CHONGQING, China--Since the fall of charismatic Chongqing Communist Party chief Bo Xilai, the city's security situation and political landscape have been thrown into chaos and confusion.
On April 11, the day after the announcement of suspension of all Bo's party posts was made, following the arrest of his wife in a murder investigation, Chongqing's landscape had already changed.
Huge billboards featuring “sing red (revolutionary) songs,” which had spread in the city, had been removed from the road in front of the city's airport.
According to airport employees, workers removed all the signs, including one declaring, “Tell the tales of the revolution,” on April 9, the day before the announcement to deprive Bo of his all party posts.
Bo, known as a "new left" politician, promoted the “red revival” movement to recall the era ruled by Communist Party leader Mao Tse-tung. He is under suspicion for covering up his wife's alleged involvement in the slaying of a British businessman.
Since Bo's ouster, law enforcement in Chongqing seems to have been deteriorated, apparently due to the chaos and turmoil in the top ranks.
Rumor has it that pickpocketing cases have increased and spam mail, which had disappeared, has re-emerged.
Red song shows that Chongqing television had been broadcasting daily have been reduced to once a week since an annual program rearrangement in March, when Bo was removed from his party chief post.
Dancing group members who gathered at the Chongqing People’s Square and karaoke singing group participants said they do not hear revolutionary songs anymore.
Bo’s eye-catching “Beat the Black” campaign, targeting organized crime in Chongqing, has also been weakened.
Wang Lijun, former deputy mayor of Chongqing and former head of the Public Security Bureau, who was in charge of the Beat the Black campaign, was dismissed after he fled to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu, Sichuan province, seeking asylum. He apparently fell into difficulties with Bo, after targeting his wife in the murder investigation.
Turmoil continued in the bureau, including the replacement of Wang’s successor in a month.
In downtown Chongqing, where overseas brand-name fashion houses and bars line the streets, group of men soliciting customers for prostitutes were stopping passers-by.
Asked about a police crackdown, one of the solicitors said, “Both Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun are gone. The ‘Beat the Black’ (campaign) has ended.”
At a corner of the same street, about 30 men were involved in a fierce argument on Bo’s dismissal.
“What is the Central Committee thinking?” one said.
“Who are the ones in the majority?” another asked.
Then one man said aloud, “The development of inland city Chongqing is due to the progress of the times. Anyone, not only Bo Xilai, could have done it.”
A public security officer watched the argument closely, but did not stop the men. The argument lasted until nearly midnight.
Demonstrations by residents, which were unthinkable before, are also taking place.
At a district about 40 kilometers from the city center, thousands of residents gathered and protested against worsening service by the municipal authority after the integration of communities.
According to a 38-year-old woman who operates a local restaurant, a local Communist Party official started making a nighttime speech in an effort to calm the demonstrators. But the official was injured when he was hit in the head by a bottle thrown by a demonstrator.
About 1,000 security force members turned up at the scene, but the protests continued until early on April 11.
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