Bo Guagua Attempts to Avoid Public Eye

Bo Guagua, a student at the Harvard Kennedy School entangled in an international controversy surrounding the political downfall of his father, former Communist Party Leader Bo Xilai, left his Cambridge apartment with uniformed officials last week, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Details surrounding his departure remain murky in The Journal’s coverage, which suggested that he departed with a private security detail. The Daily Telegraph reported that he was escorted from the apartment by government officials, possibly from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Telegraph also reported that Bo Guagua was driven away from his two-bedroom apartment on Mass. Ave. in a dark SUV last Thursday, accompanied by a friend. Some reports speculated that this incident may be connected to a plan for Bo Guagua to seek asylum in the U.S. from persecution in China.

“He did not look frightened, but he seemed anxious to go with them,” a source told The Telegraph of Bo Guagua’s demeanor. “He had clearly been expecting it.”

Bo Guagua, who was due to receive a Masters in Public Policy next month, has remained largely removed from the public eye. Bo Guagua’s last clear public communication followed his father’s removal from his position as party leader last month.

“My personal desire is to focus on my studies and be left out of the political intrigues,” he wrote in an email to The Times of London last month.

Following his departure, Bo Guagua’s enrollment status remains unclear. HKS declined to provide information regarding Bo Guagua’s enrollment to The Crimson, and Bo Guagua could not be reached for comment.

Officials in China removed the elder Bo from his position as party secretary of China’s Chongqing municipality in March and then ousted him from the Politburo—China’s most influential political body—the following month.

The reasons for his rapid downfall are not entirely clear, but include allegations of corruption and overextension of power.

There has also been a great deal of publicity surrounding Bo Guagua’s connections with the late Neil Heywood, a British businessman who lived in China until his death last fall. Bo Guagua’s mother, Gu Kailai, was arrested for Heywood’s murder earlier this month.

Heywood is thought to have served as a mentor to Bo Guagua by helping him gain admission to Harrow—a prestigious English secondary school—and Oxford University.

Chinese authorities said that the family’s relationship with Heywood soured following “a conflict over economic interests,” according to a report in The Daily Mail.

While he was a student in England, Bo Guagua’s behavior came under scrutiny as reporters examined rumors of his father’s corruption.

Many questioned how the family could afford to underwrite the private education and the glamorous social life of their son, who was well known for throwing lavish parties and driving a red Ferrari in Beijing.

—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at hrouse@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Justin C. Worland can be reached at jworland@college.harvard.edu.

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