In a recent Baker Institute Blog post, Steven W. Lewis, C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow, writes about the recent "forced replacement" of Chinese Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai of Chongqing Municipality. According to Lewis, such a public ousting of someone who very well could have obtained a top leadership position within the new party Politburo, to be chosen in October, is significant because Bo was a popular leader with no major policy disagreements with party leadership.
Lewis opines that Bo"s downfall was most likely a result of his leadership style, which made use of "populist, charismatic language and public displays" that central party leaders have forbidden since the death of Mao Zedong. Other party leaders will likely be adjusting their own actions accordingly, he predicts:
"Bo"s removal is likely to cause other princelings and all top leaders to think twice about stepping outside of Party discipline and speaking in public without the prior approval of top party organs in Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party is tightening party discipline."
- Read Lewis" March 16, 2012, blog post, "The Ides of March for a Chinese Politburo member."