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Chinese Authorities Investigate Chongching Deputy Mayor and Former Police Chief

In a two sentence report, Xinhua said that the Chinese authorities were investigating why Wang Lijun, one of its top police chiefs spent a day at the U.S. Consulate in Chongqing. “In response to questions, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Wang Lijun, the Deputy Mayor of Chongqing entered into the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on February 6. He stayed there overnight and left the following day. The relevant departments are investigating the incident.”

[Editor’s note: The U.S. State Department confirmed that Wang had visited the Consulate, fuelling speculation that he sought asylum. The 52-year-old deputy Mayor and former Police Chief of Chongqing is closely identified with Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai, so a potential defection might have serious political consequences. In recent years, Wang developed a reputation for being tough on “organized crime” and on defense lawyers. He is known for his participation in “organ harvesting” where Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and their organs harvested for transplant purposes. The apparent euphemism that Wang was receiving "vacation style treatment" inspired countless tweets and messages on China’s microblogs.]

Source: Xinhua, February 9, 2012