Bo Xilai, the current Chongqing Municipality Party Secretary, is the son of Bo Yibo, a veteran member of the Chinese Communist Party who was denounced in the Cultural Revolution, emerging again after Deng Xiaoping's rise to supreme leadership.
Bo Xilai has recently taken a hard stand against corruption and gangsterism in Chongqing. He has also promoted a "red culture", singing Cultural Revolution era songs and sending text messages to millions of Chongqing citizens quoting his favourite quotations from Chairman Mao (left).
He also had a three hour meeting recently with the leaders of last year's Chongqing taxi strike.
You can read some of the English commentary on this phenomenon here:
To add to this intriguing insight into Mao's legacy and how the current leadership - including Bo Xilai himself - respond, I have translated this piece from an original Chinese post on the Cultural Revolution Research website .
I can't verify the accuracy of its reports, and I am open to criticism for the hurried translation and any mistakes I've made with it, but you'll get the gist. It refers to the formation of a Chinese Communist Party (Maoist) and the crackdown on it by its supposed mentor, Bo Xilai.
From a distance it's hard to make any real judgement, and the Chinese internet is full of hoaxes, but I offer it for what it is worth, and if more comes to hand I'll have a go at translating that too.
The Chinese Communist Party (Maoist) on the Declaration on the October 15 Counter-revolutionary Incident in Chongqing
Leftists establish Mao Zedong Communist Party
They support the appointment of Bo Xilai as General Secretary
Recently, Bo Xilai, secretary of the Chongqing Municipality, has presided over a vigorous campaign to combat black societies (triads), attracting great attention everywhere, but also stirring up a complex power struggle within the Communist Party. The ultra-left Maoists have been waiting to go into action, wanting to push Bo into the leadership for the overthrow of the existing system and the restoration of a Maoist line, but they have met with failure.
A princeling of the Communist Party and filled with wild ambition, Chongqing Municipality Party Secretary Bo Xilai has used "promoting red culture" and "hitting the black" to create his own image and attack his political opponents whilst drumming up support for his own career and has recently won loud acclaim from the Maoists who look upon him as "Mao Zedong reborn" and having maintained a "liberated zone" in Chongqing whilst in the remainder of the country there has been a "complete restoration of capitalism". On the occasion of Mao’s birthday in December of last year, the Maoists issued a "Notice to the People of the Whole Nation" announcing that they had already established a "Chinese Maoist Communist Party" and that its members had unanimously elected Bo Xilai general secretary.
After the October 1st National Day, dozens of Maoist Party members throughout the nation considered the situation to be excellent and new Maoists found hope in the leadership. They gathered at the Chongqing "liberated zone", but contrary to their expectations, their Maoist Party general secretary unexpectedly ordered the Chongqing Public Security Bureau to arrest them, and until now only a few have been released and repatriated to their places of origin.
Bo Xilai initiated the "red culture movement" in Chongqing: singing red songs, sending SMS’s of Mao’s Little Red Book, encouraging the reading of red literature from the Mao era, and studying Mao era models such as Jiao Yulu (left) and Wang Jingxi(below, left, meeting Maozedong and Zhou Enlai).
For the past two months he has conducted a vigorous and high-profile fight against Chongqing’s triads and uncovered the protective umbrella placed over the triads by the head of the Chongqing Justice Department Wen Qiang, again drawing the attention of the whole nation.
These two things caused Bo Xilai to leap into becoming the "spiritual leader" of the Maoists. On Maoist websites there was such nauseating praise as "national hero", "people’s politician", "the people’s beloved Party Secretary Bo", "long-tested communist fighter", and even shouts of "Long live Party Secretary Bo!"
There is a poem, "Bo Xilai, your mother the motherland and the people call you back to Beijing" saying that Chongqing under Bo’s government is the "Yan’an of the 21st century" and "China’s new Holy Land of the revolutionary spirit", and that "Bo Xilai not only belongs to Chongqing, he belongs to all China and should return to Beijing", the meaning of all of which is that Bo Xilai should aspire to Zhongnanhai and become the supreme leader of the Communist Party.
