Now a Kennedy School Graduate, Bo Guagua Might Stay in U.S.

Dressed in a cap and gown, Bo Guagua, the deposed Chinese Communist Party leader’s son whose whereabouts have been the subject of international media speculation for weeks, showed up for his Harvard graduation last Thursday.

According to The Telegraph, Bo Guagua told a Harvard professor that he intends to stay in the United States, where he would like to earn a law degree.

Bo Guagua’s appearance silenced questions about his whereabouts that began when he reportedly left his Cambridge apartment last month, escorted by uniformed officials. In late April, he told The Crimson that he planned to graduate from the Kennedy School on time, but he provided no indication of his location or whether he would attend Harvard’s Commencement exercises.

Bo largely avoided journalists who attended the ceremony at the Kennedy School last week, The Telegraph reported.

I just want to enjoy the day and spend time with my classmates,” Bo said, according to the report.

The Bo family has been a subject of media scrutiny around the world following the downfall of Bo’s father, Bo Xiliai, who was removed from his position as the Party secretary in China’s Chongqing municipality in March and then ousted from the Politburo—China’s most influential political body—the following month. Soon after, Bo’s mother, Gu Kailai, was accused of murdering a man thought to be her son’s longtime mentor. She later admitted to being in the room when he was poisoned.

Although Chinese officials have offered little explanation for Bo Xilai’s removal from power, news outlets worldwide have buzzed about alleged corruption. Rumors that Bo Guagua lives a lavish lifestyle beyond the means of a government salary have frequently been used to back up claims of corruption.

Bo Guagua countered some of the speculation relating to his life and education in a statement to The Crimson last month, in which he addressed many details of his personal life but avoided addressing the political strife facing his family. He wrote that his private school education had been funded entirely by scholarships and assistance from his mother and denied media reports that he drove a Ferrari.

Bo’s family situation in China caused him to scrap his original plan of returning home upon graduating from the Kennedy School, social sciences professor Ezra F. Vogel told the Telegraph.

Bo Guagua and Vogel did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

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

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