Bo Xilai scandal: Key players

A quick guide to the key figures in the political turmoil surrounding former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai, triggered by suspected murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

A full guide to the personalities involved can be found here.

Bo Xilai scandal: Key players

Who Connection Role in scandal
Bo Xilai

Bo Xilai

Former Communist Party chief of Chongqing and Politburo member

Once tipped for high office and described as the nearest thing China had to a Western-style politician.

He was removed as Chongqing party chief for "serious discipline violations", rumoured to be related to the death of British businessman Neil Heywood and the visit of his former police chief Wang Lijun to a US consulate, apparently seeking protection.

Gu Kailai

Gu Kailai

Wife of Bo Xilai

Mr Bo's wife, who trained as a lawyer and speaks fluent English, was reported to have had "economic interests" with Mr Heywood.

On 26 July, state media reported that she had been charged with "intentional homicide".

Bo Guagua

Bo Guagua

Son of Bo Xilai

Educated at Oxford and currently studying at Harvard, he has been the subject of rumours because of his alleged lavish lifestyle.

There have been reports that Mr Heywood helped Bo Guagua gain admission into the expensive British private school Harrow.

Neil Heywood

Neil Heywood

British businessman

Mr Heywood lived in China from the early 1990s, and was fluent in Mandarin. Met Bo Xilai and his wife while living in north-eastern city of Dalian in the mid-1990s.

Relationship with Mr Bo reported to be strained by 2010.

Found dead in Chongqing hotel room on 15 November, 2011.

Wang Lijun

Wang Lijun

Former Chongqing police chief

Police chief and vice-mayor in Chongqing who once enjoyed close ties with Mr Bo. He fled to the US consulate in Chengdu, near Chongqing, on 6 February, reportedly to seek asylum, triggering Mr Bo's downfall. He gave himself up to Chinese police and is now in detention.

Zhou Yongkang

Zhou Yongkang

Politburo's Standing Committee member

Considered to have been Bo Xilai's mentor.

Member of Politburo's powerful nine-member Standing Committee.

Also secretary of Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs, which controls police and security forces.

Unverified rumours that he was under investigation.

Wen Jiabao

Wen Jiabao

China's premier

Bo Xilai's dismissal has been interpreted as part of political struggle between supporters of former president Jiang Zemin, and supporters of Mr Wen and President Hu Jintao.

Mr Wen indirectly criticised Bo Xilai at National People's Congress news conference in April.

Patrick Devillers

Patrick Devillers

French architect with ties to Bo family

Patrick Devillers reportedly had close ties to the Bo family. He was detained in Cambodia, where he lives, before voluntarily flying to China on 17 July. Reports say Chinese authorities wanted to talk to him as a witness. It is unclear where he is and if he is under investigation, but he has met French diplomats who say he is in "good shape".

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