The mystery over the disappearance of the top Chinese police officer, Wang Lijun, continues to deepen as details emerge about the missing cop.
Now, the United States government confirms that Wang,52, has previously visited one of its consulates. However, Reuters reported it was a scheduled meeting and Wang left on his own accord.
He did visit the consulate and he later left the consulate of his own volition, said Victoria Nuland, a U.S. State Department spokesperson, according to Focus Taiwan. She did not disclose whether Wang wanted asylum in the U.S.
If he had sought asylum, this would be the first case of a high-ranking Chinese official at the vice-ministerial level seeking U.S. help while still inside China, reported Focus Taiwan.
Chinese scholars, who spoke to Focus Taiwan anonymously, said that this incident will be part of discussions by Xi Jinping's visit to the United States next week. Xi is expected to take over as president within the year.
The Americans would not miss the chance to demand something from the Chinese leadership in exchange for the information the U.S. obtained from Wang in Chengdu, the scholars said.
Wang was known as a vigilant police officer in the Chongqing city. He employed a variety of tactics to keep crime off the streets by tackling street gangs. His work even inspired a drama on Chinese state television called Iron-Blooded Police Spirits. Reports originally circulated that China's top cop had taken a leave of absence because of the intense amount of stress he was under, after he had disappeared from a stand-off, Feb. 7, involving security officers surrounding a U.S. consulate in Chengdu, reported ABC News.
The Chinese government said that Wang left the city for a much needed vacation. They claimed he had been under intense stress in the recent weeks.
China's vice-foreign minister, Cui Tiankai said that this was an isolated incident, according to Reuters. He continued to say that the issue was resolved and resolved quite smoothly. He did not reveal any other information regarding the whereabouts of Wang, but he is reportedly in Beijing, according to Focus Taiwan.
Chinese political analysts expect this incident to have severe ramifications for Wang's former boss and top communist leader, Bo Xilai. Wang and Bo were once close allies. However, Wang was removed from his position and reassigned to an education and environmental unit, according to ABC News. The move made some Chinese citizens speculate that Wang was under investigation by some authorities or he had fallen out of favor with his ally, Bo. It was also speculated that Wang had attempted to seek help from the American consulate during the tense standoff.
We can't comment on what happened in Chengdu (Tuesday) night, Richard Buangan, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing told ABC News. Buangan told Reuters there was no threat to the (Chengdu) consulate yesterday and the U.S. government did not request increased security around the compound.
However, they did not definitively say if Wang was involved. The Chinese government also tried to quell rumors that Wang was involved in the standoff.
It is understood that Deputy Mayor Wang Lijun, who has suffered overwork and immense mental stress for a long time, is seriously indisposed physically. He is currently undergoing a vacation-style therapy, the Chongqing information office said, according to Reuters.
Analysts claim these series of events will have a major impact on Bo's political future in the Chinese government, especially since he had supported Wang's anti-crime policies so heavily.
This will be a big blow to Bo Xilai, because Wang was instrumental in his anti-organized crime campaign, and that was instrumental in building Bo's appeal in public opinion and even among officials, said Chen Ziming, an independent scholar who studies party politics, reported Reuters.
Wang has not been able to be reached for comment.