[QODLink]
Americas
Son of scandal-hit Chinese politician speaks
Bo Guagua, whose parents are under investigation in China, responds for the first time to reports of lavish lifestyle.
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2012 11:51
In first public statement, Bo, pictured on right in 2009, says he had to provide "an account of the facts" [Reuters]

The son of Bo Xilai, the disgraced Chinese politician, has spoken out for the first time since his father's removal from China's leadership and mother's arrest for murder.

In a statement published by the student newspaper at Harvard University, where he was studying, Bo Guagua expressed deep concern for his parents and responded to reports about his lavish lifestyle and questions over who funded his overseas schooling.

His mother, Gu Kailai, has been detained on suspicion of murdering a British businessman, while his father Bo Xilai has been stripped of his Communist Party Politburo seat and placed under investigation for disciplinary violations.

Bo Guagua, 24, said he felt compelled to provide "an account of the facts" to deny speculation about his private and family life.

"I am deeply concerned about the events surrounding my family, but I have no comments to make regarding the ongoing investigation," said Bo, whose whereabouts are unclear following reports he left his Harvard apartment within days of his father's downfall.

The scandal, seen as the biggest crisis to shake China's leadership in two decades, unfolded in early February after Wang Lijun, the police chief of Chongqing in south west China, entered the US Consulate in nearby Chengdu.

According to British officials, he made allegations while in the consulate about the suspicious death of Briton Neil Heywood, a close associate of Gu who is now in custody for his murder.

Bo Xilai was the party boss of Chongqing at the time with ambitions to ascend to China's top leadership later this year.

'Mother's generosity'

Even before his parents' troubles, Bo Guagua had become the subject of gossip in China for his elite schooling and perceived extravagance.

Media reported his fondness for luxury cars, and raised questions about how the family could afford to send him to some of the world's top schools and universities, including Harrow, Oxford and Harvard, on his father's limited state salary.

Bo Guagua said it was impossible to address all the rumours and allegations made about him but, he would zero in on the "most pertinent". He sought to dampen speculation over financial improprieties involving his tuition fees.

"My tuition and living expenses at Harrow School, University of Oxford and Harvard University were funded exclusively by two sources - scholarships earned independently, and my mother's generosity from the savings she earned from her years as a successful lawyer and writer," he said.

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list