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Susan Shirk on China's Replacement of Bo Xilai

China Ouster Shows Party at a Crossroads

Jeremy Page, The Wall Street Journal

BEIJING—The fall of a Communist Party leader who led a Maoist revival could inflame an increasingly public struggle for China's top leadership, as two opposing wings of the party elite angle for dominance.

In an apparent victory for the party's liberal reformists, the removal of Bo Xilai as party chief of southwestern megacity Chongqing ended the political career of a man seen until recently as a front-runner for promotion to the party's very top.

But the ouster of Mr. Bo doesn't automatically pave the way to the party top for a more liberal figure like Guangdong province party chief Wang Yang, who won plaudits recently for his peaceful handling of a village revolt over alleged land appropriation.

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Susan Shirk is director of the University of California system-wide Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and Ho Miu Lam professor of China and Pacific Relations at IR/PS.

In 1993, she founded, and continues to lead, the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD), an unofficial “track-two” forum for discussions of security issues among defense and foreign ministry officials and academics from the United States, Japan, China, Russia, and the Koreas.

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