China Beat Archive


Date of this Version


Document Type



2012 March 20 in The China Beat


Copyright 2012 Xujun Eberlein.


In the wake of Bo Xilai’s sudden downfall, shortly after what could be called an online carnival among China watchers—probably more in celebration of a rare, real-life political drama than anything else—international media is changing its tune and beginning to paint a more sympathetic image of Bo than previously reported, by focusing on Chinese people’s love of him. Reuters, for example, has a report titled “In China’s Chongqing, dismay over downfall of Bo Xilai” that quotes a working “stick man” (棒棒军, a porter-for-hire) who praises Bo as “a good man” that “made life a lot better here.” The Telegraph‘s Malcolm Moore (the intrepid reporter who brought Wukan to the world’s attention) even went so far as to call Bo “one of the most loved” officials in China.