Bo Xilai, the former Party chief of Chongqing Municipality, has been charged with bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power. His family background, his high profile, and the once unimaginable power he wielded have not proved protective talismans. His fate will be determined by the crimes he has allegedly committed and the judgment decided by the court.
In recent years, the number of high-level officials who have fallen from power because of bribery, corruption and abuse of power has grown.
The Bo Xilai case emerged last year when his police chief Wang Lijun fled to a US consulate, followed by Bo's wife being charged with murder. He will not escape the punishment of the law unless his defending counsels can refute the prosecutors.
The Bo case, once again, proves the anti-corruption determination of China's ruling Party and the whole society. Such determination comes from the political consciousness of rulers on the one hand, and on the other hand, it is the unwavering choice of a society that values the rule of law.
As China pushes forward the rule of law, it will take ruthless measures against corruption. The recent downfall of a number of senior officials is not the result of just a temporary anti-corruption campaign. The punishment of corrupt officials is the task of society based on the rule of law.
Bo Xilai might have thought he would escape punishment for his corruption. Some other officials holding significant power might think the same. But after waves of anti-corruption drives, their hubris may be diminished. The cases of Bo Xilai and former rail chief Liu Zhijun will ring like an alarm bell at all levels of officialdom.
At the public level, there are doubts about the justice of the legal system. However, a belief that once found guilty of corruption and embezzlement, officials will be punished has now formed. In recent years, many efforts on investigating corrupt officials haven't failed. The ways for them to escape punishment have been blocked. The whole society has shown great enthusiasm in supervising officials. The principle of "everybody is equal under the law" is backed by the legal system and public supervision.
China's establishment of the rule of law is coming faster than many have thought. There has been speculation around the Bo case. Speculation of this kind will fade away as the rule of law is gradually well implemented in China.
The new leadership has obviously highlighted the rule of law. It is a political initiative by them as well as conforming to the changing social context. The trial of Bo Xilai shows the irreversibility of China's reforms of the past three decades.
We hope that the verdict of the court will not be disturbed by outside opinions and can withstand the test of history.