One supporter of Bo Xilai has done the unthinkable – also the irrelevant – she founded a political party inspired by Bo’s ideologies, with the disgraced offical honored with the title “chairman for life.”
Not that Wang Zheng plans to overthrow the Communist Party with her “Zhi Xian” Party, which means the “Supremacy of the Constitution,” and there are actually a small number of officially recognized alternative parties, but her move still put Wang on the Chinese government’s radar. Her home is under police surveillance, and she is already facing a backlash by the administration, BBC reported on Monday.
Wang said she was inspired to set up the party following Bo’s trial. Bo, the former Party chief for the city of Chongqing and once the rising star of the Communist Party, was given a life sentence in September for corruption and abuse of power, but retains a number of supporters in his disgrace.
The new party will aim to bring “common prosperity” – a fairer distribution of wealth to China, which adheres to Bo’s former policies when he was in power. Prior to his removal from office in 2012 amid a scandal involving his wife’s conviction in the murder of a British businessman, Bo was popular with Chongqing’s poor and rural citizens for running a high-profile crackdown on crime and promoting China’s communist past.
"The goal of the party is to guard the constitution," Wang, who works as a lecturer in Beijing, said, according to BBC. "In the past, for so many years, the ruling party has often done things that are against the constitution."
"According to the constitution, the nation is led by the Communist Party that co-operates with the other parties, and we are one of the participating parties," Wang added, confident that her move, while controversial, is not illegal.
Regardless of the legality of Wang’s party, she could be in trouble for challenging the Communist Party and for the inspiration she draws from Bo. China has jailed activists in the past for setting up political parties – one activist, Qin Yongmin, was jailed for 12 years in 1998 after trying to register the China Democracy Party.
In September, Bo was found guilty of taking bribes up to 20 million yuan ($3.3 million), and was also accused of abusing his office by using his position to cover up his wife’s crime. His supporters believe that he was the victim of a political purge ahead of a leadership shift in the Communist Party, BBC reported.