Expert: Influence for China's new left

April 15, 2012 at 2:03 PM
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BEIJING, April 15 (UPI) -- China's new left, which supports deposed official Bo Xilai, has more influence as transition nears for the Communist Party, a scholar said.

The country's new left is a volatile force united only by the sense the government is wrong in pursuing economic growth above all else, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

"The real concern in Beijing is that the links here are unpredictable, difficult to gauge and largely underground," said Patricia Thornton, a scholar of Chinese politics at the University of Oxford.

That anxiety, increased by unfounded rumors of a coup, gives the new left "more heft than it would otherwise have in normal times and contributes greatly to a sense of uncertainty as the next transition looms" at the Communist Party's upcoming 18th Congress, where new leaders are elected, Thornton added.

Bo's family reportedly garnered huge wealth and influence while he was an influential member of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo from Chongqing. The local party boss had ambitions to rise to the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee, which effectively runs China, before his abrupt fall in March, The New York Times said.

While many of Bo's supporters have fallen silent since his ouster, supporters have declared their allegiance on the Internet.

"We support the Chongqing Model and Bo Xilai," read the Web site of the Progress Society, a new left group. "Fake communists have seized power in new China."

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