation into the case, and the person involved was identified as Ling Jihua`s son. Jia Qinglin is known to have told this to former Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Jiang and Hu are measuring their strength ahead of the election of the next Chinese president.



mungchii@donga.com