Monday, February 13, 2012

Police chief defection rumours spark China intrigue

A former Chinese police chief rumoured to have tried to defect visited a US consulate, it was confirmed Thursday, fuelling a political intrigue analysts say may signal a power struggle in China.

The speculation about Wang Lijun, who has close links to a high-profile contender to join China's top decision-making body, comes at a crucial time with a once-in-a-decade leadership transition set to start later this year.

The US embassy in Beijing confirmed Wang's visit to the consulate in Chengdu but declined to comment on the rumours he had sought asylum, saying only that he had gone there for a meeting and left "of his own volition".

China's official Xinhua news agency said authorities were "investigating the incident in which Chongqing Vice Mayor Wang Lijun entered the US consulate in southwest China and remained there for one day".

Analysts said the confirmation of the visit would further fuel speculation surrounding Wang and his boss, Chongqing's colourful but controversial Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai. Read More