China's leadership shakeup: What's next for Bo Xilai and the Communist Party (+video)
A government meeting today answered two anticipated political questions: How the controversial Bo would be treated, and when the party would be ready to unveil its new leaders.
Mr. Bo will be handed over for criminal investigation and trial, the state news agency Xinhua said, ending speculation that the former high-flyer would be subjected only to party disciplinary measures.
The decision on Bo’s fate, taken Friday by a meeting of the 24 member Politburo – the party’s second highest body – also cleared the way for an announcement that the 18th party congress will open on Nov. 8.
The Politburo meeting thus answered two questions that had bedeviled the Chinese political scene for several months: How would the controversial Bo be treated, and when would the party be ready to unveil its new leaders at a national congress.
That meeting had apparently been delayed by infighting at the highest level of the party. Analysts suspected it had to do with how to handle Bo, whose wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted last month of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood and whose former top aide, Wang Lijun, was sentenced last week to 15 years in jail for covering up the murder, taking bribes, and seeking to defect to the US.