In November 2007, Bo Xilai , one of the Chinese best-known politicians, was appointed as the Communist Party of China Chongqing Committee Secretary, first-in-charge of the Western interior municipality with 30 million people.
Bo initiated an ambitious campaign against organized crime in July 2009. It was directed at the gangsters and powerful officials who control the gangs and enable them to flourish. Wang Lijun, police chief of Chongqing, was the campaign’s overlord. Some 6,000 people, amongst whom were wealthy businessmen, police officers, judges and legislators, have been arrested.
Wang Lijun (left) and Bo Xilai
This powerful campaign drew national attention and brought fierce controversy. Many applauded it for making the city safer, but others criticized it for neglecting due process.
In the campaign, li Zhuang Case（李庄案） received the most attention. Li, a Beijing-based lawyer, was sentenced to eighteen months for perjury after his client, a suspected gangster, reported to the police that Li incited him to lie to the court that police officers tortured him during his interrogation.
This case galvanized lawyers across China. They support Li publicly, and criticize the Chongqing government sharply.
“The Li Zhuang case is so important because it is an indicator of how far China has come on its legal reform,”said a Peking University law professor, He Weifang（贺卫方）, who also posted a letter to the legal professionals in Chongqing on his blog. In the letter he claimed that the campaign causes people “to feel that time has been dialed back, that the Cultural Revolution is being replayed, and that the ideal of rule of law is right now being lost”.
In June 2009, Gong Gangmo（龚刚模）, an alleged mafia boss, was arrested by Chongqing police for a string of felonies that included murder, illegal weapons trade, drug Continue reading