Formally established in January of this year, the entire Chinese Maoist Party supported Bo Xilai as general secretary.
After it was established, the Maoist Party not only posted the "Notice to the People of the Whole Nation" and the "Constitution of the Chinese Maoist Communist Party", but also distributed them as leaflets in Shanghai and other big cities. This "Notice to the People of the Whole Nation" refers to the three decades of China’s reform and opening to the West as thirty years of capitalist restoration, saying the "Chinese nation has already arrived at its most critical hour", and called for the overthrow of the current revisionist clique (the Chinese Communist regime), saying "It is right to rebel!", "Down with the bureaucrat-comprador traitors! Down with the running dogs at the top!" and calling out "Pursue them and wipe them out!" and wanting them to be "strangled in the cradle"....
Owing to the review of troops on October 1 this year, there was the phenomenon of the resurrection of Mao Zedong with, for example, the singing of "The East is Red" and the raising of Mao Zedong Thought for a short time etc, and moreover, with the launching of the red culture movement by Bo Xilai, the Maoists were very excited, and reached the stage at which they could come out into the open, racing off to the new revolutionary Holy Land of Chongqing to convene a congress for October 1 2010.
According to the news, more than 30 Maoists arrived in Chongqing to hold a meeting for exchanging experiences and to prepare for the October 1 congress. Although the Chinese Communist Party had already held its 17th Congress, the Maoists would only recognise the 9th and 10th Congresses held during the Cultural Revolution and believed that after the 10th Congress the Party had already become revisionist, and would not contradict this recognition (the first meeting to exchange experiences was in another revolutionary holy place, Xibaipo).
The host for this revolutionary exchange meeting was a Maoist organisation called "The Chongqing Mao Zedong Thought Study Society". They held memorial meetings for Mao’s birth and death and carried out commemorative activities for Mao on Qingming Festival.
Taking part in the preparations for the October 1 Congress was a very arrogant Professor Ma from Nanjing University who once enjoyed running the Mao Zedong Thought study class of the rural model village of Nanjie esteemed by the Maoists, and who had already run it for four terms, because he had energetically developed the organisation was finally expelled by the Nanjie Village head.
When the Maoist Party members were all gathered in the liberated area of Chongqing discussing matters of great importance, their beloved Party General Secretary Bo was feeling overwhelmingly ill at ease. On October 15, the Chongqing Public Security Bureau set out and arrested more than 30 of them, and the person in charge of the Chongqing Mao Zedong Thought Study Society, Xu Jiansheng, had his house searched that afternoon by the PSB who took several items including CDs from his computer. At the time, Xu Jiansheng was not at home, but he was grabbed the next day.
The latest news is that some of the youngsters from outside Chongqing who were arrested have been released, but Xu Jiansheng and another backbone member of the Chongqing Mao Zedong Thought Study Society, Wei Long, have been officially detained and charged by the authorities with "manufacturing terror and poisoning people’s minds".
As this matter goes online, the Maoists have had a big shock, accusing Bo Xilai of pretending to love what he really fears, and of being a two-faced person. It has also been revealed that Mao Zedong’s grandson Mao Xinyu has also condemned Bo Xilai. There were also some who spoke in defence of Bo Xilai, saying that he had been made to act against his conscience. And some insightful people said that to have Bo Xilai singing red songs was good and hitting the triads was also good, but no matter whether he’s acting under a red sign or a black sign, both are for the sake of fishing for even greater power.
(Above, some of the 166 Mazeratis, Bentleys and Mercedes seized under Bo Xilai's crackdown on triads in Chongqing).
(Above, 20 millian yuan, wrapped in waterproof oilskins and retrieved from a pool where it had been hidden by former Chongqing Justice Department Director Wen Qiang, a corrupt element exposed by Bo Xilai's crackdown).