Gu Kalai’s sentence: The case is not closed

Gu Kalai was given a suspended death sentence.

Question:

Can we say that this case is closed in the political sense or not, and why?

Answers:

Shaun Breslin, Professor of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick

No its not closed. There has been a clear attempt to separate the trial of Gu from the corrupt activities of Bo, and having a quick trial and verdict is an attempt to sort out one half of the problem and stop people asking awkward questions about what Bo knew and what he did. but in political terms at least (if not in formal legal terms), it’s the other half of the problem (Bo’s corruption) that is more important. This hasn’t gone away in any sense at all and we still await the official verdict on his misdemeanours. This will rumble on for some time yet.

David GoodmanProfessor of Chinese Politics, University of Sydney

Well I would think that this is a case for future political discussion. In the event that there is a political change, even without a seismic shift it’s possible that the verdict could be reversed. Both she and her husband could be rallying points for future political movements. And bear in mind, no one in China really believes any of this, even those who oppose Bo Xilai vehemently.

Kerry BrownHead of the Asia Programme, Chatham House

No, case not closed, because of course the matter of how Gu’s husband Bo Xilai will be treated still needs to be dealt with. But the successful conclusion of Gu’s case means that now the path is clear to deal with Bo, through party discipline and then through his case being handed over to the law courts.

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