Bo's brother quits board of company

April 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM
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BEIJING, April 26 (UPI) -- The brother of disgraced Chinese official Bo Xilai announced his resignation from the board of a state-controlled company listed on the Hong Kong exchange.

China Everbright International released a statement Wednesday on the status of Bo Xiyong, also known as Li Xueming, CNN reported. The company did not say if Bo Xiyong has resigned as deputy general manager of China Everbright Group, which is based in Beijing and owned by the state.

The government has accused Bo Xilai, former head of the Communist Party in Chongqing, of corruption and tapping into phone conversations of President Hu Jintao and other senior party leaders.

Party officials said Bo tapped the phones at the state guesthouse in Chongqing where senior officials would stay when visiting the city, the British publication The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

The eavesdropping scheme became known within the party in August after it was discovered that Hu's conversations with a visiting minister had been recorded.

Bo was sacked from his post in Chongqing in March. Sources told the Telegraph Bo's fall from grace could be traced in part to the wiretapping revelations in addition to the cited original reason of his ties to the British consultant Neil Heywood, who was found dead in a Chongqing hotel room in November. Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, is under investigation for Heywood's death after secretive business deals soured.

Sources within the Communist Party said the wiretapping is thought to have begun several years ago, when Bo ordered his one-time ally and the former Chongqing Police Chief Wang Lijun to set up the operation so Bo could learn about his standing in the party as well as collect information he could use against possible enemies, the Telegraph said.

The surreptitious monitoring demonstrates the level of mistrust among party leaders, historian Roderick MacFarquhar told The New York Times.

"This society has bred mistrust and violence," said MacFarquhar, who studied Communist China. "Leaders know you have to watch your back because you never know who will put a knife in it."

Internal memos indicate the party considers the wiretapping as one of Bo's most serious crimes, the Times said. But party officials also said it would be too damaging to make the eavesdropping public.

"The things that can be publicized are the economic problems and the killing," one senior official told the Times. "That's enough to decide the matter in public."

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