Photo Gallery China after the Bo Xilai Scandal

The money and murder scandals surrounding Bo Xilai looked set to damage China's communists ahead of the upcoming transition of power. But the party moved quickly and decisively, and may have strengthened its hold on power in the process.
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Chinese politician Bo Xilai was considered a likely candidate to become a member of the Politburo Standing Committee until he was removed as the party chief of the city of Chongqing and suspended from the politburo in the spring of 2012. In late September, it was announced that Bo will face charges for abuse of power, bribe-taking and "illicit relationships with numerous females."

Foto: dapd
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The scandal erupted in February when Wang Lijun, a former police chief of Chonqing, sought refuge in the US Consulate there and revealed details about the involvement of Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

Foto: ? Stringer China / Reuters/ REUTERS
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Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was put on trial in the summer and confessed to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. She received a suspended death sentence. In the third week of September, a guilty verdict was pronounced against Wang Lijun on charges of abuse of poer, bribe-taking and defection. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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Many believe that the party has been severely damaged by the scandals surrounding Bo Xilai. In a SPIEGEL interview, artist and dissident Ai Weiwei speaks of a "truly dramatic situation" and a "rift in the party."

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But many in China are impressed by the party's actions. What at first glance would seem to be a catastrophe for the party could ultimately solidify its control. The 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will begin on Nov. 8. Xi Jinping (seen here) -- who, like the fallen Bo, is considered a "princeling," or a son of one of Mao's close associates -- will succeed Communist Party General Secretary and President Hu Jintao.

Foto: How Hwee Young/ dpa
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