Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Ferrari crash link to China leader exposed [The Age]

富二代 Fu Er Dai and dirty laundry: Ling Gu, son of Ling Jihua, Hu’s political fixer is revealed (almost six months after the fatal crash) to be behind the wheel.

Alleged driving rampage in £500,000 Ferrari costs father political fallout from the Hu Jintao camp. Further, how Ling Gu got to own such a pricey set of wheels when both his parents worked government jobs has come under scrutiny as well. Tragedy of the accident aside, what is telling is the timing when the powers that be decided the great reveal – just weeks before the  18th Party Congress at the Great Hall of the People in October 2012 and a little further down, its once-in-a-decade leadership transition around March 2013.

Professor Miao Di, at the Communication University of China, said those in power were not helping themselves by covering up scandals that could be exposed by netizens and mainstream media. ”But it seems the Chinese Communist Party hasn’t thought of any better ideas,” he said.

For more on Ling Jihua from a Hong Kong perspective, go here.

And over to the UK’s Independent with a rather crowd-pulling title – [23 year old] Son of Chinese politician died after engaging in ‘sex games’ with two women while driving at high speed in his Ferrari

– – –

Ferrari crash link to China leader exposed
By John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published September 4, 2012

The wreckage of a Ferrari which exploded into flames after a crash in Beijing that allegedly killed Ling Jihua, the son of Hu Jintao’s political fixer, and two semi-naked women. Photo: Supplied to the Age

A SORDID tragedy involving a 20-something playboy, two scantily-clad women and a two-seater Ferrari has once again exposed the Communist Party’s challenges in hiding its dirty laundry in the information age.

The black Ferrari 458 Spider, reportedly bought for close to $1 million, was travelling so fast along Beijing’s North Fourth Ring Road that it split in two when it smashed into the Baofusi Bridge about 4am on Sunday, March 18.

A photograph of the tangled, smouldering engine block – resting far from the main car body – was published in the Beijing Evening News and immediately spread across the internet. The paper reported the driver was killed and two female passengers seriously injured.

But what might have been a tale of unbridled wealth and power quickly became one of political intrigue when propaganda authorities blocked relevant search terms including ”Ferrari” and refused to confirm the driver’s name.

Yesterday, after 5½ months without any official clarification, the story landed for the first time on the front page of a mainstream newspaper – just weeks away from the 18th Party Congress and its once-in-a-decade leadership transition.

The South China Morning Post reported the driver was Ling Gu, the son of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s most trusted political fixer, Ling Jihua.

The passengers were ethnic Tibetan and Uighur students from Beijing’s Minzu University, one of whom was now paralysed.

Professor Miao Di, at the Communication University of China, said those in power were not helping themselves by covering up scandals that could be exposed by netizens and mainstream media. ”But it seems the Chinese Communist Party hasn’t thought of any better ideas,” he said.

The Post reported the Ferrari story after Mr Ling was shifted on Saturday from running the party’s all-important General Office to running the United Front Work Department, a move that would seem to scupper his chances for promotion.

”Many believe the two issues are related,” said Zhou Zhixing, a well-connected intellectual who runs the Gongshi website.

Mr Ling will be replaced by the former party chief of Guizhou province, Li Zhanshu, who has ties to Mr Hu and also his anointed successor Xi Jinping.

The Post said investigators changed the driver’s name on Mr Ling’s death certificate to ”Jia”, which had led to speculation he was the son of Jia Qinglin, an ally of Mr Hu’s rival for power, former president Jiang Zemin.

It said Mr Jia was furious and handed a report to Mr Jiang, his patron, who sat on it for three months before using it to advantage.

The objectivity of the Post itself has come into question because of the editor and owner’s ties to Communist Party organisations.

Many Chinese political watchers and several Western diplomats became convinced Mr Ling’s son was the driver in the weeks after it was first reported by overseas website Boxun in June.

The incident is another dent in the party’s efforts to present a united image ahead of the 18th Party Congress, following the downfall of Politburo member Bo Xilai. Mr Bo was toppled after his police chief claimed to US diplomats he had attempted to cover up his wife’s murder of Englishman Neil Heywood.

Ms Gu was last month convicted of murder.


Filed under: 52 Unacceptable Practices, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Corruption, Crime, Fu Er Dai 富二代, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, New Leadership, Politics, Population, Social, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, , , ,

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