Chinese official Wang Lijun reportedly tried to meet with British officials in the city of Chongqing before seeking asylum at the nearby U.S. embassy.
According to the BBC, the Chongqing police chief never showed up for a meeting at the UK consulate. However, Wang did go to the American mission in Chengdu, allegedly to flee the wrath of his boss, Chongqing mayor Bo Xilai.
Bo was a rising star in China's Communist Party until he was fired after Wang alleged that the death of Briton Neil Heywood last year wasn't an accident. Wang, who was at the time Bo's vice mayor, was demoted and could be considered a traitor by Beijing, according to the independent China Digital Times.
The report about the UK consulate is surrounded by a wave of speculation stemming from Wang's sudden and surprising disappearance from public affairs. The Chinese government has said Wang was put on a vacation-style leave of absence, the Shaghaiist reported.
According to information, because of long-term overwork, vice mayor Wang Lijun is highly stressed and in poor health. He is now accepting vacation-style treatment, Chongqing's information office said in a statement.
Before the scandal, Bo and Wang commanded popularity and stellar reputations within the party for their anti-gang crackdown in the southwestern city. Some considered Bo a candidate for a national leadership position, but his family, and possibly Bo himself, are now being investigated for corruption by authorities.