Timeline of Chinese leader Bo Xilai's downfall

Timeline of Chinese leader Bo Xilai's downfall

Key dates in the downfall of Bo Xilai, the former rising star in China's ruling Communist Party who has been suspended from the powerful Politburo on suspicion of "serious discipline violations".

FEBRUARY, 2012

- 2: Bo's right-hand man and Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun is demoted

- 6: Wang visits US embassy in Chengdu reportedly seeking political asylum

- 7: Wang leaves US embassy of his own volition

- 8: Wang is placed on sick leave for stress and over-work. Sick leave is a term often used as a euphemism for a political purge in China

MARCH, 2012

- 2: State news agency Xinhua says Wang has been placed under investigation, giving no further details

- 9: Bo publicly defends his wife during a press conference at the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress, or parliament

- 15: Bo sacked from Chongqing party secretary position, with no reason given for his dismissal. Vice-premier Zhang Dejiang takes over

- 26: British government asks China to investigate death of its citizen Neil Heywood. Rumours that Bo's wife Gu Kailai may have been involved begin to circulate

APRIL, 2012

- 10: Bo is stripped of his position in the Communist Party's powerful 25-member Politburo and the wider Central Committee. Government says Gu is being investigated on suspicion of involvement in Heywood's murder

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